Saturday, February 21, 2015

Darkness on the Edge of Parking Lot 1

Last car in the IVC staff parking lot. Thursday night.
These things have been on Rebel Girl's mind:

* A familiar axe to grind: the absence of evening oversight continues. The new lighting (in some areas) does not make up for the utter absence of any administrator presence during the long dark evening hours when classes are full, students have questions, faculty have resource needs, etc. Rebel Girl observes that students tend to go to the well-lit coffee cart to ask their questions. Don't get her started about evening classes dismissing early or the numbers of people she observes on their knees in inky drifts of toner in front of the decrepit copiers in A-200 ...As faculty no longer have access to a printer to even print out copies to copy elsewhere or project with document cameras, she has also observed frustration and tears. Once her own.

* Another axe: Professors of English such as Rebel Girl all too often moan about the diminishment of the language. She caught herself doing just that during the week when she advertised the recently extended deadline of the IVC Foundation scholarship program to her WR 201 classes. It was, she announced, an opportunity for them to apply and for Rebel Girl to write more recommendation letters. Rebel Girl can speak passionately and persuasively about scholarships (and grants) because she cobbled together her own higher education with plenty of them (CAL, Pell, Regent's, Assistance League, etc.). She turned on the projector, pulled up the website and began to guide her students through the process. 

The students noticed before Rebel Girl did because she had her back to the screen. 

The misspelling. The erratic capitalization. The comma splices. The class had just reviewed these issues in their own work.

Here's just one example:


Sigh. It was a teaching moment. So, Rebel Girl taught — about the application process (spelled elsewhere on the website "APPLICAITON") as well as the need to proofread with care in case one's authority and message was lost, diminished. It was a good discussion which also covered the point that the message was indeed not lost despite the many errors and yet, the class acknowledged, it was unfortunate. After the initial titters, everyone seemed vaguely embarrassed.




25 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you start proofreading the college website, you will never stop. Trust me. Take a look at another financial aid link: the Irvine Valley HigherOne card (whatever that is). The whole page reads like some kind of weird cut and paste fiasco. Even when you discover something wrong in your own area, the fix is not easy, so most don't try. It's simpler to just leave the mistake or outdated information there.

Anonymous said...

Scary photo.

Anonymous said...

They lack a consistent proofreader and the result, is well, the site is RIDDLED, some parts worse than others. The term high school which gets capitalized ( e.g., Ask your High School teachers...) drives me crazy. The shift between students and you. And so many more. When I bring this up I am told I am picky.

Anonymous said...

That is one scary parking lot.

Anonymous said...

I think I just trust that someone is looking this stuff over. That's pretty bad. It must have been up there for a long time.

The new lights are better but some parts of the campus are still poorly lit. The lights outside B-1000 don't seem to go on at all. You'd think someone would check.

Anonymous said...

Old joke, repurposed: A proofreader, looking for errors under the single IVC parking lot light. Why there? Because there's no light over where s/he misspelled.

Anonymous said...

Imagine a Senior Publications Editor and Designer, someone literate and meticulous, someone who cared about clarity and consistency and access, someone who brought honors to the college publications. Oh there I go again, wishing for the past. Move along, nothing to be seen here.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of document cameras, what document cameras? I can never find one let alone find one that works...

Anonymous said...

The effort that one must make to change anything on the college website is so huge that one just doesn't make the effort. You sit in meetings where you are told what you have to do before you can update or revise anything and you wonder how you're going to do PLUS teach all your classes...and go to committee meetings, etc. So you just don't do it. It would be great if it was otherwise but it is not. I have stopped pointing out mistakes.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no administrative presence after 6 on campus. A-100 (the first building people usually go to) is locked up tight at 5. The late A&R staff leave at 6 from the Student Services building. MOST students and staff (mostly part-time) arrive for 7 o'clock classes around 6:30-6:45. And yes, the parking lots are mostly deserted between 9-9:30. Go figure. We told people about this for YEARS now. They bought new lights. Big whoop.

Rebel Girl said...

A former employee writes: "Back when I was XXXXX, I had a student named XXXX who argued with me. One day, she misspelled a word, and she claimed I was wrong in spelling it my way. I showed her the word in my Longman's ESL dictionary, but she used the computer to go to the IVC website, pointed to the misspelling, and triumphantly said, 'See, this is how the COLLEGE spells it!' "

Anonymous said...

All these meetings where you can't point out problems because people get upset if you do because their feelings "get hurt" or it "looks bad" or "it doesn't really matter." Plus the process to address issues like this is too time consuming. So it just sits there. My area hasn't revised its webpage because no one has the time. There is no real oversight and consistency anymore.

Anonymous said...

9:49- have you bothered requesting one or reporting a non-working unit?

Anonymous said...

I heard they railroaded the webmaster out of here several months ago. I wonder whose brilliant idea that was. Perhaps that's the problem with the website...

Anonymous said...

Who was the railroaded webmaster?

As of today they cleaned up some of the website though there are still inconsistencies that confuse students. For example, early on it suggest that high school teacher or employer can write letters but later it lists only faculty.

The real problem is the underlying one about a system where people cannot point out mistakes, own up to mistakes or suggest change. I have been in too many meetings where people say nothing but how great it all is. It is not. And please note, this change came because of the blog. People knew the problem was there - how could they NOT? But no one was willing to say the emperor had no clothes. Embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

That would be Robert Stanley.

Anonymous said...

What happened to him?

Yes, some of us have spent the best years of our lives in meetings that do not matter. Meanwhile the people who get paid way more than we do congratulate each other on the fine jobs they are doing....

Anonymous said...

12:30 that would be Bruce H. so he can hire more of HIS useless friends.

Anonymous said...

It must be nice to hire your friends.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they also enjoyed an obscene pay raise a few years ago. I recall it was like 20-25% All at everyone else's expense. News flash: everyone's costs of living has increased, not just managers and admins.

Anonymous said...

3:00, i believe the big mgmt. raise was at the end of last year

Anonymous said...

Some counselors make $70,000 plus in overtime - over twice my salary! How is that even possible?

Anonymous said...

They work very hard. Harder than you do.

http://transparentcalifornia.com/

Anonymous said...

Nice work if you can get it. No wonder the college can't afford to hire more full-time faculty.

Anonymous said...

The goal is to concentrate as much cronyism and incompetence at the top to keep administration fat (grossly overpaid) in order to justify their importance.

Half-staff: ten days and counting.

The flags outside A-100 has been flying at half-staff for ten days now. Even the one of the regular Jehovah's Witness women noticed i...