Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Randomalia Redux 

Broke out in hives about 1:30 in the morning last night. Think it was all the Aleve. Took an antihistimene, but it didn't let me sleep until 3. Mostly gone now except for a strange wart-like rash on the palm of my hand; let's hope hair doesn't start growing, or everyone's going to know I jerk off lefty (just kidding, mom).

Back not much better, either. I walked through the workday a fragile glassbacked flower, oozing slow and stiff from Information Commons to classroom. Some dozen coworkers asked if I was feeling better -- word sure travels fast around the 'mill.

In a failed attempt to catch up on sleep and/or rest the stillsore back a bit, conked out on bed in dress clothes from 5 to 6:30. Result: left sleeve rumpled, butt hurts from wallet, no change in status of back or grogginess. Why only left sleeve?

On duty in the dorm again tonight: two kids failed room inspection for general pigsty-ness, and it's a bear keeping them quiet with this year's new "open door" policy raising the stakes for casual conversation in the study environment. Looks like the boys are getting a bit lax as the term finally kicks in. Damn, I miss living at the end of their hall.

Ordered a pair of pepperoni pizzas from Domino's for delivery after study hall, since I slept through supper. Tempted to leave my name as "Peter Piper" when I called and picked 'em, but managed to keep my dorky humor to myself on this one.

There's a couple of boards outside the main dorm entrance, one unknown in origin, the other with "Harry's Board" written across the surface like big black graffiti. The latter board's been in the dorm storage room for years, but I can't remember a Harry, so why his board? Ah, life's little mysteries...

Meetings all morning tomorrow, and into the midafternoon. Note to managers everywhere: calling it a "pizza party" does not make a required get-together any less of a meeting. Especially if you hand out agendas with the pizza.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:46 PM |

do you still listen to lizzie west?
What is this new "open door" policy?

(actually, I don't have a question - it's just that everyone's asking questions and I didn't want to seem too out of place)
Yes, I still listen to Lizzie West. But I only have that one song by her, on a compilation -- want me to play it again next week?

As for the open door policy...this is a longer discussion which I should probably address in a longer format, but give me a few hours to get my brain together and I'll try hitting the high points here.
Okay. Open doors:

Other schools were doing it. Their academic results were better. Period. But to look at why we think this would work for any school, it's easiest to list some aspects of open doors/non-open doors that make sense.

1. Int'l students (and non-Int'ls, too!) were sleeping during study hall. Now they aren't.

2. If the whole idea is silent study, then the open door policy is peer-reinforcing. You see others work, you're more prone to think that "everyone" is working...so you do it, too.

3. It's easier (for faculty charged with making sure students do their work) to tell if people are actually working, rather than just being quiet.

Lets be honest -- in college, you pay your cash for the education and the support, and if you don't want to do it right, then you sink or swim all on your own, thanks. But in prep school, the idea is partially that you're paying to be guided through the process of learning how to study, and how to do it in a focused manner. Plain and simple, this is easier to teach -- and easier to get right -- if your doors are open.

As an added bonus, senior privledges now include closed doors -- worth earning, eh!?
I knew there was a reason I wasn't in the dorm during study hall if I could ever help it. It was either the library or the cutler computer lab.
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