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Posts from ‘April, 2010’

Alibi-ology


picture of sign

In honor of exam week here at BJU beginning this Saturday, following close on the heels of students' course evaluations, I'm posting about a technique that has long been practiced by students — "alibi-ology" — the science of giving alibis. Students come up with some of the most amazing alibis to explain their performance. Some of the things below might also occur on students' course evaluations. You teachers out there may recognize some of these.

What students say when exams roll around...

When they are given an objective test:
"It doesn't let you express yourself."

When they are given an essay test:
"It's so vague. You don't know what's expected."

When they are given many minor tests:
"Why not have a few big ones? This keeps you on edge all the time."

When they are given only a few major tests:
"Too much depends on each one."
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Very Funny Signs


picture of sign

I don't know what it is about funny signs that I find so amusing. Maybe it's just the highly public nature of a sign that makes a strange or confusing wording or an absurd picture all the more humorous. I'm sure that some signs are intentionally funny, just to grab attention and brighten someone else's day. But the thought that a sign is absurd without intentionality amuses me to no end. I've recently been sent or been pointed to some signs that had me laughing out loud (lol). If they amuse you as much as they did me, you might want to be sure you are reading this in a place where you are free to lol.

Here's a building that used to be located somewhere in Saint Louis. I understand it has since been torn down. Was there a butcher's shop down that side street?

picture of funny sign

Here are several signs that might make you think twice about parking near them.
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Wall Real Estate


picture of stair storage

Are you thinking about spring cleaning? We did some cleaning and organizing earlier this year, before my yard and gardening chores became my huge time consumer. One of my goals was to make use of some space for storage in our garage that was not being used to good advantage. We have a lot of storage space in our attic, but getting stuff up and down the narrow ladder can be a pain. By being able to store more in our little garage, I will be able to reduce greatly my forays into our attic to get this, that, or the other item(s) that we need. There are lots of great space saving ideas out there for using space that would otherwise go to waste — like the drawers built under the stairs in the picture above. But in this post I'd like to focus on wall space for storage.

One area of our garage that we had been using for some storage is a little alcove that is three and a half feet wide and seven feet long. There were three flimsy shelves there when we moved in. We had things sitting on those shelves as well as on the floor under them, but most of the space was wasted. It's such a narrow space that we cannot store big items there easily. I thought it would be the perfect place to have new shelving to maximize the storage. When I weighed the time and expense of building wooden shelving for our garage, I thought it would be better stewardship to buy some shelves that were on sale at Lowe's. Two sets of the shelves fit there perfectly, and here's a picture of that area now with an unbelievable amount of stuff stowed away.

picture of our alcove

We have a fairly narrow one-car garage, but there are still several other places where I can use other sets of shelving to give us more storage. Here's a picture of one area I redid after we liked the updated alcove so much.
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Appearances and Reality


picture of first impression

Are your first impressions usually right, or do you often have to try to get past those impressions once you learn more? It is the experience of many of us, I think, to form wrong first impressions when making new acquaintances or when viewing situations. I won't go into any details, but I recently made a misjudgment based on wrong first impressions when I witnessed some activities that were not part of my experience. Once I dug deeper, I understood not only why my first impressions were wrong, but also how far off they were from reality.

Today's iv is a compilation of things I've seen recently that involve first impressions — some of which are right and some of which are wrong. I'll lead off with a funny demotivational poster I saw on the topic.

picture of appearances and reality

I would say that first impressions are extremely important, but they're not the whole picture. Learning details sometimes shows you how off-base our snap judgments are.
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GPS’s and Geocaching


What would you do with a "day of rest?" I'll tell you what I did with mine. Since yesterday was a university day of rest for the faculty and students not involved in judging the various contests of the AACS National Competition on campus and since on our 33rd anniversary (WOW, a third of a century!) last Friday we didn't have time to do anything more special than grab an Italian sub at Firehouse Subs, my wife took a vacation day yesterday so that we could go to the Charlotte, North Carolina area. We had taken a similar trip one Saturday several months ago and found some places we really enjoyed. So I fired up our GPS, whom we affectionately call Stella, and off we went on a bit of a treasure hunt.

What Becka didn't know was that I was planning to take her to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant chain we had yet to experience. It's our daughter Nora's favorite restaurant. (Now we know why.) Since I'm not familiar with Charlotte at all, I was counting on our GPS to get us there. It had us get off I-85 at an exit south of Gastonia. Becka asked if we were taking a different route to Mary Jo's Cloth Store (her main destination on this adventure), to which I replied, "Yes, I plan to check something else out on the way there." The Cheesecake Factory in Charlotte was miles beyond our exit for Gastonia, but I followed the GPS's instructions, apprehensively. It took us through some "interesting" neighborhoods in Gastonia, and eventually right back to I-85, of all things!

A few more miles down the road, Stella wanted us to get off at the exit for Belmont Abbey, still not in Charlotte proper. I had looked ahead at the list of turns and saw that we were headed toward the Billy Graham Parkway. From trips to the Charlotte airport I knew that that was an exit off I-85 and that we would have gotten there much sooner if we had just stayed on I-85 the whole way, without the two unnecessary Stella-recommended detours. Then when we were less than a mile from the road the Cheesecake Factory is on, Stella told us to turn right onto a little side street, in the opposite direction from what the turn list indicated for Sharon Road! It took us through a hotel parking lot, under the hotel's parking structure, and eventually back out onto the street we had turned off of. 🙁 At that point, I turned Stella off and proceeded by my "internal GPS," getting us there in less than five minutes.

After lunch we made our way back to Gastonia, sans Stella! I worked on this blog post, sipping decaf coffee at Panera while Becka had fun at Mary Jo's, just around the corner. After that I meandered up the street to walk through several stores I knew were there.

picture of geocaching slogan

Several mentions of GPS's last week gave me an idea for a blog post. First a reader sent me a joke about a GPS. Then one evening former students of mine who are now missionaries in Romania and their two children came to our house for dinner. Part of the dinner conversation was about something they're interested in called letterboxing, which sounds similar to geocaching. Rather than explain either of those hobbies in this post, I'll let you click on the links if you're interested. Any way, yesterday's experiences with not-too-stellar Stella confirmed my desire to publish this post now. I wonder if I could ever do letterboxing or geocaching with our GPS without ending up in Zimbabwe!

Here are several jokes about GPS's and geocaching ... something I need to be able to laugh about after yesterday!
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