Finally, summer session 2010 is over. In the past two months I was very busy teaching a computer science course. Teaching college students everyday for 60 minutes is not an easy task. I was crammed with lecture preparation, writing lab assignments, grading, answering students’ emails, writing homework assignments, exams and of course grading.
Today, students did their final exam. This weekend I need to finish up grading and post final grades. As every semester I am expecting few tear jerking emails from students begging for a grade change. This is the part that I hate in teaching. It is really a struggle to read these usually very long emails explaining why they need to get an A or B instead of their C or lower grade and answer politely why I can’t change their grade. (I am currently writing a draft about this end of semester dilemma.)
Yesterday, we did a sort of group study something like a review session before the exam. To relieve the stress a little bit I showed my students a video clip about how young alien students do their abduction exam. This is really very funny.
Even if this touch screen tablet is used only for browsing the internet it still would be a very good deal. [link]
Everyday TED.com proves to be one of the best websites on the internet. Recently, they started adding subtitles to their videos in many different languages. Luckily, Arabic language is one of these languages.
Here is an interesting video I found at Huffingtonpost : TED Talks: Best Author Appearances Of The Past, And This Year’s Line Up (VIDEOS).
This is one of these videos. It is a very inspiring talk by a Nigerian born novelist and story teller, Chimamanada Adichie. I have never heard of her before but she for sure knows how to tell a story. Her charisma is very charming. Her talk is about the danger of a single story; how we stereotype others and how we generalize an entire nation with a single story. This is a video worth your time. You can also watch the video at TED with Arabic subtitles.
If you own an iPhone or an iPod touch and you use PowerPoint here is an app for you. It is called i-Clickr. Currently, people use remote PowerPoint presenter to switch back and forth between slides and so they can move around and not stay still near their laptops, like what good presenters do.
As a college instructor I use PowerPoint but I don’t depend entirely on it. During the class session I use the blackboard to explain things in more detail or to show students the steps in solving a problem. The problem with the remote PowerPoint presenter is it can only switch between slides. On the other hand, i-Clickr has many advantages over the current PowerPoint presenter:
Enables the user to see the slides on his iPhone/iPod touch. During my last lecture while I was using the blackboard I wanted to copy something from the slide so instead of stopping and go back to see what is on the slide, I looked at my iPod and continued.
What is even more useful is that the presenter can read his slides’ notes on the iPod without the audience seeing it on the big screen.
The presenter can see the next slide on his iPod. This helps the presenter to prepare for a good transition between slides.
Enables the presenter to skip or select slides without the audience or students noticing.
Uses WiFi so the presenter can move freely in any direction even in very big auditoriums.
You can see the current or the next slide.
courtesy of i-clickr
or you can see all the slides to select one without the audience noticing anything.
i-Clickr is highly recommended for people who do lots of presentations.
I took a picture of a poster that is displayed in our Journalism School hall. I don’t want to say much about this picture. Why should I it will never help this poor woman. Just imagine this woman is your mother or sister who is been harassed on street in such a derogatory way.
Below is the original picture from The New York Times.
Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times
The picture was taken on Shuhada Street in Hebron. As Ms. Castelnuovo recalled it:
The streets were mostly empty. I stopped to photograph some settlers marking the Jewish holiday of Purim. They were passing around a bottle of wine, toasting the holiday, nothing out of the ordinary. I noticed a Palestinian woman walking along the shut-down stores. A group of settlers were walking in the middle of the street in the opposite direction when one of them took a step towards her. I instinctually raised the camera.
She didn’t scream or stop, she hurried up the street and vanished around the corner. I was left angered and saddened — as if the wine hit me.
*Purim is a Jewish festival that commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination.
Sometimes we hear a song and it captivates us. It is like being hypnotized. This song I heard on NPR couple of days ago and I have been listening to it for the past two days. It is a Turkish song by Sezen Aksu. The only word I knew is Istanbul beside that I know nothing. Yet, something in this song made me like it. It could be the music or the performance or maybe both. Maybe, sometimes, we like a song when we feel nostalgic. I wish I can visit Istanbul again it is really a magnificent place.
Audio available by NPR [here].