Oct. 21st, 2011 09:47 am
So recently I gave to the band Megan Jean and the KFB via Kickstarter (amazing band, you should look them up), and before that I was talking with my mother about Kickstarter generally. She basically kept asking "how do you know it's for real?" and "how do you guarantee you get the rewards you sign up for?" and other questions, some of which related to generic internet commerce (or any commerce where you use credit - security concerns), and some of which were specific to Kickstarter. She was not even satisfied on the security front when I told her that money changes hands through Kickstarter, not through the individual trying to raise money. It wasn't until I said it was done through Paypal (which was wrong, it's through Amazon) that she was happy. Which was a little confusing, because why should Paypal be more trustworthy than Kickstarter? Because she's heard of it, I suppose. And how do you know your rewards will actually be sent to you?

Well, I am a pretty trusting person. I have, so far, only given through Kickstarter twice, and both times were to musicians I had met personally, but I've considered giving to other projects - such as one for modular solar powered electronics and one for a card game based on Jabberwocky (until I realized it was just a lame-ified version of Crazy Eights with an unnecessarily complicated scoring system). Kickstarter's been around long enough now that I'm not worried about it. And I suppose I figure most people have easier ways to make money dishonestly than making up fake information to give to Kickstarter (since I imagine, for the sake of KS's reputation, KS makes people setting up projects contractually agree to provide their rewards, giving them legal recourse if backers complain), thinking up a fake project and fake rewards, and making a video and info page. If I'd been burned badly in the past I might feel differently, but I prefer to trust people. I am happier that way.

On a related note, I was pretty uncomfortable with the way my co-teacher and at least one of the grad students operated when we were grading - always writing, say, 04 instead of 4 so the student couldn't add a 1 to the front on a problem out of 14 points, xing out blank parts of the page so the student couldn't add work and claim it was overlooked, etc. I've never had a problem with cheating, and I don't think it's because I am naive and just missing it. I think the students can tell when you trust them and tell when you care about them as human beings and about their progress, and when that's true they aren't inclined to cheat. Besides the fact that our students in particular tend to be honest to a fault. I don't like the message it sends when they get back an exam that has clearly been treated with cheating-prevention.

How do you feel about such things?


Oct. 18th, 2011 10:21 am
Guess if I'm going to keep posting on the DW side I should upload some userpics.

Anyway. Despite the fact that I was tired and slightly ill yesterday, the day went really well. I got all but one of my to do items done as well as a few from each of the rest of the days of the week. I did have to add one to a later day, but that's because I want to ask my students what additional examples they would like for Friday so I can't make the examples until after class meets Wednesday. For the chapter we start on Friday I am reusing my lecture notes from the previous time I taught the class, so that was a big cross-off with very little work. I did textbook revision - the item that's left from yesterday is that, but I did some other revision from yesterday's and today's lists, so I may be about even on that. And of course I taught class, and met my thesis student for a good 45 minutes.

Then at 5:30 I taught my embroidery class, which was two women in their late 20s and a 10-year-old girl. I think it went quite well, though I definitely learned something about how to teach that subject. When and if I give the class again I'll reorganize it, upgrade the handout and have a slightly different assortment of examples. I wanted to have more examples this time of embroidery done with different threads and on different fabrics, but didn't have time to make them. It didn't occur to me to make an example with different numbers of strands of embroidery floss on the same fabric, for example, or the same number of strands on different fabrics, and in some ways that would have been even more useful. It gave me some thoughts on adding to the embroidery book I'm writing, certainly. And I figured out how to explain the making of French knots, which are very tricky (relatedly, I also think I figured out what my problem with French knots was for so long).

When I got home at 8 I filled and started the dishwasher and sat and relaxed. I started getting ready for bed not long after 9 - my throat hurt and it turned out my tonsils were painful and swollen, so I took an Advil with sleep aid (seems to knock me out better than Nyquil, and I don't like medicating lots of symptoms I don't have anyway, which Nyquil always does) and sucked on a Halls. Ten hours of sleep later, my right tonsil is completely normal and my left one is only slightly swollen. I also feel much more alert and fresh. Such a good decision!

I bummed around a little bit this morning and with my coffee, sat and crocheted a couple rows of Stumpy's girlfriend. The to do list for today has five items left on it. One is office hours and one is a student appointment, so those will simply happen. The major one is the combination of yesterday's leftover item and one from today, which were the revision of one major section of my textbook spread over two days but now in one.

Life would be complete if only the fruit flies in my office would finally go away!



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