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Pensacola State College 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award

ex·cel·lence
ˈeksələns/
noun
the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.
 
synonyms:
distinction, quality, superiority, brilliance, greatness, 
merit, caliber,eminence, preeminence, supremacy,
skill, talent, virtuosity,accomplishment, mastery
 

 

There are many teachers in the world, a fair number of them are good, but few of them go beyond just being capable and knowledgeable to setting it as a goal to make a real impact on their students.

I’ve met a handful of teachers over the years that I would say fit the bill of being excellent, and I met another a few months ago at Pensacola State College — Dr Cynthia App.

Unfortunately celebrating and recognizing her achievements may come too late.

Yesterday Dr App informed her class that Pensacola State College had eliminated her position and that in all likelihood this would be her last term teaching at Pensacola State College.

I was not alone in feeling sad that an instructor like Dr App would be let go; and more than one student was whispering about trying to do something to encourage the school to retain her.

We can only hope that Pensacola State College has done everything in its power to try and retain such a valuable asset to their students and mission.  It would be beyond criminal to lose any instructor who shows the dedication and commitment that she does.

I certainly implore the President of the college (Dr Edward Meadows), the administration of the college, the Board of Trustees of the college (Herb Woll, Marjorie T Moor, Carol Carlan, Monsignor Luck Hunt, Edward Moore, John L O’Connor, Dona Usry, and Deidre Young), the chancellor of the Florida College System (Randall W Hanna), and the Governor of the State of Florida (Rick Scott) to insure that the needs of the students and the community are being best served by this decision.

Whether or not Dr App wins the Teaching Excellence Award is largely irrelevant.  What is important is that she has touched the lives of so many students during her tenure at Pensacola State College and helped them to realize their potentials.  I suspect that’s all the reward she ever sought.

 

 

My submission for the 2013-2014 Teaching Excellence Award

 

Dr. App shows a rare and wonderful dedication to her students and teaching.  It’s clear to any student who has been fortunate enough to have her as an instructor that she cares about the success of each and every individual in her classes and fully commits herself, her time, and her energies to insuring that a positive, enjoyable, and rewarding learning environment is provided to everyone.  Further she goes beyond what is required and expected to make herself available to help students with issues not only related to their education, but also relating to their lives, and careers.  Dr. App epitomizes excellence in education.

The difference between a programmer and a hacker

Programmer v Hacker

Unkown

Obamacare Tech Fix

Obmacare - Dilbert

Joe Heller / PoliticalCartoons.com

Riddle me this…

OK, so someone needs to explain this to me, since UC Hasting refused to accept me as a part time law student I just don’t have what it takes to figure it out on my own.

In June the Supreme Court ruled on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)…

Part of the ruling; the so called “individual mandate” was upheld by the court as a “tax”.

Part of the ruling indicated that the Federal Government could not force the states to expand Medicaid (so that clause was stricken).

The lack of Medicaid expansion in some states creates an insurance “gap” where “financially challenged” individuals and families will have to pay for insurance (the Federal income tax credit won’t completely pay for insurance, and certainly not in all states since insurance rates vary widely from state to state).

So riddle me this… how can the Supreme Court basically create a tax that isn’t level across all individuals in the same economic bracket across the country???  Doesn’t that by definition violate the equal protection clause of the constitution (Fourth Amendment)?

I mean come on now… isn’t it a fundamental precept that federal taxes are supposed to be uniform with no regard to what state you live in?

Someone with a degree in constitutional law is going to have to explain it to me in terms that a lay person can understand — or maybe someone is going to have to explain the constitution to the Robert’s court… it just seems like they may have been too busy walking a political tight-rope to refresh themselves on constitutional law.

Washington beyond ridiculous

There’s a funny interview with Senator Ted Cruz (Republican Texas) on CNN in which he calls for Kathleen Sebelius to resign because what he says her failure with the “Obamacare” health care exchange is causing the American people great harm; and he pontificates that that would be unconscionable for any official to do.

Excuse the #`(% out of me… but isn’t that just what he and his cronies did in the Senate and House for over two weeks???  Cause the American people great harm by not doing the job that the American people elected them to do???

While we all expect that people like Cruz depend on the American people having a short memory of their failures, but he really thinks that the average American is so dim-witted that they can’t remember the government shutdown that he was a major cause of four days later???

It’s really sad to think he ever got elected — and what’s even sadder is he probably will be re-elected because those in his district are so blinded by their hatred of a single issue that they will not look at the record and realize that people like Cruz aren’t moving this country forward, they’re helping to destroy it.

Now don’t get me wrong… I think the HealthCare.gov is a f’ing failure (and the individual mandate should probably be delayed because of the government’s failure to deliver a reasonably functional health care insurance exchange by 1-Oct-2013), but it’s exactly what everyone should have expected to come out of Washington.  It’s far more an example of what’s wrong with Washington than what’s wrong with the Obama administration (though there’s lots wrong with the Obama administration to be sure).

 People like Cruz just need to take a long hard look in the mirror to see where the problem startes… and the best possible thing everyone can do is vote the incumbents out — none of them have any clue how to get this country back on track.

CNN: Obama to address health care website glitches

RAPTOR Example Plugin

RAPTOR is a flowchart interpreter originally designed at the Air Force Academy, the runtime library that comes with RAPTOR is fairly week, and if you’re serious about using it to teach computer programming concepts, or using it for any type of proof of concept, you’ll definitely want to consider enhancing it.

Attached is a Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (you can use the free Express version — but don’t try to use any Visual Studio newer than 2010)

Here is a list of the example functions implemented (using C#) 

 

  • Parse_String
  • Parse_String_Count

 

  • String_Trim
  • String_Trim_Start
  • String_Trim_End

 

  • String_Lowercase
  • String_Upppercase

 

  • String_Format_Int
  • String_Format_Double
  • String_Format_Date
  • String_Format_DateTime

 

  • Array_Int_Sort
  • Array_Double_Sort

 

  • Random_Int
  • Random_Double

 

  • Is_Int
  • Is_Double
  • Parse_Int
  • Parse_Double

 

To test or use this plugin, just place the DLL into the RAPTOR directory and re-start RAPTOR.  There is also a sample RAPTOR program included along with the full source code.

This source code, and the accompanying DLL may not be used in any commercial endeavor, it may; however, be freely used for educational purposes.

 


 

Download raptor_example_plugin.7z

How to force an Obamacare delay…

It seems to me if the Tea Party wants to force a delay of the individual mandate of Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that the simple way to do it would be to return to the courts on the grounds that the government has not complied with the statute by implementing an operational health care exchange by the established deadline of 1 October 2013.

Any reasonable person can clearly see that the exchange operating today (ten days after the exchange was supposed to be operating) simply does not provide the services it was required to provide on the first day.

I personally have tried every day to register on the exchange, and today I called the service center (since it appeared to have created an account for me, but didn’t allow me to log in — I had fewer issues when it just told me it wasn’t available, but when one wastes half an hour to be told the site was having a problem, that’s another story).

Clearly under USC the laws cannot create a paradox; and that is exactly what has been done — simply put, you can’t require someone sign up for insurance through an exchange that simply doesn’t work (and wasn’t available on the specified day).

Of course, perhaps the Tea Party doesn’t want to take this tact — it doesn’t provide nearly as much publicity as shutting down the government.