Bad Choice

So I started watching a movie about a prison riot in Spain. It’s a male prison, so I figured the movie would be safe for me to watch.

And, obviously, one of the men caught up in the riot just had to have a heavily pregnant wife who in the course of the movie lost the baby. And then she died. And the husband tried to commit suicide.

What’s worse, the entire point of the movie is to show somebody who does his absolute best and still ends up losing everything for no particular reason.

This was not a helpful thing to watch.

I guess I will be going back to sci-fi.

To those who are less sensitive to such things than I am at the moment, I highly recommend the movie Cell 211. Just imagine what Hollywood would have done with this plot and shudder.

Microsoft Office 2013 Sucks Something Fierce

Is it a sign that I’m entering old age and can’t process anything new that I hate Microsoft Office 2013 even more than I hated Windows 8?

First of all, I hate the incredible cheapness of Microsoft that now charges separately for each computer where you want to use the Office. You can transfer it once between computers, which is of absolutely zero help to most people. I have two computers that I use at home (a bigger stationary one and a smaller one I move around the house and use to travel). So does N. The idea that we have to pay for 4 separate copies of the Office is beyond bizarre. I have never in my life downloaded pirated software (music, games, etc.). Never. And this is the first time in my life that I considered doing it because this pricing policy is simply ridiculous.

Things are about to get much worse, however. I heard that Microsoft will now be charging a subscription fee where you will have to pay every year to renew your copy of the Office.

And what is really annoying is that Microsoft’s greed is completely unjustified by the quality of the product they are offering. Office 2013 is so bad as to be almost unusable. I’ve been testing it for a few days and I absolutely hate it.

To name just a few things, the vile white interface where a document bleeds onto the margins and onto the “ribbon” gives me a headache and hurts my eyes. The commenting function has been messed with to the extent where it is almost unusable. The comments are not numbered any longer. Neither are they marked in the text. You can only see them if you bring the cursor to the comment in the margin. Instead, we are given the completely idiotic function of nesting comments in a blog-like way.

And this is just the beginning of Office 2013’s problems.

In short, don’t waste your money on this completely idiotic version of the Office. Microsoft can’t offer anything of value and keeps futzing with the Office in a way that only makes it worse just to get people to pay money while getting nothing in return.

A Solution for the Adjunct Problem?

So check this out, folks. Our university is considering offering some courses that would count both as high school and college courses. They will be taught in high school by high school teachers. The teachers will be trained to offer these “dual credit” courses and will be supervised by college professors. The content and methodology will be approved by the college. If students pass these courses successfully, they will receive credit for them when they begin their Bachelor’s studies.

This sounds weird at first and my first instinct was to be suspicious of the idea. But now that I have considered it, I wonder if this might not be a path that will allow us to stop exploiting adjuncts (or to avoid ever getting involved in such an exploitation, as in the case of my university.) If we shift remedial learning back towards high school, we will not have to teach these basic courses at the college level. The administration will have less justification in eroding tenure lines and hiring adjuncts.

Something needs to be done to address the issue of students coming to college completely unprepared and needing very basic courses. Solutions that do not involve opening adjunct positions seem promising.

What do you think? Would you support this?