Posted tagged ‘education’

Doctor Doctor

December 4, 2017

EHHSSchool has always come easy to me.  There was a time when I would have seen that as bragging but in my fifties, a friend taught me the notion of being right sized in the universe, that is, knowing what you are good at, bad at and everything in between.  I do. And I’m comfortable with it.  Now, you might think that having school come easy would mean I was as the top of my class all the time.   That wasn’t the case because of some of the things I wasn’t good at were: focusing on grades instead of fun;  working hard in classes that didn’t interest me;  putting aside the personalities of my teachers; and caring about who was valedictorian.  So, while I made the honor societies, it was often by the skin ofTBP my teeth.  In college, I discovered fraternity life, so while I sometimes made the Dean’s list, sometimes I didn’t.  Parenthetically, college transformed me from a somewhat socially awkward high school kid to a fraternity social chairman and president, in the long run a transformation that would serve me well.   But at no point would anyone have termed me a scholar.  OK, Miss Rocco, my Latin teacher (yes, Latin) called me her on-again-off-again-scholar.  Fondly, I think, if with some frustration. (more…)

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Learning Online

April 17, 2014

easyI’ve spent the last two days taking online courses required by the government if we are to continue working in our field.  One has to do with how to use a government website with dozens of screens and functions.  That online class was a mind-numbing walk through each of the screens describing every detail and every regulation regarding what I can and can’t do on each screen.  It was followed by an equally mind-numbing exam that asked pertinent questions like, How many sections are there on Screen A? and Which of the following items cannot be done on Screen B? (so that None of the Above becomes a confusing double negative).   It took me two tries to pass the exam.  The second course used games like Jeopardy and Millionaire to make the learning more interesting but ended up seeming patronizing.   I passed the second course in one try, so patronizing must be better than mind-numbing. (more…)

Liberal Arts

June 12, 2013

artsI am an engineer.  I have an engineering education that is as far from what we used to call Liberal Arts as Eminem is from Frank Sinatra.   My classes were filled with equations and arcane terminology that meant nothing to my Liberal Arts friends.  My freshman year at Stevens Institute of Technology, the only non-engineering class I took was Humanities, and odd mix of literature and composition meant to make us well-rounded.  When I transferred to the University of Connecticut, engineering required a few more electives.  I took sociology, psychology and something called the Philosophy of Mathematics, what I considered bullshit courses.  Oh, yeah.  I took Theater.  Funny thing, that.   My drawings for a set design were chosen by the professor for the spring production.   While we were building the set, he asked from across the room, Where did you go to school your freshman year, Bud?   It was a moment I hadn’t been looking forward to … our beloved instructor had a reputation for disliking engineers and grading them harshly.   I went to Stevens Institute of Technology, I said quietly.   There was a long pause, then sarcastically, That’s a fine institute of liberal education.   I did, however, ace the course.  In graduate school, where I (more…)