On Grinnell’s Completion Rate (Essay #23)
Grinnell is working hard to increase our six-year completion rate.
I reflect a bit on that goal and the way it is being phrased.
Grinnell’s expected student workload (Essay #18)
In spring 2016, Grinnell’s Curriculum Committee released a document setting policies for minimum workloads in classes. In this essay, I attempt to reflect on the implications of that document.
Grinnell’s Web Presence (Essay #54)
I’ve spent the past three years complaining about the loss of important public information from our Web site. In this essay, I attempt to tie together my various comments on these issues.
Software hammers (Essay #40)
On the dangers of having too limited a view of software.
Proofpoint: How to make email miserable to use (Essay #21)
My reaction to Grinnell’s installation of Proofpoint. While I rant about bad software in a separate essay, Proofpoint causes me enough difficulty that it’s worth a separate essay.
Word choice that irritates me:
Sell Yourself (Essay #80)
With all the baggage that phrase carries, why would anyone ever use it?
Terms I’ve come to despise:
Best practices (Essay #86)
The College bookstore (Essay #87)
Narrow and broad views of a central campus resource.
CV vs. Vita (Essay #93)
Why it bothers me when people writevitawhen they meanCV.
Software for reporting sexual assault (Essay #101)
Frustrations with yet another piece of software on campus, one that is particularly important to get right.
Ordering from Harry and David (Essay #139)
A comedy of (technical) errors.
More fun with Harry & David (Essay #163)
The comedy continues.
Even more fun with Harry & David (Essay #172)
It’s not so funny any more.
Harry & David: The Saga Concludes (Essay #198)
I think I’m done!
Submitting Camera-Ready Copy to SIGCSE 2017 (Essay #151)
Further evidence that computers hate me, or perhaps that I hate computers.
The strange pricing of meal plans (Essay #161)
Nonsensical numbers and my failure to get explanations.
Date and time formats (Essay #235)
On the perils of ambiguity.
The joy of administrative processes (Essay #251)
Trying to get money for the CS SEPC.
Reply to all (Essay #258)
Learn how to use it correctly!
Fighting with Microsoft Surface (Musing #263);
Why did I try?
How not to ask about a position (Musing #271)
I rant about an email message that I received.
Doesn’t anyone pay attention to our schedule of events?
Handling student course demand (Musing #290)
Yes, we need extra sessions and the occasional overenrolled course.
A (nonlinear) rant (Musing #293)
Things that bothered me one day.
Summer MAP compensation (Musing #308)
A more reasoned rant about two important issues.
The restrooms in Noyce (Musing #309)
A reason I’m ashamed of our students.
Losing it (Musing #314)
My worries about keeping up with demand.
The Ologie marketing concept survey (Musing #321)
Some good, some bad.
What’s sauce for the goose … (Musing #325)
What goes around, comes around.
Delegate! To whom? (Musing #334)
In which I try to delegate and fail.
Self-catering, revisited (Musing #336)
In which I respond to a question about catering.
Mailing list etiquette (Musing #339),
In which I wonder why people send the messages they do to mailing lists.
Yammering (Musing #372)
Misusing annoying social media systems.
It shouldn’t be my job (Musing #392),
Stupid answers to unnecessary questions.
Best of breed? (Musing #401)
Our strange software choices.
Another unposted rant (Musing #407)
Deciding not to post a rant.
Breakfast in the Marketplace (Musing #411)
A healthy breakfast, not.
Another good rant ruined (Musing #412)
A danger of paying attention to broader issues.
I thought I was done musing today, then the email arrived.
Browser expectations (Musing #428)
Why do people continue to expect that I use a browser that does not exist for my operating systems?
Get Outlook for iOS (Musing #435)
Why shill for a felon?
Course tags (Musing #443)
A good idea misused (not mused).
Why do we charge more than we’ll allow them to spend?
Grinnell things I don’t understand: Accounting practices (Musing #451)
Why can’t they itemize?
Words I hate: Relatable (Musing #453)
I don’t relate.
I lied (Musing #454)
How are you doing, Sam?
Show me the data (Musing #468)
Why is that such a hard request?
Caring about (handbook) language (Musing #481)
Am I the only one who cares? Does that mean I should stop caring?
Damn, I’m old (Musing #486)
Modern musical taste.
My annual Thanksgiving Shuttle rant (Musing #487)
Thanks for suggesting my class is unimportant.
A note to Curriculum Committee (Musing #489)
Please make sure that faculty know about their advisees.
Sokal, revisited (Musing #505)
Getting not only the science, but also the citations, wrong.
Some coding reminders to myself (and my students) (Musing #507)
A reaction to the joy of dealing with crappy code.
Unsubscribe (Musing #512)
What should be an easy process.
Norman bins (Musing #515)
Thoughts on proposed changes to Grinnell’s gift policy (Musing #518)
Potato bars (Musing #522)
A nine-month contract (Musing #530)
If we have nine-month contracts, why can’t we do three months of paid work over the summer?
Bad software (Musing #562)
Something that makes it harder to teach.
I hate computers (Musing #565)
The black screen of death.
Overloads (Musing #567)
Exciting opportunities lead to bad decisions.
Penny wise … (Musing #573)
The joy of bottle deposits.
Annoying paperwork (Musing #576)
Is there any other kind?
Perspectives on writing (Musing #578)
Arguing for multiple approaches.
Textbook orders (Musing #579)
Does it really make sense to make us do them this early?
Course tags and other alternatives (Musing #584)
Can’t we find better ways to understand the curricula our students design?
Two cultures, revisited (Musing #591)
Misunderstanding other disciplines.
Getting requirements wrong (Musing #592)
I am frustrated that we don’t express core requirements correctly.
Mixed messages (Musing #596)
Recycling (Musing #597)
Why is it so hard?
Bad code (Musing #599)
Among the things that don’t belong in standardized exams.
Criticizing faculty proposals (Musing #601)
Something I do too often.
Better classroom software (or perhaps hardware) (Musing #611)
Following up on a recent rant.
Logos, colors, fonts, and more (Musing #612)
Does getting the right kind of Grinnell Red really matter?
Comments on the summer MAP form (Musing #624)
It’s not my Grinnellian story (Musing #626)
The title says it all.
Grinnell’s new typeface choices (Musing #633)
They want me to use Arial?
Embracing the public Web (Musing #634)
Putting information where it belongs.
Cyclic imports in Python (Musing #655)
Loading zones (Musing #656)
These are not your parking spaces.
Grinnell traffic (Summer 2018) (Musing #670)
Worse than it used to be.
Code as language (Musing #695)
Badly designed software (Musing #702)
Don’t delete user files.
Reflections on some Grinnell policies (Musing #708)
That is, policies we need to change.
Critiquing a comment without critiquing the speaker (Musing #715)
Trying to be more polite. Probably failing.
More Norman Doors (Musing #716)
The wonder of physical user interfaces.
Business cards (Musing #719)
I give up.
Vegetarian in Iowa (Musing #720)
Getting the recipient right (Musing #721)
Avoiding the appearance of phishing.
Old or vintage? (Musing #722)
Computers becomevintageway too quickly.
FedEx signatures (Musing #725)
Inconvenient, at best.
Advertisements for ghostwriters (Musing #726)
If you’re advertising ghostwriting services, you need to write well.
Bad advice (Musing #729)
Don’t worry about the language of the contract, they won’t enforce it.
cyberattack (Musing #732)
Has it become too broad?
SAT mistakes (Musing #741)
The College Board should know better.
Quantitative Reasoning course tag (Musing #749)
Can we revise the description?
Amazon music storage (Musing #752)
Never trust the cloud.
Notes on Web governance (Musing #753)
Five years is too long to wait.
Frustrated with fonts and formatting (Musing #758)
Things aren’t easy as they first seemed.
Grumpy (Musing #769)
A bad day (in spite of some good aspects).
A bug (or perhaps not) (Musing #772)
Learning to check my software version.
Dear Grinnell student (Musing #773)
Life’s too short.
Hurdle rates (Musing #776)
A bad measure.
Correct spelling matters (at least to me) (Musing #784)
Would you buy a writing tool with misspelled menus?
Fiddling with Linux applications on macOS (Musing #789)
Things are never as easy as they should be.
Check your comments (Musing #798)
Make them useful, or don’t make them at all.
Outlook 365 vs. Mail.app (Musing #801)
I hate computers.
Cheapening the brand (Musing #809)
I hate crappy Web sites.
The MathLAN Web servers (Musing #823)
Why they’re important.
Scientifically illiterate swim parents (Musing #835)
Don’t be selfish!
I want my REPL! (Musing #839)
Working with MySQL databases.
Who gets the credit? (Musing #854)
Arranger or composer?
Landscape photos from my iPhone (Musing #863)
Everything is topsy turvy.
Microsoft nagging (Musing #869)
No, I don’t want to turn on automatic updates.
Opening Convocation 2019-20 (Musing #888)
Where was everyone?
Meal plan pricing (2019 edition) (Musing #891)
More expensive, but also more sensible, than it was three years ago.
Finding my chill pill (Musing #898)
Regaining my composure.
Distributed knowledge (Musing #899)
And other changes to governance.
New computing policies (Musing #902)
More challenges to shared governance.
The joy of upgrades (Musing #907)
Do they ever go smoothly?
Using comments from end-of-course evaluations (Musing #911)
The purview of the faculty member and the review chair.
Dorm departures (Musing #912)
I may be losing my touch.
Visiting the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame (Musing #915)
Selling the legacy.
Deleted (Musing #918)
Syllabus guidelines (Musing #921)
Some good, some less good.
Where was everybody? (Musing #932)
Sometimes I really hate this place.
Swimming, diving, and parking (Musing #942)
Why are there so many conflicts?
Swimming and … that other thing (Musing #944)
One drive, many steps (Musing #950)
What do your workflows look like?
Long-term concerns (Musing #955)
The SamR album keeps skipping back to the same old tune.
User studies in campus navigation (Musing #959)
We should run some.
Annoying link requests (Musing #974)
How should I respond?
mailto links (Musing #1010)
Why do designers get them wrong?
Workload, learning, and such (Musing #1074)
Am I winning or losing?
Computer troubles (Musing #1075)
Why are these things never easy?
Biting my tongue (Musing #1083)
Or should I be biting my fingers?
SM Word (Musing #1084)
Getting things backwards (or backwords).
Misbehaving email clients (Musing #1092)
A joy of moderation.
Technological minimalism (Musing #1096)
An open letter to my president (Musing #1103)
You got it wrong.
Endnotes for my open letter (Musing #1104)
It’s a compulsion.
Correlation is not causation (Musing #1124)
You knew that, didn’t you?
The joys of Cisco (Musing #1125)
Tech support is an awful experience. You knew that, didn’t you?
I (still) hate Ellucian Self-Service Academic Planning (Musing #1135)
A comparatively calm rant.
Minor irritants (Musing #1139)
Fun with the little things that get to me.
Still a curmudgeon (Musing #1149)
I try to change, but it’s hard.