April 29th, 2014



It's 2:30pm and I've finished lunch. The sky is dark and there's deep rumblings from the heavens -- the storm approaches.

Yes, Final Grades are done, registrared and posted to the class webpage.

I did things a little differently this morning. Since the Registrar's grading system doesn't lock until noon, I entered my grades at 8:30 and then did all my other checks and stray papers -- confirming that they had indeed been entered. No problems.

Oh, I did have to fix one grade when I did my check after input. Twenty years ago we used bubble forms. The grades spread out: A BA B BC C DC D E X I. When the first went online, they used radio buttons in the same way. Oh, but they had to improve things. So for most of ten years, I don't remember when they changed things, they use individual pull down menus for each student. And here's where it gets dumb. The menu goes:


Notice that they put BA after B, even though it's the half-grade between A and B. Now I am an optimist, so in my grading scheme I use A AB B BC C CD E X I -- if they used MY system, they'd be in proper descending order. Anyway, you really have to check what's recorded after you input and save changes, because entering 90+ grades using little mouse pulldowns sometimes the mouse moves just a tad and gives you something else.

I had one case where it recorded a D instead of a BC, err... I mean a CB. That's a 1½ grade level mistake from a fraction of a millimeter mouse movement and not just half a grade. And depending on that student's major, getting a grade below a C, especially if you weren't expecting it, would be devastating. So we check and double-check.

"Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

Then it was time to clean up the class webpages, sort the grade breakdowns by PID number -- a 5-digit number each student comes up with -- and post them online, along with my summer office hours. All year the WMU FTP site has been pissy with me, hanging and not displaying the directory let alone allowing uploads... until after a few hours it does. It's one of the reasons I maintain a mirror site on my own website. Everything is up to date, except for one typo which I haven't been able to fix just yet. (grin) The OCD in me, knowing the error is lurking on the web and I can't fix it yet, it twitches, IT BURNS, my precious...

Anyway, mostly pleased with the final results. I'm sure individual students will have complaints, but most of the time, things are fixed in stone.


Dr. Phil

Stirling Silver

Huh. I did not expect that today.

I'm not sure I have ever posted about the NBA before, except maybe in passing reference during a Summer Olympics. But the last few days there has been a great stink about an audio recording supposedly from Stirling, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers -- real racist stuff asking his girlfriend not to be seen in public with black men, especially basketball players. I thought I heard a line about if he had to explain why then she was stupid and didn't understand the problem.

The NBA is, of course, full of black basketball players. And even if it wasn't, there just isn't room for this kind of behavior. And it's like the playoffs. Irony is a bitch, ain't it? As in, how stupid do you have to be?

Yesterday the news reports were all abuzz about how powerless the new NBA commissioner Silver was. That the NBA owners were like a club -- the commissioner worked for the owners. That maybe there was a morals clause. That maybe there would be a fine, perhaps half a million to a million dollars.

Last night the Clippers wore their warm-ups inside out, so the logo wouldn't show. The union was wondering that if the penalty wasn't real enough, that the players might not show up.

So I was stunned in the middle of the day to turn on the TV and scan some channels and see that Silver banned Stirling from the NBA for life. And fined $2½ million. Wow. The new NBA commish has balls AND stood there as a professional.

I am surprised, and delighted, that the action was swift and severe. A clearer message of support to the players, the fans and the legacy of the league could not be sent.

A lifetime ban.

This is not to say that things are perfect in America. But this is 2014. Can you imagine this happening in 1974? 1954?

This Stirling was tarnished beyond belief. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

But we'll see how this unfolds in the days and weeks to come.

Dr. Phil