Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Stop Hiring Lawyers Out of the Back of a Bait Shop…

I love reading the posts by Ken at Popehat.

When you go read his post, please be sure to go through all the links.

The commenters on the Popehat web site are also very good.

For the last few days…

We have had workers here at school doing things like hanging artwork, signs, putting up a row of clocks, etc.

Not once have I seen a level.

We have a guy on staff intimately involved in all of these details.  I don’t have the heart to tell him everything is crooked.  I certainly, as the “manager” of this school, don’t want to manage to the level of detail such that I’m complaining about signs and artwork being slightly out of level.  I’m sure that my eye has been trained by my years in high end home improvement and design.

Also, the art work is hung way too high.  You would think all of our students are going to be NBA players.

Update:  For those of you that don’t know how to hang art work, Bird Dog has a good set of instructions.

The lack of photographs…

Is due to two things.  One I have this huge professional camera, a Nikon D2x.  I’m searching for a smaller point and shoot.  I am choosing between the Canon S100, the Nikon P300 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5.  The Canon is supposed to go on sale in November, it appears to be a slight improvement over last year’s S95 (which would suffice for me).  I think I’ll actually go with the Canon as it’s the smallest.

It would be nice to get one before my trip to India in 10 days.  Hopefully I can find one here on the island.

With a smaller camera I can take more pictures of people here on the island and during my other travels.  The big camera draws attention that I think will ruin many pictures of people just going about their lives.

This may be no big deal…

For people that live, say, in the Denver area, but for someone from Texas I’ve had an interesting change to my commute.  My ears pop to and from work due to the elevation changes.  I go from sea level to several hundred feet above sea level everyday.  It is quite different from my commute in Dallas where the elevation changes during my daily commute could probably be better measured in inches than in feet. Or, should I say meters?

They’re here…

Our first batch of students has just arrived.  The last few days have been very hectic.  On Thursday of last week I made my first trip to the student accommodations.  It was a disaster!  By yesterday afternoon (Sunday) we were ready.

To give you a little idea of pricing here: we had four three-bedroom apartments (admittedly small) cleaned and painted for $650.  This happened between 6:00pm Friday night and 8:00am Saturday morning!

The apartments are humble by American standards, but since they are only 200 yards from the beach, I bet I could get American students to stay in them without complaint.

Classes start next Monday!

This is funny…

On many levels.  Posted without further comment:

Stolen from Angus at Kids Prefer Cheese.  With no guilt whatsoever.

Here is one reason…

I am starting to think it likely Gov. Perry will win the presidency in 2012:  He knows who to pick a fight with.

The more the academic community whines about this information being published, the more attention will be drawn to it.  The more attention this material gets, the madder the voters will get about the privledge of this class of public employee.

These UT people are apparently not aware of the Streisand Effect.

This idea of Perry being a smart political operator, is not original to me.  I read somewhere, which I can’t remember or find, the idea of picking on the faculty as being a good move.  Of course, Daphne should get credit for getting me to start paying close attention.

I laughed out loud…

My coworkers all where wondering what was so funny.  From Inside Higher Ed:

Further, 65 percent of those surveyed at four-year institutions report that they back the draft NACAC policy that would bar the use of agents paid in part on commission to recruit foreign students. But a majority of the admissions directors report that their institutions either are considering or are already using such agents.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!  Just where do these admissions directors think the agents will send the students?  I have an idea: they will send them to where they will get paid a fee!  I know it sucks that you can’t pay your own people a commission, but you will fail completely at attracting international students if it is your policy not to pay a fee.  There are only a handful of schools that can operate in that fashion.  But, and I am guessing here, I think we would all be surprised at the name schools that pay international student consultants fees.  I think the consultants that serve the exceptional students can extract a fee in order to direct these stellar students toward a particular institution.

I would also like to point you to this passage:

With more colleges interested in boosting international enrollments (for a range of reasons), the issue of the use of agents is a hot one among admissions officers. The use of agents — commonly paid in part on commission — is the norm in many countries around the world for many students who want to come to the United States to study. Federal law bars the use of commission-based agents to recruit American students, but does not apply to international agents.

I wish you could hear my evil mad scientist laugh this morning.  I already have an agreement to pay a fee to an agent should he be successful sending American students here!  With time, I will have more.

We have funny ideas about medicine and education in our country.  Large chunks of American society think the industries, and yes they are industries, of medicine and education should somehow work outside the laws of economics that apply to the rest of our economic system.

As you already know…

The internet is so cool.

Here I am in the middle of the Indian Ocean and there is a parent that goes to a cross country meet in Southlake, Texas and takes pictures.  That parent then posts the pictures on the internet, notifying all the other parents the pictures are available.  I can then go look at them.  Of course this is just an excuse to post another picture of the Duece:

That’s cool isn’t it?

I could of course also tease him about being able to run faster if his eyes were open.  But then he would kind of expect that from me.

Yeah, I know…

The guy is talking his book, but I do pretty much agree with everthing he says: The Disruption is Here.

I also went and looked that the web site for his company Inigral.  Their first application looks to be nothing more than a FERPA compliant walled off area of facebook.  If this is the lead in to what I’ve been talking about for the last year, I have found just about the only company that could get me off the island.

I’ll be keeping an eye on their product development.