Fun Times Sunday

Nels Lindahl MPSA 2012 Conference Paper

Today should be interesting. This weekend has been devoted to developing a plan. The plan has to good. In fact, the plan has to be exceptional. Part of the plan includes updating my Dell Studio 1535 laptop with something smaller and more reliable. The HP ENVY x2 11-g011nr is on sale today. I’m going to issue the buy order on my birthday. Convertible tablet computers are pretty awesome.

Joni and I watched a few classic James Bond films via the PS3 Amazon Prime streaming video service. After experiencing Bond overload, I elected to watch some of the NBA western conference round one game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers.

I’m getting ready to complete the required grading for my introduction to business today. Teaching online seems to involve an odd cycle of both daily work and weekly grading and reading. Overall the process is pretty straight forward. At some point, I’d like to teach a few different classes.

My last day in New Orleans

Being an online instructor involves grading a lot of papers: seriously, a lot of papers… In fact, grading papers took up most of my last morning in New Orleans. The day officially started when I ordered breakfast from the International House of Pancakes picked. The quality of the day started to pick up after my first cup of coffee. I booted up my laptop and locked in for a four hour grading session. The Day’s Inn (Keener, Louisiana) hotel staff (who were all very nice) kept checking on me. Apparently, I was the last patron to leave for the day. I had blocked off a couple of hours (it’s called being responsible) to read papers before flying back to Colorado Springs this afternoon. The grading session went pretty well. I was even able to catch up on this week’s papers and some outstanding late work that needed to be graded. As a matter of principle, I always accept late work.

During this trip, I finally upgraded from my Office 2013 preview edition of Microsoft Word 2013. The preview edition converted over to a read only edition. Obviously, I upgraded almost immediately. Overall, I have been pretty satisfied with the new version of Microsoft Word. If you spend a majority of your time writing, then you are probably going to prefer one word processor over another. I prefer Microsoft Word.

My big plan for the airport today will involve reading the, “Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition.” I was able to read about half of the 500+ page book during my last flight from Colorado Springs to New Orleans. For some reason, I really seem to be able to focus during flights. Over the years, I have read a tremendous number of books and academic journals while flying across the country. Oddly enough, I have not really spent very much time writing while flying. Sometimes I can produce a few pages while sitting at an airport, but typically I stop writing after boarding the airplane.

2013 is proving to be an unexpectedly interesting year. After attending the 2013 ASPA conference, my goal is to invest one hour a day to writing. Part of being a reflective practitioner involves being able to internalize previous actions and embark in new directions. During the course of 2012, I produced four different drafts of academic papers. None of the drafts turned out the way I wanted. After a couple hours of reflection, I know that I need to invest more time in the academic writing process this year. That investment will be the difference between producing draft articles and finished products this year.

Grading papers and a dinner at the Craftwood Inn

Last night Joni and I attended the 2nd Annual Will Rogers Dinner and Gala. The event was held at the Antlers Hilton in downtown Colorado Springs. Driving around in the parking garage for the Antlers Hilton felt like driving around in a labyrinth, but the event space upstairs was very nice. Overall, I truly enjoyed attending the event.

My “Introduction to Business” class has been going pretty well this term. We will enter the second half of the class tonight at midnight. My goal this week is to provide high quality constructive feedback to the students.

Joni and I will be heading out for a nice dinner at the Craftwood Inn tonight. The Craftwood Inn staff always seems to provide a memorable fine dining experience in Manitou Springs. The current menu designed by executive chef Brother Luck looks pretty good.

Grading Papers

I’m watching last week’s Bones/Castle episodes and catching up on some paper grading. My second round of teaching “Introduction to Business” has been rather uneventful. The papers have been pretty similar between the two courses.

Teaching online round two plus NFL football

Final grades from my first online teaching experience have been posted. My second “Introduction to Business” class is already off and running. Grading papers every Sunday has become a part of my routine. A routine that involves watching football. I’m going to have to make a decision on getting the MLB online package after the NFL season ends.

What games are on today? It’s NFL conference championship weekend. The games should be pretty decent. Today the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons will compete before the New England Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens. Tony Gonzalez was pretty happy after the Falcon’s win last week. In terms of story lines, the Patriots vs. the Ravens has garnered significant media attention.

 

A weekend of writing papers and watching football games

Wildcard weekend in the NFL lived up to its name. This was probably a weekend Minnesota Vikings fans are going to want to forget. The games tomorrow should be equally good. While writing a couple papers this weekend, I started watching “The West Wing” via Netflix streaming. So far I have watched episodes from the pilot to episode 12 of season 2. For some reason, I have a hard time writing speeches, papers, or novels without any background noise. I’m a big fan of both college and professional football, but I have not been able to watch most of the bowl games this year.

Giving up access to live sports was the hardest thing about canceling our cable subscription. Fortunately, I was able to acquire an HDMI transmitter. In case you are wondering, I can now stream the screen of my desktop computer directly to my Sony television. I tried to type on the big screen and ended up reverting to my laptop within about thirty minutes.

Thanksgiving Weekend Grading

Thanksgiving weekend involved four consecutive days off from work. Being on call during the holidays is always interesting. I handled three different escalations during my holiday break. However, I was still able to spend a few mornings during my Thanksgiving break working on completing my Stanford University decision quality coursework. I watched some football. Stanford vs. UCLA was a great football game to watch this weekend. The rematch is going to be epic. Sunday morning was almost entirely devoted to grading “Introduction to Business” team papers.

Watching streaming content via YouTube Channels on the PS3

Here are my initial thoughts about teaching online, “Being an online instructor seems to involve a lot of grading during the weekend.” For the most part students seem to submit work and participate in discussions during the last 3 days of the week. Online class weeks run Sunday to Saturday. Every Saturday from here on out will probably involve writing a weekly preview, posting a weekly summary and grading a bunch of papers. I plan on grading papers as they arrive and participating every day in my class discussions. I have a plan. We will see how well it works…

I am always looking for new things to watch on the television. Please consider for a moment that cable or satellite television provide an endless wave of content. Without subscription-based television, you are going to have to work a little harder to locate content to watch. The new YouTube client for the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) works really well. I have subscribed to number of technology related channels on YouTube. This morning I just clicked on The Verge channel and let the content run. I watched VERGECAST episode 51 featuring commentary from Paul Miller, Nilay Patel, and Joshua Topolsky. YouTube was easy to setup. Content was easy to find. People are producing enough content to keep me entertained.

In about two hours, a few college football games will be on broadcast television. At this point, I will pretty much watch any football game. Cable or satellite television provide subscribers with tons of options for watching college football.