Dec
03
2007
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Final Exam Suggestions

In my last post I reported on the outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) and how it has caused the administration to shorten the semester.

They're trying to be flexible and accommodate the students as much as possible.

I suggested that since the students will be unable to fully prepare for the exams, and since the exam periods have been shortened from 70 minutes to 60 minutes, they should consider shortening the exams to one or two key questions that summarize the semester. I even provided some examples to help them get started (see below).

What do you think — will they take my suggestions and use them?

 

HISTORY
Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.
 
MEDICINE
You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.
 
PUBLIC SPEAKING
Twenty-five hundred riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.
 
BIOLOGY
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture as compared to life as we now know it, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.
 
MUSIC
Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
 
PSYCHOLOGY
Based on your degree of knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Rameses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations from each man's work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.
 
SOCIOLOGY
Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.
 
IT MANAGEMENT
Define management. Define technology. How do they relate? Why? Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all managerial decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals, with each terminal to run your algorithm, design the communications interface and all necessary control programs.
 
ENGINEERING
The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.
 
ECONOMICS
Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
 
POLITICAL SCIENCE
There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.
 
EPISTEMOLOGY
Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.
 
PHYSICS
Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
 
PHILOSOPHY
Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
 
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
 
*** EXTRA CREDIT ***
Define universe; give three examples.
 
[Disclaimer: These aren't original with me. I received them as a forward from an unknown author, and I only edited them and applied them to the situation at BJU. If someone can attribute them, please let me know!]

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Written by in: Academics,Humor,Uncategorized |
Dec
03
2007
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Whooping Cough

Most of my readers probably already know about the outbreak of pertussis (more commonly known as "whooping cough") on the campus of BJU. At last count something like 40 students have it and nearly 100 are in isolation waiting for test results. On Friday (11/30) the administration announced that as a precaution they would end the semester a week early. 

Instead of a full week of classes this week, we'll have class just Monday and Tuesday and Finals will begin on Wednesday — just 5 days after the announcement. Needless to say things are kind of crazy around here. They've done an outstanding job of managing the situation and communicating with the faculty, staff, and student body, but even so, you can only imagine what it's like on campus, especially at Barge (campus hospital) and UMA (medical offices across the street which are related to BJU). 

As of this posting, the latest news is here.

So far, we're both healthy, though we did both get the vaccine and antibiotics because we both have been exposed to it. We're virtually certain that neither of us have it, but even if we do, after 5 days on the antibiotic we'll not be contagious. And, theoretically, that should prevent us from really getting it ourselves, too.

If you've stuck with me this far be sure to read my next post for my suggestions on how to adapt final exams. 

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Jan
30
2007
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Steel Poles & Cables

Today's Washington Post reports that the NRC ruled yesterday "that the nation's 103 nuclear power plants do not need to protect themselves from potential attacks by terrorists using airplanes."

Something about that seemed vaguely familiar to us (for our non-debate friends, this last statement qualifies as dramatic understatement…).

Funny thing how the NRC never changes. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's a government bureaucracy??

Anyway, it seems that they were responding to a petition from the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a Los Angeles nonprofit group. The Post reports that this petition urged that "nuclear plants should build shields made of steel I-beams and cabling or take other steps to prevent a release of radiation in case of an air attack." The Post goes on to note that "eight state attorneys general backed the petition."

Huh. Fascinating. Back when we were on the University's Intercollegiate Debate Squad, our very first topic was terrorism. The resolution: "The United States should substantially expand its efforts to prevent terrorism." We had two main planks. One dealt with nuclear proliferation in countries like Russia and the former U.S.S.R. The other dealt with domestic nuclear reactors.  

Here's a quote from our 1st Affirmative Constructive, under "Mandates:"

Congress shall mandate security upgrades including (but not limited to) the installation of surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns, placement of steel poles linked with cables around the reactor building (as recommended by Dr. Nicholas Berry of CDI), and expansion of the outermost fence around each site.  These upgrades will vary according to the nature of each site.

Well, it's good to know that at least somebody (in this case, the group from Los Angeles and the 8 Attorneys General) is taking us seriously after all this time. :) Of course, the NRC resisted all attempts to improve security even back then, and apparently they continue to do so.

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Jan
02
2007
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Major Change

This is actually old news. About half-way through last semester, I changed my major. It was M.A. Fine Arts, R.P.A. principle, piano secondary (which was a complicated way to say that I was studying speech and piano). Now I'm pursuing a master of arts in rhetoric and public address, or M.A. R.P.A. That's just a complicated way of saying that I'm studying speech. It's really just a semantic game, because I am still studying piano. The difference is that I was considered a piano major before (even though piano was my secondary emphasis). Now I'm still taking piano lessons, but I'm not considered a piano major anymore, so I don't have to practice as much. It also means that I can take hymn playing instead of classical piano. I'm signed up for hymn playing starting in a week or so, and I'm looking forward to that. I love being a speech major because I get to study all sorts of exciting things (not just speech itself). I've also begun work on my graduate project, which will be about home school graduates in college. More on that later…

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Sep
19
2006
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Another Semester Underway

Well, here we are already more than 3 weeks into the new semester. It's been a long time since I last posted anything, so I thought maybe I should log in and type a few lines.
 
The summer was a welcome respite from classes, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Then again, if we didn't think school was good, I guess we wouldn't still be here. For everything a season, right?

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Jun
12
2006
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Class Review, part 1

Well, the semester is finally over. As a matter of fact, it’s been over for more than a month now. It’s nice to not have to study every night! But it was a fantastic semester, and I learned a lot. Now that I have time to stop and think about it, I figure it’s time to do a kind of “internal review” of the high points. And, since I have this wonderful platform called a blog, I thought maybe I’d make my “internal review” external. Smile

At the time of this writing, I only have a few minutes, so I’ll probably just cover one class for now, and will post my thoughts on a few of the others as time allows.

History and Philosophy of Preaching
This class may qualify for one of the topĀ 10 classes of my academic career. That’s a tough call, b/c I’ve had lots of great classes, and 2 of them are from this one semester! But, it’s certainly a contender. Why? Read on.

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Apr
23
2006
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Resource File

Every so often in higher education, you get a new concept or method or resource or something in a class that really stands out – something you'll probably think about / use / refer to for the rest of your life. I can think of several. And, some classes have more of these than others, of course. 

This semester I find myself in several such classes. Perhaps I'll comment on more of them in future posts.

One of my classes this semester is History and Philosophy of Preaching, with Dr. Mark Minnick. One of the major semester projects was called an "Illustration File." It was really unrelated to the course content, but he includes it as a course requirement because he wants to force us all to test a system that he has used effectively for years, and he knows most of us wouldn't try it if it didn't cary a point value!

Although there were lots more particulars, the basic idea is that we had to collect at least 70 illustrations from our reading this semester. Not just reading for this class, or any of our classes, for that matter. Anything we're reading this semester is a valid source. Then he wants us to connect the illustrations to a particular Scripture text. The idea is that ever after, when preaching on a particular text, we'll have ready illustrative material.

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Mar
27
2006
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Bible Conference 2006

Another Bible Conference has come and gone. Today is Monday, which is noteable for several reasons:

1) It's the first day back to classes after Bible Conference.
2) It's the first day I'm experimenting with this blog format.
3) It's the first post I've written this year! =/

We're thankful for the week off, and for the many good messages and God's working in other ways as well…

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May
15
2005
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Graduation

On May 7th, we graduated from Bob Jones University with undergraduate degrees in Humanities (Tim) and Music Education (Ashley). May 9th was Ashley's first day in "Principles of Communication," a summer school speech class required for entrance to her Master of Fine Arts program. Both of us will be working for the University as "Graduate Assistants" (GAs) this summer and for the duration of our graduate studies.

If you like, you can see graduation pictures here.

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Mar
28
2005
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Bible Conference 2005

Ashley spent several days last week at home, and got a lot of  planning done for our wedding. Tim's parents came to Greenville for most of Bible Conference week, and Ashley's Dad came and stayed from Wednesday to Saturday morning. Today was the first day back to school and classes, but it wasn't quite as hard a transition as either of us thought it might be.

An important note: We've (finally) settled on August 13th, 2005 as the date for our wedding. It will be at Ashley's church in Dothan, AL. Invitations will be forthcoming.

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Mar
07
2005
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Student Teaching

Ashley's been student teaching now for over a month. She likes it quite a bit — more than either of us were expecting, I think.

On the weekend of March 5th she went to Myrtle Beach with her cooperating teacher and students where they performed for a principal's conference. It was an exhausting weekend. [pics]

Tim made it to the final round in the Commencement Contest at Bob Jones in the category of Original Oratory. His topic was truth. He'll be competing against the other two finalists in Stratton Hall on April 23rd.

No definite news on a date yet, but we're looking at August 13th. (We'd love for you to come!)

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Written by in: Academics,Personal |
Jan
04
2005
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Senior Recital, Engagement

 On December 2nd, Ashley had her senior piano recital. Tim thinks she was awesome.

On December 16th, Tim and Ashley left for their homes in Illinois and Alabama, respectively.

 

 But on December 30th, Tim picked her up at the airport in a limo with a ring in his pocket! He didn't give it to her. Not right away. It took him a couple of minutes. At least five. But it didn't take her five minutes to answer. She even said yes!

We're pretty happy.

No date yet, but we'll keep you posted. (see more in "wedding")


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Written by in: Academics,Events,Personal |

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