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Posts from ‘April, 2008’

Assigning Final Grades

We're in final exams here at BJU. Need I say more? 😀

One part of exam week is assigning the final grades for each student for the semester. Some people think it's a haphazard process - like throwing a set of papers down the stairs and assigning grades based on which step each paper lands. For my classes at least, it's mainly mathematical, based on grades from homework, quizzes, projects, and tests. We even use rubrics (which I lovingly call "Rubric's cubes") for grading oral presentations and tests. Today's iv is what is supposed to be the method used in one university in America.

Here is a list of the ways professors at one American university are said to grade their final exams:

Dept Of Statistics:
All grades are plotted along the normal bell curve.

Dept Of Psychology:
Students are asked to blot ink in their exam books, close them and turn them in. The professor opens the books and assigns the first grade that comes to mind.

Dept Of History:
All students get the same grade they got last year.

Dept Of Philosophy:
What is a grade?

Law School:
Students are asked to defend their position of why they should receive an A when they really deserve an F.

Dept Of Mathematics:
Grades are variable.

Dept Of Logic:
If and only if the student is present for the final and the student has accumulated a passing grade then the student will receive an A else the student will not receive an A.

Dept Of Computer Science:
Random number generator determines grade, except in the year 2000, when no one was quite certain that would still work properly.

Music Department:
Each student must figure out his grade by listening to the instructor play the corresponding note (+ and - would be sharp and flat respectively). Tone-deaf students fail.

Dept of Physical Education:
Everybody gets an A. (Many would join me in only *wishing* that were true!!!)


In my spare time, I've been reading online tips on how to have an easily readable blog. I found an excellent article you can read if you want to by clicking here - especially some of you other bloggers. I have found a blog theme that I think is really nice looking and easy to navigate. I'd like to know how my readers would grade the readability of how my blog currently looks.

chickadee update...

The chicks are looking like miniature adult birds now, and we're almost a little surprised they're still in the nest. Below is a picture of them this afternoon. To give you an idea of their size, the inside dimensions of the bird house are 4 inches by 4 inches.

Becka was pleased to see the first hummingbird of the year visit our hummingbird feeder this afternoon. (In case you can't tell, we really enjoy watching birds.) Our other bird feeder has regular visits from yellow finches, Carolina wrens, cardinals, rosy finches, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, occasionally brown thrashers, bluebirds, crows, and of all things woodpeckers!


"Eternal life comes with the expectation of holy living." - Dr. Chuck Phelps

=^..^= =^..^=

As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.

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Several weeks ago my wife Becka and I celebrated our anniversary by spending an afternoon at the Western North Carolina Nature Center that features animals native to the Appalachians. We really enjoyed it and recommend it to others. Here are a few pictures from our visit....

They had two black bears - here's one of them...

They had white-tailed deer...

... and turkeys...

One of the bobcats was way up in a tree. I was able to zoom in on him....

We were glad that there was thick glass between us and the wolves!

chickadee update...

Here's what the wildlife in our back yard looks like as of this afternoon....

It's absolutely amazing how much they have grown in just three days! You can look at the picture in the blog post before this one to see the difference.

In keeping with today's wildlife theme, here are several humorous reports.

According to the Knight-Ridder News Service, the inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed. The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, abbreviated "Wash. Biol. Surv." until the agency received the following letter from an Arkansas camper:

"Dear Sirs:
While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you it was horrible."

The bands are now marked Fish and Wildlife Service.


From note found posted on a trail in Colorado:


The Colorado State Department of Fish and Wildlife is advising hikers, hunters, and golfers to take extra precautions and keep alert of bears while in the area. We advise that people wear noise producing devices such as little bells on their clothing to alert but not startle the bears unexpectedly. We also advise you to carry pepper spray in case of an encounter with a bear.

It is also a good idea to watch for fresh signs of bear activity. People should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper.


"Telling people the truth is more important than getting along with them. But be sure to tell the truth in love." - Mike Knight

=^..^= =^..^=

Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"?

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Weekend in Cincinnati

This past weekend Becka and I drove up to Cincinnati, Ohio, for the wedding of our nephew Matt, the son of Becka's sister Pam and brother-in-law Jim. We left right after my last class on Friday and arrived in Cinti six and a half hours later. The travel conditions were basically perfect, much to our delight. Megan, Jim, and Drew drove down from Detroit on Saturday. While waiting for them to arrive in time for the wedding at 1:00 p.m., Becka and I had Saturday morning to explore a little.

We decided that the hotel where we stayed could be where we'd like to retire to some day. It reminded us of the something in my files that I will have to post some time called "No Nursing Home for Me" where you learn that it would be cheaper to live in a hotel than to go to a nursing home. That was the case with our hotel, a Comfort Inn very close to Kings Island amusement park. With our discount with the BJU Alumni Association, our room was under $50 a night. This included free cable TV (which we don't even have at home!), free high speed internet, and a nice continental breakfast. A one-minute walk from the front door is a White Castle hamburger joint. (no thanks!) But also within easy walking distance are McDonald's, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans, and many, many more.

We had long heard of Cincinnati chili, but we got to experience it for lunch on Saturday at Skyline Chili. We each got a 5-way chili on spaghetti, and WOW! What a treat! The young people working in there told us two of the secret ingredients that they knew of in the chili sauce - cinnamon and chocolate. It sounds potentially ghastly, but it was really good! Becka had actually guessed cinnamon when she tasted it, but the chocolate was a surprise.

We had hoped to try Graeter's ice cream, another Cincinnati legend and supposedly the best ice cream in the world, while in town, but we didn't get a chance. Next time....

We really enjoyed getting to be at the wedding and seeing Pam, Jim, and their family. Here's a shot of all of our nephew Matthew's side of the family who were at the wedding...

And of course, we thoroughly enjoyed getting to see Jim, Meg, and Drew and get another "grandparent fix." Though the wedding reception was lively and fun, Drew found it tiring...

Saturday evening the parents of our new niece Katy, Matt's bride, invited all family members to come to their house for dinner. It was good to get to know some of Katy's family and to spend some time with our own family too.

Here's a picture of Becka and her sister Pam with their grandsons...

Here's a picture of our niece Shannon, our daughter Megan and their sons...

That evening back at the hotel, Becka and I enjoyed giving Drew a bath in our sink. Here's our little bathing beauty...

After spending Sunday morning together, we had to go our separate ways. Alas! Becka and I drove back to Greenville, and Megan, Jim, and Drew took in Drew's first baseball game. Here's a picture of them before rain ended their fun in the 5th inning and sent them on their drive back to Detroit...

Since Cincinnati is on the Ohio River, there are several bridges joining the Ohio and Kentucky parts of the city. This weekend I received an e-mail about a bridge incident that seemed like the perfect thing to share in this blog post about our weekend in Cincinnati.

Engineering Question of the Day

Q: How much does a house weigh?

A: Just a tad more than a rural two-lane bridge can hold, apparently.

So would this be accident be covered by house insurance, car insurance, or would it fall under roadside assistance?

And how in the world would you get the house picked up without ruining it?


Carolina chickadee update...

Here's a picture of the babies this afternoon, five days after the last picture I posted...


"Be a good commercial for God with your body." - Dr. Daniel Borkert

=^..^= =^..^=

If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?

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Puny Things

chickadee update...

All six of the eggs have hatched. Below is a picture I took late Tuesday afternoon. You can see at least two heads sticking out from under the mama.

Wednesday afternoon I got a glimpse of all six babies without the mama.

The chickadee's eggs are really tiny. They measure 14.8 mm X 11.5 mm (about the size of a jelly bean). Since the mother sits tightly on the nest, I was never able to get a picture of the babies when they first started hatching. I found this picture of some on line.


After thinking about such puny things as these baby birds, I received the following comic strip by e-mail today.

And that's exactly what you are in for!

Anyway, my thoughts went from puny things to punny things. What can I say? I'm an incorrigible punster! And as my wife would say, "Do NOT incorrige!"


Migration: A headache birds get when they fly to their winter home.

They are a perfect match - she's a real estate broker, and he has a lot to offer.

The dynamite salesman became an underground operative, but he blew his cover.

Q: What do you get when you cross a werewolf with a ceramicist?
A: A hairy potter.

New invention - a pencil with erasers at both ends! It sounds pointless to me.

I am reading the most interesting book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.

I knew a girl who went to beauty college and flunked cosmetics. Fortunately they let her take a make up exam.


The boss placed the following sign above the sink in the men's room:


The next day when he went to the men's room, he saw that someone had posted a sign beside the soap dispenser:




"Ungodliness is the failure to worship God as God." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Did you hear that NASA recently put a bunch of Holsteins into low earth orbit? They called it "the herd that was shot around the world."

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7,000 Words

Two weeks of classes, then exam week. We're all in need of prayer right now, students and teachers alike.

I have received or spotted several funny pictures or comic strips lately that I thought I'd put together as a blog post with few words. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this post is worth 7,000 words.

For some of you old-timers who remember the old black and white TV series with Jackie Gleason called "The Honeymooners"....

(For the sake of you "young things"... Ralph Kramden always said to his wife Alice, "One of these days ... one of these days ... POW, right in the kisser! Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!")

In case you cannot read the note above, it says, "Please clear any unused time off the microwave when you are finished. Some of us have O.C.D. and leftover time drives us crazy. Thanks!"

Here's a comic strip in honor of April 15 - the Ides of April....

How can fellow employees ever compete with the "Employee of the Month" pictured below?

Here's a clever ad....

Is it a bug or a feature?

Someone spotted a scene too good not to capture on camera....


"Discontent is the penalty we must pay for being ungrateful for what we have." - unknown

=^..^= =^..^=

Hunt for the good points in other people. Remember, they have to do the same in your case.

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