Re: Various

1

I read the link in 1 the LAST time Nick S posted it in commnets.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:04 AM
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That article on AP exams annoys me. Obviously there's a real problem there, but the lens of "whole states" is really stupid. For one thing lots of those states don't have many black people. But really the stupidity is best pointed out by there actually being *three* states with no girls taking the exam. But Wyoming isn't mentioned in that sentence because no one at all in Wyoming took the test! It's a stupid way to look at the problem.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:08 AM
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Forget it, Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9). It's Federalism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:10 AM
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I'm not really sure the AP Computer Science exam is a very good proxy for anything. I would assume that serious CS students would be more focused on taking the AP Math exam, and that exam would be more useful for both admissions and for placing out of classes. I am a noted non-expert about how college actually works, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:11 AM
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Mr. Dorrance...said he was spending his entire weekend focusing on the youngest girls at the tournament

Make it stop.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:15 AM
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Way more black students from Montana would be taking the AP Computer Science exam if they weren't being sexually abused, ogged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:18 AM
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I remember Bonaly landing that one-footed backflip. Amazing.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:27 AM
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Not a single black kid was on the track to AP math in my high school class. I hope that's gotten better.


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:31 AM
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Discussion of AP exams can still get me all riled up. Fuck you fuck you fuck you rural high school.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:33 AM
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9 was me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:33 AM
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2,4 - Right. "No females took the exam in Mississippi (1 exam taken), Montana (11 exams taken), and Wyoming (no exams)." This is an incredibly stupid framing. (In other news, no female Unfogged commenter in this thread has used the phrase, "This is an incredibly stupid framing.")


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:35 AM
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I knew without looking that, if Jezebel were praising somebody, it would call her a "badass" or, occasionally, "kickass" or "ass-kicker."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:35 AM
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I'm not so concerned about computer science. How many schools offer it? Mine (expensive and private) really didn't offer much in the way of computer science. I'd be much more concerned about math.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:35 AM
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Mine (expensive and private) really didn't offer much in the way of computer science.

Probably more pertinent whether they offer it now, right? Computer stuff has come a long way in 20 years.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:38 AM
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It's a shame that more people aren't being pushed into computer science. If only there were an acronym that we could use to highlight the importance of science, technology, and math more broadly. We should raise awareness. Maybe ribbons?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:39 AM
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Obviously there's a real problem there, but the lens of "whole states" is really stupid.

Obviously it's a click-bait headline, and it worked. I probably wouldn't have clicked on a link that said, "only 20% of people taking the AP CS exam were female." But considering that the article includes the raw data, I think it's a fair use of click-bait.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:40 AM
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Probably more pertinent whether they offer it now, right? Computer stuff has come a long way in 20 years.

I had that thought as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:41 AM
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It's a shame that more people aren't being pushed into computer science. If only there were an acronym that we could use to highlight the importance of science, technology, and math more broadly. We should raise awareness. Maybe ribbons?

A mascot!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:42 AM
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That's just fucking brilliant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:43 AM
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I took AP Computer Science briefly in HS but dropped it because it seemed stupid. The exam is, I think, kind of stupid.

15: WYSIWYG, Object-Oriented, Digital Youth-Anointing Learning Lesson Enabling Necessities, perhaps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:44 AM
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IIRC, when I took it the AP CS exam required writing code by hand. Curly braces, indentation, semicolons, all of it-- to be graded by hand, of course.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:45 AM
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It's a shame that more people aren't being pushed into computer science. If only there were an acronym that we could use to highlight the importance of science, technology, and math more broadly. We should raise awareness. Maybe ribbons?

The problem is, if you were theoretically to create some sort of catchphrase to highlight the importance of science, technology, and math more broadly, people would be misled into thinking there was a high demand for people who know about science, technology and math more broadly, when in fact it's only true of computer science.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:45 AM
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when in fact it's only true of computer science. programming


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:45 AM
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And petroleum engineering.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:48 AM
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Obviously we need to focus on the majors with real payoff; the President should launch an initiative titled "Mining Engineering, Haters."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:48 AM
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23: not even all of computer programming! In addition to MEH, as a nation we need to focus on Web Technology Foundations.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:49 AM
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Science Transforms Fungible Undergrads


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:49 AM
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26 finally got me to go back and take a closer look at 20.last. That's definitely what's needed to form a new corps of Petroleum Engineering Data Officers.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:51 AM
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MEH

Medieval European History?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:54 AM
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Right, that topic has been Missing In Action in this thread.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:54 AM
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28: Petroleum Engineering Data Officers Bring Enterprise-Aware Remediation to your failing college or university!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:55 AM
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Science and Engineering Xpertise Awareness Brings Universities Superior Excellence


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:59 AM
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They have their raw data online, so I looked at black and Hispanic taking the test at all (which they didn't look at) versus as percentage of grade 12 enrollment in 2010-11.

National: of blacks, 4% took CS vs. 16% of population; of Hispanics, 8% vs. 23%; black females, 1% vs. 8%; Hispanic females, 2% vs. 10%.

Alabama: black 10% vs. 35%; Hispanic 2% vs. 3%; black female 3% vs. 18%; Hispanic female 0% vs. 1%

Virginia: black 5% vs. 24%; Hispanic 5% vs. 9%; black female 1% vs. 12%; Hispanic female 1% vs. 5%.

California: black 1% vs. 8%; Hispanic 8% vs. 47%; black female 0.3% vs. 4%; Hispanic female 2% vs. 23%.

Massachusetts: black 3% vs. 9%; Hispanic 5% vs. 12%; black female 2% vs. 4%; Hispanic female 1% vs. 6%.

So it seems kind of silly to single our rural/red states here. (Their datasheet doesn't have anything for Montana, contra their press release.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:59 AM
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If only there were an acronym that we could use to highlight the importance of science, technology, and math more broadly.

I really wish the acronym STEM would go die in a fire. If I were emperor for a day, one of my rules would be to forbid university administrators from using the term on pain of immediate execution.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:04 AM
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I know I'm supposed to hate STEM - and I do! - but it also serves me very well in selfish ways.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:08 AM
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What about Arts, Languages, Literature, Agriculture and Humanities, you know?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:11 AM
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I know I'm supposed to hate STEM - and I do! - but it also serves me very well in selfish ways.

Lukewarm hatred of STEM will be cause for a term in a re-education camp when the new order is established.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:11 AM
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33: so which groups were over-represented?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:12 AM
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Personally, I think the push needs to be for more Botany, Ichthyology, Geology, Paleontology, Engineering, Nanotechnology Implementation & Seismology courses.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:13 AM
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Since we're legally barred from teaching engineering, here it's STIM (informatics).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:14 AM
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Obviously northern europe is just completely ahead of the game on refocusing educational priorities so maybe Dutch, Optogenetics, Norwegian, German and Science would be the way to go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:15 AM
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Mostly Asians, looks like. Nationally, 57% of grade-twelves were white and 5% API, vs. of of test-takers, 55% white and 26% API.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:17 AM
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There are wildly more AP offerings available now than when I was in high school. Keegan's in 4 AP classes this year and will be taking either 5 or 6 AP classes next year. At $90 per test, that really starts to add up in a hurry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:23 AM
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Adapt/Disrupt: Dynamic Education Resources Allowing Lifelong Learning.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:24 AM
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The AP Grindr exam hasn't really caught on, thankfully.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:24 AM
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(And also application fees and campus visits and I'm starting to wish he was just an average student or I was much wealthier than I am)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:25 AM
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At $90 per test, that really starts to add up in a hurry.

I think I only got credit for 2 AP tests (biology and Spanish). I took a boatload of others. So the fees were mostly a waste.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:27 AM
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46: Those can often be waived with a polite inquiry. They're mostly there to discourage frivolous applications, according to sound econ principles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:30 AM
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||
Early this morning, a sinkhole formed under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, swallowing up eight vehicles including the millionth Corvette ever made.

The Corvette Museum has since released a list of the vehicles eaten by the sinkhole:

1962 Black Corvette
1984 PPG Pace Car
1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette
1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General Motors

The sinkhole is an estimated at 40 feet wide and about 30 feet deep, which explains how so many cars were sucked in.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:30 AM
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Insert GM sucking joke here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:32 AM
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Those can often be waived with a polite inquiry.

That's good to hear. He has his sights aimed quite high.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:32 AM
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I thought the fancier schools wanted as many applicants as possible because US News listing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:32 AM
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51: he should go to school up here so you'll have an excuse to come north for meetups.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:34 AM
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Right, and the idea that students are writing frivolous essays for funsies is fairly ludicrous. They're not grad students applying to 200 jobs across the country.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:35 AM
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My local public school paid for all of its students AP exams (it's a poor district and there weren't many of their students taking APs), so since we were registered even though I was homeschooled they paid for my AP exams too. They were really great to us.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:36 AM
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Oh, hey, this seems to be a good thread to mention that Sally may have run into her first sexist jerk teacher. 9th grade computer science; she and a female friend noticed that some of the work they'd submitted was showing up as missing on the online grading system and went to confirm that he had it and they were going to get credit, and were waved off saying that he'd look into it, and anyway this class didn't matter if they weren't going to work in programming.

We talked, she doesn't think there's a situation that needs intervention at this point, but she knows that I'm perfectly prepared to come in and discuss matters with him if she thinks it's necessary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:37 AM
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53: Harvard, MIT, and BC are on his list. I may call on you guys for advice when we get closer to scheduling visits.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:37 AM
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I had a brief period of following figure skating that began with the 92 Olympics. It ended with that Bonaly performance. A sport whose rules and judging were so stupid that that performance didn't win didn't deserve the time of spectators.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:37 AM
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Grad students frivolously apply to jobs for funsies?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:39 AM
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57: sweet! We could probably put you up, when it comes to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:39 AM
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57: Nathan's closer in time and personal connection than I am, but I wouldn't be surprised if the co-op we both lived in at different times would be amenable to putting him up for a campus visit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:40 AM
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Oh, 60 sounds like a better idea. I somehow forgot real people with spare bedrooms in the Boston area.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:41 AM
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Grad students frivolously apply to jobs for funsies?

More like out of terror. But I do recall a lot of "I'm going to apply to every single job out there, and here's my binder so I can keep all 150 applications straight."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:42 AM
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And that was pre-crash, when things were comparably healthy.

I'm not faulting the people on the job market, for the record - just saying that high school seniors aren't doing that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:43 AM
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We were told that if we didn't apply to every single job out there, it meant we weren't serious about getting a job. "Every single job" means something different in German than it would in any of the sciences, but before the market collapse it could have been 50 jobs.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:43 AM
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49: Clearly it's divine punishment for KY hosting the creationist museum.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:44 AM
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I applied to nine colleges when I was in high school. Several of those applications could have been fairly described as frivolous, although "deluded" is probably more apt.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:44 AM
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Our fraternity also has an MIT chapter (though I think they more often call it the The Number Six Club or something like that).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:44 AM
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But I'm not sure there aren't high schoolers doing that. Not all of them, but the ones who've bought the idea that where you go to college = the single most important and determining thing for your future success.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:45 AM
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66: Or Rand Paul.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:45 AM
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15: The not very good* (non-STEM) grad program I was in a mutually unprofitable relationship with for a short period is slated to be axed in this proposed move that seems to be getting publicity among the academic hoi polloi. My tag line about the place is that it took the "Plastics!**" advice from The Graduate to heart and has run with that ever since.

*However bad it might have been it was a better program than I was a student.

**Technically, they actually went with "Polymers!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:48 AM
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Yeah, and I'm sure the top-notch schools are less likely to waive the admissions fee. But plenty of schools are hungry for good students, so they'll generally do so.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:49 AM
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68: Yep, they were the fun co-ed living group. We were the granola and recycling hippies, Fenway was the drugs and sex hippies (in a very warm and friendly way), No. 6 was somewhat better dressed and more likely to throw genuinely fun parties but less hippieish, Epsilon Theta were, um, quiet and odd, and if there were any other co-ed houses I had stereotypes about, I've forgotten them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:49 AM
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||

If you're going to take me out to lunch as thanks for my stellar work for your bureau, telling me to pick the restaurant an hour beforehand is lousy. Dull sushi place, here we come.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:56 AM
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You didn't recommend Fresh Salt?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:05 AM
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74: if only there were some phrase that communicated an inherent tendency in the type of organization in which you are employed to be satisfied with mere dull sufficiency and uninclined to adequately reward or seek out excellence.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:05 AM
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One of the students here was complaining to me about the cost of graduate applications and I told him I thought they could be waived. He claimed that he looked into it and they would only be waived after seeing his bank statement and financial records and because he recently deposited a paycheck it wasn't possible. I'm fairly sure this is nonsense but he had such a detailed story about it that I didn't know what to say.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:06 AM
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77: he was probably coached.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:07 AM
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I paid for my graduate school applications with the check I got from the insurance provider of the woman who crashed into my car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:08 AM
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79: you were supposed to use that to fix your car.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:10 AM
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80: and how was he suppose to fix his car without a good grounding in a STEM field?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:11 AM
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42: clearly the answer is to start discouraging Asians from studying computer science...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:11 AM
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56 sounds pretty infuriating and reminds me of the asshole who taught my 9th grade science class.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:11 AM
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80: Who puts $300 worth of cosmetic repairs into a $1,000 car?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:12 AM
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Also, wait, you have to pay a fee to apply to a university in the US? And you have to pay per application? Nasty.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:13 AM
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84: People with insurance checks.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:13 AM
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The 1996 AP Computer Science exam was in Pascal, as I recall. I bombed it because the AP 'class' was basically self-directed study by 4 students sitting in a 35-person classroom where the teacher occasionally checked in on us while teaching the rest of the class how to use Word and Excel. We used the class time to do unfinished homework for other classes.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:14 AM
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I was wondering where the application fees for graduate school actually go. Maybe toward the salary of the administrators who review the department decisions? I don't think they go to the department, but I guess I can't be sure of that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:15 AM
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Was there a 1988 AP Computer Science exam in Apple Basic and LOGO?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:16 AM
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56: Yeah, I don't think it's particularly a big deal, especially given that it's a small school in which there are a large number of teachers with a strong pre-existing opinion about her abilities, and if it turns into something that needs intervention, I can certainly intervene. It does irritate me that the same twerp is going to be teaching AP Physics when she gets there, but at least these are subjects where grading is mostly objective.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:16 AM
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I keep forgetting that my high school physics teacher was also an asshole. But he was forced out halfway through the year after making racist remarks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:18 AM
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Re: 47 whether paying for AP tests is a waste of money, I suspect it varies a lot by school and subject. It was worth getting out of basic calculus, general chemistry (which I took anyway on the advisor's rec - thanks for nothing), rhetoric 101, and a foreign language requirement (4 semesters of a language) for me. I didn't need the hours I got, but getting to more interesting classes faster was certainly worthwhile. I probably could have graduated a year early if I'd wanted to. At any rate, worth it for me at Big State U. Same for the boyfriend, who would have needed slightly more than four years to meet all his degree requirements without AP credit at a different U of State.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:19 AM
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85: Medical schools are even worse. College and grad school are nothing compared to med schools. You pay a couple hundred dollars for first round consideration, hundreds more for second round, then you are expected to fly to the school for on campus interviews. Then, you write thank you notes for the privilege of being considered and interviewed.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:21 AM
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Our high school covered costs of IB and AP exams, like Unfoggedy (9) above. I was able to start college with like 30 credits. Big State U, like ydnew. Clearly worth the no cost.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:22 AM
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9th grade computer science; she and a female friend noticed that some of the work they'd submitted was showing up as missing on the online grading system and went to confirm that he had it and they were going to get credit, and were waved off saying that he'd look into it, and anyway this class didn't matter if they weren't going to work in programming.

I don't understand this at all. Am I missing something or don't H.S. grades matter to pretty much anyone planning to go to college?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:23 AM
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I was not at all interested in graduating in three years, but I was very interested in only taking four courses per semester when I wanted to. In hindsight, I wish I'd taken more frivolous classes as my fifth class, but I somehow thought that there were barriers to arts and activity classes and things like that, to prevent ordinary students like me from taking them and reserve them for the true students.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:24 AM
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but at least these are subjects where grading is mostly objective.

"Objective" doesn't get you very far with a teacher who intentionally loses the assignments of students he doesn't like and gives them zeros. Or just maliciously gives out the wrong grades. Hopefully Sally's teacher isn't as bad as the science teacher I had. I would show him where he marked my correct answers wrong and he would just shrug and say things like "so what? maybe you changed that after I handed the assignment back."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:25 AM
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Many years later it's still making me angry. Like, flames on the side of my face angry.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:26 AM
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I had a friend who took flower arranging her senior year. It met once a week and was graded on attendance, plus you got to take home your arrangement. Fun! The catch: class met at 8 am Friday.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:27 AM
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74 reminds me of the time my boss took me out in recognition of a good project and with one thing and another he ended up buying me a plate of scrambled eggs.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:27 AM
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Jesus christ.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:27 AM
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At times like this essear it's important to remember that you probably have better access to death rays than 99.99% of people on the planet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:27 AM
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101 to 99.last, presumably.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:28 AM
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95, 96: Well, we haven't seen a bad report-card grade yet -- he may fix it before it gets there. If that starts happening, I'll talk to the school. But you're right that the remark quoted (which, Sally's pretty reliable, but I am playing telephone through a fourteen-year-old), is bizarre: grades matter, even if subject matter mastery doesn't, and if you're teaching a class you should damn well think that subject matter mastery matters.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:29 AM
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Hey, it finally started snowing here. YAY SNOW OMG! </southerner>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:57 AM
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BC

He's going to keep playing hockey?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:04 AM
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33 is interesting. However, I would totally disregard the Alabama numbers.

The Hispanic population is so new there that it's highly, highly likely that the majority of Hispanic high school students in AL arrived in the US at age 15-16 or so. It's hard to get from no English to AP classes in 18-24 months. Possible, but hard enough that I don't think it tells us anything useful about the ethnic distribution of AP exam takers.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:20 AM
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[aside]Not read the thread yet.[/aside]

I suppose it indicates how British an American I am that it never even occurred to me that "committing to a college" early would be an athletic thing.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:22 AM
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77: Based on that explanation, I'd assume that he has more money in his account than he feels comfortable explaining. If he's an international student he may have parents or even his home-country government depositing a big check early in the semester to pay for housing etc.

(n.b. It's kind of astounding how governments like Oman operate in terms of sending students to the US. Such a weird parallel universe.)


Posted by: Wit | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:22 AM
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He's going to keep playing hockey?

I don't think so. Maybe lacrosse.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:41 AM
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I started college with sophomore standing, thanks to AP credits. My high school (maybe my district?) had a deal where they paid the fees for AP tests if you had taken the AP class. If you took the test without taking the class (which was the case for a handful of tests I took), they would reimburse you for the fee if you scored a 4 or a 5 (out of 5).

I used my "extra" classes studying abroad, taking one-credit colloquia, and taking sports/phys ed classes.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:42 AM
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109.last: Is that why so many people from the "Bible Belt" of the U.S. are upset about Omanism?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:43 AM
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The Hispanic population is so new there that it's highly, highly likely that the majority of Hispanic high school students in AL arrived in the US at age 15-16 or so

Wait, what? You're saying that Alabama had a giant influx of Hispanic people since 2012?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:52 AM
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Might be time for an early commit to Goldman.

"I want to watch sharks."
[Put on National Geographic shark movie.]
"Is someone going to get hurt?"
"No, no one is going to get hurt in this one."
"I don't want to watch this."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 11:59 AM
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109.1: But I wouldn't have thought that people in graduate admissions would even inquire into someone's finances. I thought people just asked politely if the fee could be waived and it was, no questions asked.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:07 PM
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Regarding Walt's 58, let's talk about memory. Wasn't her backflip in 98, when she had already fallen during the program?


Posted by: f | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:08 PM
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116: She definitely knew she was out before the backflip, and that's why she did it. It was a total fuck-you move.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:11 PM
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I suppose it indicates how British an American I am that it never even occurred to me that "committing to a college" early would be an athletic thing.

That's the only context in which "committing to a college" is ever used, in fact.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:15 PM
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It was a total fuck-you thug move.

Just say it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:17 PM
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But I wouldn't have thought that people in graduate admissions would even inquire into someone's finances.

Your current institution requires all graduate students to submit financial information every year. Even though you have the support package guaranteed when you started.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:19 PM
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What do they do with it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:23 PM
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120: Srsly? Jesus. That's absurd.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:25 PM
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113: My AP percentage data was from an eight-year total, 2006-2013, to smooth things out; HS enrollment data was as of the school year ending in 2011. But now that I look I see that Hispanic high school enrollment in Alabama was 0.6% in 2001, 1.5% in 2006, 2% in 2009, and 2.8% in 2011, so yes, a big influx.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:28 PM
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To Sifu's observation in 4,

I'm not really sure the AP Computer Science exam is a very good proxy for anything. I would assume that serious CS students would be more focused on taking the AP Math exam

AP Computer Science is an entry point for high school kids to get into computer science. The idea that a "serious CS student" must be serious by the time he or she graduates high school is ridiculous.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:37 PM
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Incidentally, since this is the "various" thread, this article about tipping that Witt linked to over at CT, is fascinating. I don't know if it's been posted here, but I hadn't seen it before.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:37 PM
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AP Computer Science is an entry point for high school kids to get into computer science.

Is it? I was mostly thinking that anybody who already planned to major in CS while they were in high school would assume -- since they knew how to program -- that they could test out of or otherwise avoid introductory CS classes anyhow and would be more interested in getting to take more interesting math classes right off the bat. My intuition (from my experience) for how high school kids get into CS is they, you know, spend all their time screwing around with computers. But obviously there could be vast, heterogeneous and pervasive biases at work on my thinking here, since I haven't been in high school in 20 years and never really paid attention to school anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:44 PM
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I decided I wanted to go to CMU at the same time I wanted to be an architect, in 7th grade, but I still did my diligence.

Of course, I wasn't recruited much for basketball track rugby minor vandalism, so it was a different process for me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:47 PM
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Right, that's everyone's intuition about how high school kids get into CS. But it's created in part by a feedback loop, because a HS kid who takes AP Computer Science and finds that she likes it will essentially be told "it is too late for you, if you were serious about CS you would have been a Hacker News regular by age 14."


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:49 PM
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they could test out of or otherwise avoid introductory CS classes anyhow

I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work. The only way to test out of classes at my alma mater was... AP. Or at least, they didn't tell you about any other options. Maybe the CS geniuses hacked the mainframe* to show that they had already passed Intro to CS, which was itself sufficient evidence that they had done so?

*am I using the right terminology here?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:49 PM
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I did spend all my time screwing around with computers, but took AP CS because it was the prereq for the other CS classes we had. Which is clearly not something to generalize from, but there it was.

It's been 20+ years, but I don't think it was a bad curriculum; classic searching and sorting and other major algorithms and data structures, big-O notation and performance, etc. I interview people every week who would stand a better chance of getting hired if they knew that stuff.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:54 PM
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128: Not if you're an Asian male. You all should already have read the relevant article


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:54 PM
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I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work.

It's very dependent on university, department, and academic advisor. Chicago had a very well-thought-out math placement test system, but for physics classes I had to talk to some departmental advisor-type-person who insisted that no one could ever place out of their very special honors introductory sequence and what was my problem, being so presumptuous and thinking I was so special? And then I later found out that other people were able to opt out of it because they went to Andover or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:56 PM
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At Chicago and Northwestern, undergrads were given placement tests in Latin and scheduled accordingly. If you tested out of first year Latin without ever having taken the AP exam, well, then you saved yourself $90. I have no firsthand knowledge, but I'm guessing the same would be true in any number of other disciplines. Professors don't actually want students sitting in classes that won't teach them anything.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:56 PM
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But it's created in part by a feedback loop, because a HS kid who takes AP Computer Science and finds that she likes it will essentially be told "it is too late for you, if you were serious about CS you would have been a Hacker News regular by age 14."

Ha. Or a college kid who takes symbolic logic junior year, gets a flash of insight into how suited she'd be to writing code, and laments the fact that it's too late for her to go down that path.

Somehow it made total sense to me that I could take the entire sequence of advanced logic courses, but not that I might try CS101.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:57 PM
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I think there's a similar principle at work in math ("if you were a serious math student, you would have been doing Putnam problems in high school"). Looking back at my "where should I go to college" ATM, I'm kind of amazed that no one told me that. But that might have been before Upetgi, heebie, SB, and Walt were commenting.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 12:59 PM
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128: well, so, the other piece here is that AP Computer Science as it was taught to me was as unlovable a class as I could imagine, and vanishingly unlikely to make anybody enthusiastic about computers. It made me less enthusiastic about computers (and about majoring in CS!) and I spent all my goddamned time messing with them. It was taught on a board (that is, we didn't not use computers in the class or on the assignments) and was entirely focused on things like sorting algorithms and complexity classes which are definitely important but which are almost-completely orthogonal to making-computers-do-cool-things. Maybe it's a different class here, or maybe the truth is that discovering a love for computing by calculating the big O efficiency of mergesort vs. quicksort with a pencil is how it usually happens, but... I dunno? I have no interest in reinforcing those feedback loops, I really don't, it just is hard for me to picture that being a plausible way in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:00 PM
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I think what Nathan is saying is that I'm a bad programmer and shouldn't have dropped that class.

Probably fair. Take AP CS, kids!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:02 PM
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134: You probably thought Logic would pave the road to discovering the Eternal Truth. Computers were just a passing fad.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:03 PM
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129: I didn't take any AP classes and talked my way out of all sorts of requirements in my long and anti-illustrious college career, often to my own detriment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:03 PM
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*am I using the right terminology here?

Probably "server" or "database" would be current usage.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:03 PM
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You probably thought Logic would pave the road to discovering the Eternal Truth.

Not actually that far from my college mindset.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:03 PM
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Where is that thread? I feel like I vaguely remember it, but it might not have been commenting yet at the time.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:07 PM
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That's the only context in which "committing to a college" is ever used, in fact.

Wait, there are two things... early acceptance, and early something else. I think I did the former, where I applied at the end of summer with a commitment to attend if I was accepted. I don't recall the name of the other thing, or what it entailed, but I remember it existed as an alternative. Early admittance? What the hell would that be?

AP tests didn't let me skip any credits, I don't think*, but it did let me skip all the intro stuff, which meant I was able to take e.g. a 300 level English class as a freshman and a grad level anthropology class as a 5th year.

Actually, now that I think of it, I believe I did take only 4 courses my very first semester, as a way of easing into things. I think I skipped calc.

*it would be 5 years to graduate regardless, as there are 10 semesters of required studio courses, plus about 25 other required departmental courses, plus some university requirements


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:07 PM
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135: I don't think I remember even knowing you were heading into math, particularly. (As opposed to heading into Katrina, which you were.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:08 PM
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plus some university requirements

Blocking the aisle of the 61C by wearing a giant backpack?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:09 PM
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135 "if you were a serious math student, you would have been doing Putnam problems in high school"

Blech.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:10 PM
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http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_3358.html#025022


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:11 PM
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Somehow my intuition is that in math the principle mentioned in 135 is pernicious and misleading, but for programming it's just true. But that's probably due to my relative lack of knowledge about programming. I certainly don't know anyone who got into being a computer expert through classes. I did have one friend who went from luddite to computer supergeek in a year right at the end of high school, but it was through actually doing shit with computers not through classes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:12 PM
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140: I was being facetious.

133: Huh. I guess that I've heard of that in the context of languages, but not maths or sciences. My sense was that everyone either takes 101 or takes the AP and starts with 121 (or whatever you want to call the 2nd semester course). Which screws over kids without AP access, but I don't ever recall hearing about testing for those classes the way I did for languages. Not my departments, obviously, but I knew tons of those kids.

I actually tested out of Calc 1 and 2, but was only required to take 1, so this comment is more or less the only benefit I will ever have gotten from that achievement.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:12 PM
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talked my way out of all sorts of requirements

It was really eye-opening to me when BOGF revealed to me that one could talk one's way out of things. I mean, I knew you could talk your way out of trouble, and I succeeded in talking my way into the aforementioned 300-level English class, but when she told me she'd talked one of her profs into giving her an extension, even though he had no provision for extensions, and she didn't have any particular excuse, it just blew my mind.

I have a strong slacker tendency, but I'm also very by-the-book. The former probably keeps the latter from turning me into one of those jerks who resents those who talk their way out of things.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:17 PM
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I was thinking I had never read the thread linked in 147, but the part where ogged asked L.'s mom if she was cute was definitely familiar. Jesus, ogged.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:22 PM
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Err, if L. was cute. ogged hitting on L.'s mom would have been more kosher.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:23 PM
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Hey, I remember that -- I can't read the thread from work (it must have gotten lewd?), but I got all humorless™ about it. I think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:25 PM
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You said "Jesus, Ogged."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:26 PM
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153: Good memory, LB! Humorous, but right.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:26 PM
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-ou, +les


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:26 PM
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Same here: often underperforming but willing to take my medicine.

Any reason to think this was more common in the past than now?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:28 PM
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157==>150


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:30 PM
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It was so obviously a joke. You people.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:33 PM
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I don't understand how asking for an extension for a paper that is not, by the terms of the class, allowed is the same as asking to be exempted from an introductory class because you already know all the material. One is asking to be a burden, one is making the case that you won't be a burden. Or, another way to put it, introductory classes are not, as far as I know, medicine, but are instead intended as introductions to a subject.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:33 PM
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Nice work, Ogged. You sound almost as pervy as Woody Allen.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:35 PM
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All the first-year grad students here are so serious about classes. I don't know what's wrong with them. I say "well, you already took [really advanced class] when you were an undergrad, so you should definitely skip the [lower level] requirement," and they say "oh, but I want to take it! This time I'll work even harder and learn all the details I didn't get the first time and be very serious and after all this is [school] so the professor will have so much wisdom to share that I didn't get at [undergrad school]!" and I try to convince them that really taking classes is not very exciting and they should stop doing it as soon as possible, but they won't listen.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:38 PM
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160:
I was picking up on JRoth's self-assessment, and thinking particularly of situations you've called being a burden.

I've nothing against testing out of intro classes and did a ton of it myself. When there is no test but you can convince the professor you already know it I agree it should be done.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:39 PM
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160: What part of "by the book" are you not understanding, Sifu? Skipping a class is not in the book. Extensions are not in the book.

I have no problem whatsoever with people who've mastered the introductory level of a subject asking to skip an introductory level course. It's just not something I'm familiar with (again, excepting language courses, where some students will be novices and others will have lived experience and/or multiple years of HS education, and there's no heuristic for knowing who's who), and not something it would have occurred to me to request.

Hell, it would never have occurred to me to request having an application fee waived. It's just not my mindset.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:40 PM
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My adviser is sort of famous (within, you know, some very narrow confines) for trying to convince his grad students that doing more than barely passing their classes means they have the wrong priorities. He notably did not do this with me ("you should probably try to do well", he said) but that's understandable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:41 PM
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165: Yeah, my view is that grad students are here to do research, not to take classes, but it doesn't seem to be shared by many people in this department. I also just don't understand how the grad students can be so earnest about everything and why they have so much respect for professors. It's all very confusing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:46 PM
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My adviser is sort of famous (within, you know, some very narrow confines) for trying to convince his grad students that doing more than barely passing their classes means they have the wrong priorities

More evidence that the dynamic once pertaining to college, like William James and his students, has been transferred up to graduate school.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:46 PM
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This sounds like the line I've heard from sailboat racers - if your boat doesn't break apart right after the finish line, it could have been even lighter and faster than it was.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 1:46 PM
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||

NMM to Sid Caesar.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:12 PM
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||

There does not seem to be a short-ish thread in which to stray off-topic, but this one is Various, so.

Greetings from the mid-Atlantic, where I've spent the day preparing for the incoming storm; I somewhat expect that we will lose power.

My freaking very nice housemate has gone off to Cancun for 10 days -- excellent timing on his part -- and suddenly it's an anxiety provoking exercise to figure out how to handle the projected 6-10 inches of snow (or more, plus ice) on my own. There's a front walk and a back porch and back stairs and walkway, plus the driveway (to the back, but never mind that for now).

So! I have gone shopping, parked at the top of the driveway, fetched the shovel and the big sweeper broom into the house (well, onto the back porch), done laundry and washed most things I can think of -- no power means no hot water -- taken out the compost, determined that the big green flashlight doesn't work, ascertained that the hurricane lamps have enough fuel in them and I have the means to light them, charged my cell phone. Also emptied and refilled the ice trays.

What else? Grind some coffee; suss out just where the camp stove is. Oh: and scowl at the bucket of salt (like sand-salt stuff) down in the basement. I find that stuff kind of nasty and don't really want to have to handle it.

I'm overreacting, right? Still, though, I'm not used to being on my own with a whole house to address, and 6-10 inches of snow (or more! plus ice) is a big deal for this region. I think I'm ready.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:13 PM
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Be sure you have enough food. You can't resort to cannibalism if you're trapped by yourself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:15 PM
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Get your faucets dripping? No water is a lot worse than no hot water.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:19 PM
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You can drink your own urine or melt snow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:20 PM
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again, excepting language courses, where some students will be novices and others will have lived experience and/or multiple years of HS education, and there's no heuristic for knowing who's who?

What? I feel like I must be misunderstanding what you mean here, because of course there are heuristics for knowing who's who. There are AP language exams, most schools have their own placement exams, and if all else fails, the language coordinator can screen you individually for placement.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:23 PM
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Food: I have things I can eat at room temperature, quite lovely things actually. I'm from New England, baby, I know these things! Faucets? yeah, true, okay, if we lose power. That won't happen until tomorrow.

If we really do lose power, I should maybe notice where the coolers are in the basement, but I've heard that you can go up to 48 hours leaving things in the fridge/freezer without resorting to transferring food to a cooler.

Hm - I should maybe set aside some water.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:25 PM
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You can't drink your own urine and melt snow too.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:28 PM
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Also, it'll be below freezing, so outdoors is a valid refrigeration option.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:29 PM
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If you lose power because of a snow storm, you can usually make things cold just by putting them outside. However, 48 hours is way longer than I ever heard of any fridge keeping good without power. Maybe a chest freezer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:30 PM
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D'uh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:30 PM
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Sid Caesar? Really?

I would have guessed that he died at least 40 years ago.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:32 PM
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You're thinking of Caesar Cardini.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:34 PM
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Shirley Temple, Sid Caesar...

Who's going to die next? Cary Grant?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:37 PM
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In my rural household, standard winter-storm prep involved having a lot of water set aside. Even ignoring freezing, we were on well water which was thus dependent on electricity for the pump, and it was handy to at least be able to flush the toilet.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:40 PM
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Somehow my intuition is that in math the principle mentioned in 135 is pernicious and misleading, but for programming it's just true.

It depends on how ambitious you are.

I never know how to say this, but for myself, I'm just a workaday programmer. I played around with computers in HS and College but I've learned programming on the job.

I'm good at my job, but I'm also less CS-inclined than most of the programmers who comment here (both in terms of academic background and the range of languages that I've worked with). I occasionally feel self conscious about not being a "real programmer" (or real programmer") but, there are a lot of people out there like me -- who program professionally but not as a calling.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:41 PM
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Holy shit, is it snowing here in central NC. Like we haven't seen in years. UNC just activated the emergency communications system (Alert Carolina) to notify the student body that the Duke game is still on.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:46 PM
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If you drink your own urine, you don't need to flush as often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:46 PM
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171: Depends how much of a supply of meat you need, and how much novocaine you have lying around the house.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:47 PM
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Toilet flushing, hadn't thought of that. Water.

185: The Duke game is still on. Riiiight.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:52 PM
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The link in 125 is fascinating. Although, it's a little weird that he seems to imply/assume that restaurant servers are predominantly attractive females. That's not something I've ever noticed. Anyway, I remember one of my college professors of economics complaining about the lousy service he recieved one time at the snack cafe in a Target store. If I recall correctly, he wanted to order some nachos and the teenager who was supposed to take his order spent a minute finishing a conversation with a friend before taking his order. Which really put him out. He used economic science to prove that this problem would be solved if the snack cafe in Target paid its employees in tips instead of paying them a standard hourly wage. Because of the magic of incentives. I actually worked in fast food at the time, and I was pretty dubious.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:53 PM
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Toilet flushing, hadn't thought of that. Water

But do you need a well pump? If you've been left in charge you probably know. If you're on a municipal system the water will run without electricity and the toilets will flush.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 2:56 PM
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48 hours is way longer than I ever heard of any fridge keeping good without power

It's fine if you only keep beef jerky in there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:01 PM
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Or vintage jeans.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:03 PM
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190: No, you're right: we don't have a well. I just momentarily felt I hadn't thought of something, so I worried.

On the fridge/freezer bit: okay, maybe it's 24 hours! I don't have any meat in the house, so maybe I can go longer. I'm a bit concerned about the giant pot of lentil soup. I should put a bunch of that in the freezer right now, since I'm obviously not going to eat it all by myself anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:08 PM
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Gas or Electric range?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:09 PM
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It's just not something I'm familiar with (again, excepting language courses, where some students will be novices and others will have lived experience and/or multiple years of HS education, and there's no heuristic for knowing who's who)

Other than, you know, asking them.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:17 PM
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I think there's a similar principle at work in math ("if you were a serious math student, you would have been doing Putnam problems in high school"). Looking back at my "where should I go to college" ATM, I'm kind of amazed that no one told me that. But that might have been before Upetgi, heebie, SB, and Walt were commenting.

I definitely would not have told you that, since I didn't show any interest in math until well into college. Also I'm not sure I could solve Putnam problems to this day. (I haven't looked at them since undergrad, though. Maybe I've become familiar with the kind of tricks they like, but maybe not.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:20 PM
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Electric. Hence the need to notice where the camp stove is. It's in the basement somewhere, with its propane tank, which as of the last time we used it, during the last power outage, was filled enough to be of service. This is all doable -- I've done it before, just not on my own. I'm having weird feelings about how much I clearly depend on my housemate to help, that's all.

If we lose power, it won't be until tomorrow, so I can rally in the morning to gather things and myself. I'm getting a little tired of fretting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:21 PM
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Also there's a difference between majoring in math and going on in grad school in math. I will encourage nearly anyone to major in math, provided they enjoy their math classes. I would not encourage someone to go to grad school unless they show capacity to get through it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:21 PM
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(And that does appear to be before I was commenting. I think I first commented in '06.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:22 PM
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Jesus we've been at this gig a long time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:23 PM
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200:

Nonetheless, your account of how little prepared to encourage you your instructors were has really stuck with me. Spring '07?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:25 PM
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I was calling myself a crone when I started commenting here, because everyone else seemed to be in their twenties and I was thirty-four or so. In retrospect, I think I may have been prematurely aging myself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:26 PM
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prematurely aging myself

Not enough orgasms? That's my excuse.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:37 PM
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And now the freezing rain. They just called off the Duke game. [frown]


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:48 PM
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They just called off the Duke game.

Wow! It really is the end of the world.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:50 PM
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I was a CompSci nerd through 10th grade, and I would probably have gotten a 5 the AP exam that year. But I was pretty depressed at the time and did not have my act together to submit the paperwork to register for the thing. My parents didn't notice, and no one at the school did either, so the whole thing basically fell through the cracks. I ended up leaving that school the next year. My new school didn't have any CS classes and I didn't write another line of code until senior year of college.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 3:55 PM
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174: Yeah, I think you did misunderstand/I wasn't clear. I meant that, in the absence of AP testing, you need to proactively assess who's who (transcripts won't suffice, because 3 years of French at one school may be worse than 2 at another, plus varying aptitude levels, etc). Which is what testing, evaluations, etc. are.

What I meant by heuristics were that, frex, CMU required almost every student to take a programming course (I'm pretty sure drama and maybe fine arts and music were exceptions, but liberal arts and architecture were not). Which course you were put in was defined by your major, because that was a useful heuristic for what level of material you could reasonably be expected to handle*. But it's not like the French Dept could say, "Oh, well, Chem majors start at 201, but CS people are 101."

*IIRC, there were also different Intro to Physics courses for different colleges; I'm sure that applied to other sciences as well. The 4 levels of Programming were for CS/EE, other sciences/engineering, humanities, and, uh, architects. I don't know if anyone ever said, "Hey, I already know C, can I test out of this?", but it wasn't the norm.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:40 PM
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I don't recall the registration process for AP exams being very extensive. If you took an AP class, and you seemed adequately prepared, teachers got on your case pretty hard to register. I suppose that simply making the forms available, telling students they should fill them out and then asking students if they had filled them out was sufficient to make even someone like me who hates filling out forms able to complete that task without remembering any difficulties. They may have even collected the forms for us and sent them in. I don't even remember filling out registration forms at all. So however we were registered, it must have been a really easy process.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:41 PM
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Other than, you know, asking them.

Asking isn't a heuristic. Sheesh.

Next you'll be expecting the help to offer suggestions about housekeeping.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:44 PM
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But it's not like the French Dept could say, "Oh, well, Chem majors start at 201, but CS people are 101."

Could they not say: "People who have already done three years of French at high school are 201, newbies are 101"?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:47 PM
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208: One of my measures for how shitty my HS GF's well-reputed school actually was was that they tried to restrict the number of AP test-takers, so as to have higher pass rates. And this is in an affluent suburb - there was no available riffraff to bring down the average score.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:47 PM
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211: How did they decide who could take the exams? Was it based on course grades?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:52 PM
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210: Of course they could, but, as I indicated in the parenthetical of 207.1, that's a sloppy heuristic, one that makes testing a much more sensible approach.

IIRC, my German-born wife, daughter of a German and taker of 4 years of HS German, started in German 101 at UVA, because why not, I guess. I've never understood that (and I've given her some shit on the matter), but what level would you put her in without testing? By some measures she was already fluent and should have gone straight to German Lit 101; by other measures she needed, if not 101, at least 201 or 301 levels of focus on, say, grammar*.

Anyway, all I was saying was that I totally get why you'd give any incoming foreign language student the opportunity to test out of 101, but it seems weirder to me to let someone test out of Physics 101**, except through the formal AP process. Knowing that AP is spottily available, it makes more sense to allow college testing as a backstop, but it doesn't seem like it would need to be SOP - the number of freshman who A. have mastered Physics 101 and B. never took an AP test would seem to me to be a small one.

*I never took college level languages, so this is all approximate.

**again, you have Physics 101, 103, 105 to handle likely levels of aptitude/interest/need among different majors, but we're talking here about going straight to 201 or at least 151 (that is, the second college Physics class you take)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 4:58 PM
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210: I did French in high school as well as grade school and am in no way prepared for a 200 level course.

Fortunately I could readily be weeded out by simply talking to me in French and observing my blank look of incomprehension.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:00 PM
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I suppose that's a stupid question -- it would have to be based on course grades if the restriction were to have a positive effect on the average score.

I remember teachers saying that they could usually predict who would get a 4 or a 5, and they would encourage those students to take the AP exam. This meant that if you were getting a bad grade in an AP course, you probably weren't encouraged to take the exam. And it's hard to object to that policy. I don't think most students who aren't doing well in AP courses particularly want to sit through the exam only to receive a 2. I don't think anyone was actually kept from taking the exam if they really wanted to though.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:01 PM
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212: They kept the course roster tiny. IIRC, we had 2 classes of AP English, with ~20 kids in each. They, at a similar student body (and higher SES population), had one class at like 12 kids.

I don't know if they actively discouraged kids already in AP not to take the test, but they sure as hell treated those classes as for the elite only.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:01 PM
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Fortunately I could readily be weeded out by simply talking to me in French and observing my blank look of incomprehension.

That sounds like one of those movie scenes, where the clever investigator catches the impostor in the lie. "Oh, by the way, togolosh, parlez vous Fran├žais?" "What?" DUH-DUH-DUHHHHH!!!!!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:03 PM
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I lean in the opposite direction from JRoth: my inclination is to let the student take whatever class they want, tests or no. If they're not prepared, oops.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:04 PM
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218: that is pretty common, to the point that I would think of it as nearly universal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:05 PM
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It's very important that national educational policy be based on how many African American high school students in Montana do something or other.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:07 PM
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Placement tests are hell of common in foreign language instruction. Not uncommon for those growing up in bilingual households but with no formal instruction in language B to need basic instruction, particularly if they have never written in language B. It's one thing to rattle on in conversation with your nearest and dearest and entirely another to write grammatically correct prose.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:07 PM
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I'm not even sure which AP exams I took. I don't think I took them for all of my AP courses, but maybe I did. It's been a long time. But I don't think I was ever discouraged from taking one. I do remember being pushed pretty hard to take them, which I didn't always want to do. I can see now that it was a good use of my time, but back then I thought the point of taking exams should be getting into college, and I already knew where I was going by the end of my senior year.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:13 PM
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216: Actually, my recollection is of 3 classes at about 25 each, but that seems insane in a graduating class of about 360. But maybe it's right? Anyway, hugely more kids than her school, which treated AP like it was some sort of rare prize for super-geniuses only. Feh.

There was one girl (a friend of mine) who took AP calc who was (no offense) clearly less good at math than everyone else, and I admired the hell out of her for saying, screw it, I'm giving it a shot. I don't actually recall whether she took the test, but I think all of us did.

Oh hey look, she's been at Bank of America for almost 17 years. Thanks, internet!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:14 PM
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216: I'm not sure whether my high school prevented students who didn't take AP courses from taking AP exams. They might have. But I also don't recall my AP classes being any smaller than my other classes. And I like to think that if a kid really wanted to take the exam, having covered the relevant material, he or she could take the exam. But I don't actually know.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:20 PM
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I wonder if my high school's norms have changed, but it's a tracked system, with levels 1 (remedial), 2, 3, and 4 (honors) through all four years (a student can be in different levels in different subjects) and most of the level 3 kids would, in their senior year, do AP classes, which taught to the test, and the level 4 kids would do honors classes like Great Books or whatever the sciencey equivalent is. Of course, you could take the AP test even if you hadn't taken the AP class, but it seems like the opposite of trying to get only your best students to take it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:23 PM
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218: It's not a leaning in the sense of preference; I just think of it as the norm that 101 is the prerequisite for 201, and that skipping 101 isn't done at a student's whim. Again, "by the book": it's my default assumptions, not my carefully considered pedagogical agenda.

It's as much my experience as it is my preference: taking Studio 3 before (or without) Studio 1 would make as much sense as sky-diving before you could walk. And nothing that you can do before college substitutes for Studio 1, including any conceivable work or life experience.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:23 PM
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210: I did French in high school as well as grade school and am in no way prepared for a 200 level course.

I guess I don't have a good sense of what a 200 level course in French involves, but I'm assuming that a person who has taken many years of school French, has gotten into university, and then chooses to take an advanced course in French, is in a position to take a considerably more advanced course than somebody with no French. If not, well I'm basically with essear - at that point it's their own damn problem.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:24 PM
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225: Interesting to have AP as the penultimate level. Surely the level 4 kids would have wanted to test out of English 101 as well?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:25 PM
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In our school system the thing that most places call the gifted & talented program was called the "Advanced Program," or AP. Which led to my high school counselors insisting, in order to disambiguate, that Advanced Placement was APP: the Advanced Placement Program. If anyone talked about signing up for the AP test they would correct them: "it's called the APP test." It was confusing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:28 PM
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And nothing that you can do before college substitutes for Studio 1, including any conceivable work or life experience.

Maybe that's the difference, then. For everything I ever studied, except language classes, reading a book was a pretty good substitute for taking the class.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:30 PM
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I remember not wanting to take the Art History exam as a sophomore because I was a sophomore. I remember taking the AB Calc exam as a senior even though I wasn't prepared for it. And I remember taking some other AP exams.

I suppose that an adult spending as much time as I have this afternoon trying to remember his AP exams does not always use his time wisely. I took some AP exams, I went to college, yay for me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:35 PM
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Aww, I'm 34 now. Do I get to be a crone? (Pinched nerve in my shoulder lets me test out of a certain amount of aging I'd have to do otherwise, right?)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:36 PM
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220:

Good catch, Charley. For a more disaggregated view, start here


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:37 PM
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If I recall correctly how I was describing myself, way back then, it was as a lecherous crone. Been eyeing any younger women lately?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:38 PM
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Of course, you could take the AP test even if you hadn't taken the AP class, but it seems like the opposite of trying to get only your best students to take it.

Yes it does, doesn't it? But I can imagine a school where teachers actively encouraged some students to take the AP exam and did not actively encourage other students to take it -- but didn't prevent them! -- creating a wonderful reconciliation of what you perceive as opposites.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:39 PM
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230: Literally laughing out loud at this. I cannot conceive of any course of reading that would put someone in good stead to start out in Studio 2, let alone Studio 3 (where shit gets real*).

Although I'd add that "reading a book" is an extremely poor substitute for "writing many drafts of many papers under the supervision of a trained writer".

*in the sense of design challenges that are much more closely aligned with IRL design


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:40 PM
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Wait, no, I was a freshman who didn't want to take the AP Art History exam because I was a freshman.

I am definitely a lecherous codger at 34, but I lech after old and young alike.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:43 PM
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232: Happy birthday?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:48 PM
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236: I don't know from Studio 1 or 2 (or 3) but this sounds like the kind of argument MFA proponents make for the necessity of MFAs. My take is that MFAs are great and probably help a lot of artists get started, but the idea that they are necessary components for achievement is fairly absurd.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 5:52 PM
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I wonder if I had taken AP CS all the way through if I would be less prone to writing comments like "beware of changing this value because it's hardcoded later because I am a terrible, terrible programmer" in my code?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 6:35 PM
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238: Yes, thanks. 234: Also pretty much yes.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 6:39 PM
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Well then, happy birthday


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 6:46 PM
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It was yesterday and I really didn't mean to troll for birthday wishes, but thanks. (That's what the other place is for.) It was just amusing because it's the first time I've gotten to claim anything in particular as a 34-year-old, so lecherous crone it is!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 6:51 PM
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34 looks very young when viewed from 45.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:04 PM
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Doesn't it just.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:06 PM
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You're my age, I thought. If so, not quite to 45.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:16 PM
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42, 45, same difference.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:24 PM
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Not if you die at 44.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:31 PM
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Hadn't thought of that, but fair enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:33 PM
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I can tell you from the vantage point of 49 (oh my god, how did that happen) that cronedom has not yet been reached. I can muse upon my 20-something self cheerfully joining in giving my then-boyfriend's mother a "Fifty is Nifty" t-shirt. She must have been horrified by such a boneheaded sentiment! But she never let on.

I can also tell you from this vantage that going on relentlessly about your AP exams, which were in high school, for cripe's sake, gets old really fast. As does going on endlessly about your college training in general. Unless you're a college teacher or otherwise have a professional interest in education policy.

Lastly! I can say that I really need to find something to block the part of the porch door that doesn't fully close, so as to keep out the snow coming morning. But the darn cat hasn't come in yet.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:47 PM
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/grumpy ?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:49 PM
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ISTM that in modern usage "crone" connotes post-menopausal. That's what the Wiccans are doing with the term, anyway.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 7:54 PM
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252: Ugh, I should be so lucky!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:01 PM
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252: Then the Wiccans are being stupid. There is surely a post-menopausal period of life, likely somewhat lengthy, before which one becomes a crone (in my idiom).

Why are Wiccans saying this? They're just rewriting the term -- it just means to them "post-menopausal" -- or what? Why would they do this? Why would they define the female in terms of fertility or not? That seems really stupid.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:15 PM
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I think we need more Wiccans participating if we're going to dispute their usage of the word crone. Not that I know how it's properly used, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:24 PM
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I think we need Joseph Campbell.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:26 PM
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Fucking hero on a fucking mythic journey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:32 PM
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Well, word to any Wiccans: I decline to accept the word "crone."

I bet you could make a pretty popular front page post on this topic.

On a more sensible level, someone should probably look up the history of the term, its morphing over time, and all that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:41 PM
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Parsi, does it surprise you that a nature religion would find significance in biological milestones? Here's a link: http://www.wiccantogether.com/profiles/blogs/crone-wise-empowered


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:41 PM
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The one true crone is Althouse. It's in the archives.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:42 PM
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259: Thank you, Charley; I'm always charmed by that sort of thing. I'm nonetheless bothered by the way in which the term has become derogatory in the popular idiom; I'm not sure how or whether Wiccans can reclaim it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:50 PM
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http://litmed.med.nyu.edu/Annotation?action=view&annid=1591

260 -- I reject this. There's apparently some leeway on whether a crone must or should be post-menopausal, but the hallmark of the status, in modern usage, is wisdom.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:50 PM
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I once knew a lawyer whose secretary was a witch. This was back before Big Law was having trouble justifying itself. I got the idea that there was a competition to have the least conventional secretary and that she won points by being able to say, on Halloween and whatnot, that she was struggling to find something file because her secretary was a witch and took the day for a religious holiday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:53 PM
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I apologize: I hadn't read the link closely.

When a woman is near, in, or past menopause, she is potentially a crone. The designation refers to a perspective or point of view rather age or biological change.

Okay!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:56 PM
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Does a hysterectomy provide wisdom? I'm pretty sure castration would, but so not worth it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 8:57 PM
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I think the word "crone" was derogatory in the popular idiom until about 1925 when it ceased to be used in the popular idiom.

It's cool to see that Wiccans are using it in a non-derogatory sense.

Next they can reclaim "mendicant".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:00 PM
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I've read the LeGuin Dancing at the Edge of the World collection that Charley links -- I'm always sad that motherhood, childbearing, is considered such an essential part of a woman's life path.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:01 PM
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266.last: I think various monks have several centuries head start on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:03 PM
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252: Ugh, I should be so lucky!

My wife had laser ablation years ago and regrets not doing it earlier.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:05 PM
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Everyone wants younger looking lasers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:29 PM
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Two and half years away from both kids being in college, wife with her ablation, me with my vasectomy. We're living the dream.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 9:45 PM
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Abla-di, alba-da, life goes on, brah


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:00 PM
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I used to know so many freakin' Wiccans. They all wound up becoming atheists, or Xtians, or devolving into less-structured forms of woo though. Sad.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:02 PM
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I've done it before, just not on my own. I'm having weird feelings about how much I clearly depend on my housemate to help, that's all.

Huh. Sometimes I think it'd be nice to live with someone else who could help take care of things. On the other hand, I'd probably be embarrassed about certain things, like my current plan to make a snow shovel out of cardboard and a shower rod.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 02-12-14 10:51 PM
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Right up until last night I was half convinced that all these warnings about an apocalyptic winter storm would turn out to be another false alarm.

Now it looks like I won't be able to get in to work today. Odd that they closed the university for all the non-storms but haven't made an announcement for this one.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 6:29 AM
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They're all dead.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 6:45 AM
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That would explain it.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:15 AM
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Leaving you as the president of the university by default.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:17 AM
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Oh man I'm riding the hipster shuttle this morning. Union to google square.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:20 AM
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And the ad on the bus says Will more land for the Arabs really bring peace? With a map of Northern Africa and the Middle East all colored red except for the blue speck of Israel.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:24 AM
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The bus goes right by Hobo though


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:25 AM
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The ad on the back of someone's magazine says Sprechen sie Matlab?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:28 AM
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Woody Allen supports Israel but has concerns about its leadership at times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:32 AM
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I've seen that bus ad! It doesn't bother me as much as those Vineyard Christian Fellowship ones aimed at lonely people.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:33 AM
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284 to 280.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:34 AM
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Hot Pockets and Vineyard do most of the marketing in the "Lonely People" segment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:36 AM
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Matlab too.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:37 AM
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I never realized they advertised until just now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:40 AM
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Blume, your old neighborhood was burning down yesterday.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:45 AM
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Really? Where/what?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:52 AM
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Leaving you as the president of the university by default.

So that means I can finally ban the use of the acronym STEM. Awesome.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:56 AM
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282: I have that t-shirt. In size 'too big for many women' in what I hope was an oversight.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:57 AM
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Oh geez, just found it. One thirtysomething woman dead. Time to (re)test all the fire alarms in our house.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:58 AM
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238-240 Prospect, one person died.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:00 AM
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Ah, but people have been passing around the story about how changing the batteries on your smoke detectors can burn your house down if you throw the old 9V batteries into a container where two might touch each other and short out, and you should put electrical tape over them. They say you should also tape other battery types but I'm having a hard time imagining how you get a chain of batteries with terminals on opposite ends randomly touching end to end to create a circuit.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:03 AM
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Sometimes when we touch,
the resistance is too much.


Posted by: Opinionated Dan Hill of the 9V Batteries | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:05 AM
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I only have one fire alarm plugged in in my apartment now, because they're all wired together in some way I don't understand and if I put the others back in they all start shrieking in synchrony and I can't figure out how to get them to stop.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:12 AM
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Smoke detector, I mean.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:12 AM
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Have you tried putting out the fire?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:14 AM
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if I put the others back in they all start shrieking in synchrony

This kept happening last summer when we were staying at Tweety's mom's house. At least one of them, instead of shrieking, would say "EVACUATE. EVACUATE." I remember it in a Dalek voice, but that can't be right, can it?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:17 AM
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Hee. I bet you could do good business in a niche market, selling Dalek fire alarms.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:21 AM
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Niche market? Everybody and their brother is a johnny-come-lately Dr. Who fan nowadays. You could probably corner the smoke detector market in a matter of months!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 8:39 AM
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Everybody and their brother is a johnny-come-lately Dr. Who fan nowadays

There was a brief moment, when the revived show began with Ecclestone, when memory of the old show gave a genuine cred. Most people were Tom Baker period, but there were a few "Pertwees," functioning as people on group rides with forty-year-old triangle cutout helmets do. Such people made vague references to the Brigadier.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 9:22 AM
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236: I don't know from Studio 1 or 2 (or 3) but this sounds like the kind of argument MFA proponents make for the necessity of MFAs. My take is that MFAs are great and probably help a lot of artists get started, but the idea that they are necessary components for achievement is fairly absurd.

I'm not sure how you think architects learn to design buildings. Lecture courses? Trial and error?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 9:24 AM
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There's a very long tradition of trial and error.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 9:33 AM
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I thought they just drew a picture of the outside and let engineers figure out what needs to go on the inside.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 9:56 AM
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303: You would be in luck with the most recent season, which is full of obscure callbacks to the old show.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 10:18 AM
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I'm not sure how you think architects learn to design buildings.

I'm not sure how the schooling of architects is closely analogous to the alleged schooling of artists. It would be helpful to keep in mind that a novel is not actually a building, I think, if you were to write one.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 10:31 AM
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I'm glad we've all come around on crone.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 10:33 AM
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308: Well, since your 236 was in response to my 226 which was about my schooling, and I'm an architect, I'm pretty sure that's the relevant field. The fact that you connected it to another one, one in which university education of any sort is arguably irrelevant, is not my problem.

I thought they just drew a picture of the outside and let engineers figure out what needs to go on the inside.

I've certainly been told this by engineers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 12:11 PM
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How did I not know until this afternoon that Matlab for the identity matrix of size n is literally "eye(n)"


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 12:22 PM
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Have you been entering them by hand?

10000000
01000000
00100000...


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 12:25 PM
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303: You would be in luck with the most recent season, which is full of obscure callbacks to the old show

You thought I was talking about me?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 12:46 PM
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312: diag()


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 02-13-14 7:19 PM
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OT ATM: is it safe to buy prescription eyeglasses online? Or will they fuck them up and make lenses that will give me terrible headaches, amblyopia and glaucoma? There are a lot of horror stories.

I was all set to do it until I got to the pupillary distance thing. All of the online calculator tools are giving me different numbers. I just went to my optometrist and got yet a different number. Maybe the one from the optometrist is more accurate. (Or maybe not--they did it in literally about three seconds, and with a very visible attitude, and comments that "if the online shop screws up your glasses, don't blame us". Which makes me wonder exactly how carefully they were getting it to correct to the millimeter.)

I'm not actually doing it to save money (although that's nice). I'm doing it because it was a lot easier to pick out frames online. I'm sort of thinking of just buying the frames online, and then taking them to my optometrist to be fit with lenses. But maybe that would be stupid.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 11:08 AM
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I can't tell if this needs a BUMP or if it's just that no one has an opinion.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:40 PM
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I've never bought glasses online, but if it works for you, let me know. I need some.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:43 PM
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Unless you just get the same ones you've had before. , how is it easier to pick out the frames online if you don't know what they look like on your face?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:46 PM
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Haven't done it, but friends have. Depends where you get them from (though I don't have names) but my friends had good experiences. Then they spontaneously combusted. Probably coincidence.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:46 PM
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My dad just got new lenses in his eyes. They just cut them out and put new ones in and apparently there's a whole industry that does this. Why can't I do that instead of getting glasses or contacts or laser surgery?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:49 PM
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I guess because if I don't have cataracts, nobody will pay for it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:50 PM
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how is it easier to pick out the frames online if you don't know what they look like on your face?

Several websites, including Warby Parker which is from where I was considering buying glasses, will send you multiple nonprescription "test" pairs for free for you to try on.

Obviously, the optical shop will also let you try on lots of glasses, but I need third party validation. It's easy to ask other people their opinions on various frames when the frames are at my house; it's harder to drag a bunch of people to the optometrist to help me buy glasses.

Also, I have an issue where some frames feel fine at first but start to hurt after a few hours on my face. It's awkward and boring sitting around the optometrist for a few hours making sure the glasses still feel comfortable. Wearing them around my house is easy.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:54 PM
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315: I'm sort of thinking of just buying the frames online, and then taking them to my optometrist to be fit with lenses. But maybe that would be stupid.

I don't see how that would be stupid; it sounds like the wisest course. Be aware that if you have/need bifocals (no-line or progressive lenses -- without the line across the middle), some frames will be too small to accommodate them. The vertical height of the frames needs to be at least a certain amount. This is not relevant if you don't need bifocals, obvs.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:54 PM
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Then they spontaneously combusted.

Your friends or their glasses?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:56 PM
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323: You made it through the storm with power then?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:57 PM
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I don't see how that would be stupid; it sounds like the wisest course.

"Wisest" s/b "safest (possibly), but by far most expensive".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 12:58 PM
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Warby Parker, yes, that's a place one friend used and liked. Then he spontaneously combusted.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:01 PM
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I was too chicken to figure out the pupillary distance, but I bought frames online and brought them to the optometrist. I found frames I liked a lot better.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:01 PM
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For example, these are the glasses I was going to get, which not only would I never even have picked them up in a store, when I actually first tried them on I hated them because I thought they looked goofy. But after multiple people (all women, of course) picked them as their favorite pair for me, I came around to them.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:03 PM
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I found that the new optical places tend to be much cheaper than the older ones, but I'm a bit nervous about the latest place near my office. There's something about "Three Guy's Optical" being down the street from "Five Guys Burgers" that makes wonder if they have enough staff for the complexity of the job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:05 PM
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329: I like the look of those type of glasses, but I've found that they don't stay on my head as well as the metal frames.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:08 PM
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They seemed to stay on my head fine.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:09 PM
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(I admit that one thing I don't like them is that I can't help but think of their name as a terrible pun. Which makes my skin crawl.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:12 PM
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325: You made it through the storm with power then?

Yeah. 1.5 feet of snow as of yesterday morning, then another 6 inches or so overnight last night; another couple of inches due overnight tonight. Sadly, I have a bad back, so shoveling has been a trial and I'm kind of creeping around in pain at the moment, but I enlisted a neighbor with a snowblower to do some of the stuff in front of my car this morning, and a friend came over to help get the rest of my car out (2 feet of snow on top of the car is hard), so I'm mobile, and now just in recovery.

Everyone else in the area, including yours, is in the same boat, so it's not like this is special or unusual, but goddamn.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:25 PM
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Hope your back gets better. In the mean time, try to think of terrible puns.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:28 PM
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Thanks, Moby! Hope you're managing okay up there as well. I've always sucked at puns, though, regardless of circumstance, Maybe I should visit the politics thread, which doesn't look like it's getting much love.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:37 PM
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Anybody literate can get good at puns. It's just memorization and vocabulary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:41 PM
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I'm thinking of getting my next of glasses online. Damn things are expensive and Oakley gives huge discounts to law enforcement and military on their govt. site. Most of their stuff is all high speed looking but they do have a couple conventional looking ones like the Transistor.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:46 PM
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I just got Warbys but I went to a showroom. I like them fine -- about 2/3rds as much as my last pair, but they're 1/3 the price, so that's a win. They have a clever way to measure your pupillary distance online -- you take a picture of yourself holding a credit card under your nose for scale.

I've bought online from optical4less, which are even less expensive than Warby. I got a pair of black horn-rims that totally did the trick. I also got two pairs of ludicrous looking glasses that I thought would be fun to have but I never ended up wearing.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:52 PM
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They have a clever way to measure your pupillary distance online -- you take a picture of yourself holding a credit card under your nose for scale.

Yes, and this came back with a very different number than the measurement taken at the optometrist. See 315. Which should I trust?

(See also.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:55 PM
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(By "very different", I mean 3 millimeters different. Is that a lot or a little? I have no idea.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-14-14 1:56 PM
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