✌ Victory! ✌

Did I managed to go from 4°C/39°F yesterday evening, to a whooping 17°C/69°F in 24 hours with a woodburning stove in a place of 100m2. It’s a pity the temp will drop during the night, but not as much as during the week. And it seems it stopped freezing outside.


I got out of the house too late for a variety of reasons and I missed my linear algebra quiz this morning. I went to see my professor later in the day with an unrelated question and he asked what I thought of the quiz. I told him I missed it, because it was the truth, but I wasn’t expecting him to do anything about it because the syllabus was pretty clear. He thanked me for not asking to take it, and let me take it anyway. It took me two minutes out of the ten he gave me and after glancing over it, he declared it was a perfect score. Throw in the fact that on Thursday I knocked out the lab procedure in under about an hour with time to spare because I’ve finally developed some proficiency and experience running reactions, and that my casual interest in nuclear power has me well ahead of the curve in nuclear chemistry and I feel like this semester is off to an awesome start. Also, did you know Five Guys serves milkshakes?


I don’t remember whether she looked at Berklee (probably she did.) Here’s why she chose Mills:

In almost every other college and university, if you look at what the Music department teaches and studies it means exclusively classical music and almost entirely pre-20th century classical music.

The Mills graduate music program, on the other hand, includes the Center For Contemporary Music, which incorporates the archives and history of what was once the San Francisco Tape Music Center, founded back when “electronic music” mostly meant musique concrete . Its alumni include (for just a few examples) Laurie Anderson, Dave Brubeck, Phil Lesh, Steve Reich, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Morton Subotnick and former and present faculty include Darius Milhaud, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnick, Fred Frith, etc. They have - as you might expect from that list - a heavy emphasis on modern techology in music, avant-garde composition, and improvisation, and they also teach recording engineering.

My daughter went in there knowing a couple instruments but basically too shy to play in front of anyone, not feeling she had any talent in composition, and figuring she would study music engineering and production. By the time she left she was playing confidently in several bands, able to improvise well on a number of instruments, and composing electronic music, and got electric bass lessons from Fred Frith along the way. Win.


Took a couple days, but finally figured out why the new piece of some portal built at work. was pathetically slow. For the IT folks out there, the way the queries executed behind the scenes everything was via full table scans. What was taking upwards of two minutes now comes back in 2 seconds. Milliseconds instead of seconds. Whew.



Sunday I started having problems with my iPhone 6+, where it would sometimes “wake” into a half-gray screen state where the touchscreen didn’t work. By mid-day Monday, it was doing that at least 9 out of 10 times. I made a Tuesday appointment at the Apple Store, because this seemed like probably a hardware problem but decided Monday night to try going through the recommended online trouble-shooting steps.

Force-restart - no help. Restore - well, first I had to get it to wake into the normal mode so I could get to the Settings app, turn off the “Find my iPhone” feature (Was it necessary to do that in previous IOS versions? I didn’t think so) and be able to enter the passcode, but I did get it restored and that was no help. I then tried to update to IOS 9.2.1 in case it was some kind of weird bug fixed in the latest.

It occurred to me, much too late, that Restore and Update are really bad things for Apple to recommend for people to try if they’re having problems with their touch screen, because after you update you have to enter the passcode and can not wake it with a fingerprint, but if your touchscreen doesn’t work, you can’t enter the passcode, and if you fail to enter the passcode too many times the phone will disable itself. Whether or not it got into the disabled state, it was in a bad way by late Monday night. It sat like a lump, the screen was resolutely black, and it would not execute a Force Restart, go into iTunes recovery mode or show any sign of life at all despite its supposed 90% charge. I woke up at 4:15am and lay there wondering whether I had fully bricked it, whether Apple would try to lay the blame on me if so, and whether I’d soon be posting this on the “Apple bricks phones” thread.

When I finally got up and plugged it in to mess with it some more, it came on with the low battery indicator meaning it was alive but had drained over night. Relief! I got it partly charged, and eventually got it to wake into the right state so I could put in the passcode and get it semi-working again.

To cut to the chase, I took it in to the service appointment at 11:30, they diagnosed a hardware fault, and I walked out of the store around 12:00 with a brand new phone, no charge, complete replacement under warranty. :sunglasses:

This looked like it was going to be a Fuck Today but it turned around instead. Victory!


So I pulled off a last minute essay that I actually think is pretty good, finally threw some new strings on my poor guitar (I’ve tuned it using an electronic tuner but it still sounds a little funky, I’m going to let it equilibrate overnight) and best of all, I discovered my university’s surplus store. I asked about lab equipment and why yes, they have sold laboratory hotplates in the past with stir capability. I’ve looked everywhere and the cheapest I can find is $180 bucks for the most basic models. They didn’t have any today but he made it sound like it was a distinct possibility they’d eventually get more. Finally!


Sometimes, it’s the little victories that count.


I was really worried about this one class I’ve been taking that sort of became this sacrificial lamb to my other obligations and classes. I think I’ve only dropped one class my whole college career so far. I was concerned about dropping it for financial aid reasons, which would be a major pity because dropping just barely takes me below full-time enrollment. I talked it over with the good peeps over at financial aid and the guy said it was not going to be a problem at this stage. Class dropped in time for a W. Much relief!

ETA: I’ve decided spontaneously that instead of piling up more hours at work, I’ll use this extra time to create and informal readings course for myself. I really want to get up on the scientific literature.


If there’s a class that is reading the books you’re interested in, see if the professor will allow you to audit. Having the structure of a class plus hearing any lectures/discussions on the books rather than reading them in a vacuum could help. And if you couldn’t make it to a particular session that week because of other obligations, no harm no foul because you’re only auditing.


Although talk with financial aid about auditing first. Financial aid usually won’t pay for that and even if you pay for it out of your own pocket, it can confuse the computers and threaten your aid status.

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Usually when you audit, there is no record, and therefore no tuition paid. Auditing, by nature, is supposed to be “off the books” and between a professor and student.


How idyllic. In all of the universities I’ve been to, “auditing” is a situation where you pay the full amount for the class, which gives you the right to attend, but frees you from the obligation to do the work (and also, deprives you of the ability to get credit).

Instructors could let students attend “off the books” for free and the administration even allowed it, but only to a very limited extent. You could attend maybe twice a semester without being signed up for the course. Don’t know how many professors let students exceed this limit generally, but when I tried to, I was informed that I couldn’t even sit quietly in the back more than two or three times.

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I’ve been involved in yoga for many years. Right now I’m trying to start a business that can actually support me full time as a yoga teacher. I’m not interested in starting a studio, but rather seeking to teach workshops and teacher training and to help bring up the level of training for teachers as a whole.

Because of the role I’ve played as a leader of a major discussion board and assistant to a well known teacher, I have fantastic contacts. I’ve had it on my list of things to do to reach out to several teachers who are working at that level I want to be at.

Yesterday I was able to set up phone appointments with two of those teachers, and I have also two more that I am in contact with and who are wanting to speak to me. They all seem really excited about talking to someone who is also interested in raising up training standards.

I’m finally starting to feel like I am making headway with my business.


Whoa that’s funky. In my experience auditing was free.

What about other people? Do you pay to audit or is it free?

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You pay for the credits. Tried to audit a language class at my local community college once. Paid for the credits, but they failed to file the audit, so I ended up with a grade. It was fine, ended up with an A. Good thing I did the course work.


As a grad student, I audited an undergrad course. Paid full grad school tuition. Transcript shows 0 credits earned. Grade awarded is “V” for “Visitor”.


Huh, the kind of auditing other people are talking about here seems like a totally different thing.

My experience was like yours - after I’d gotten out of college, I audited a math course at a university I wasn’t even attending, just to keep my mind in gear. I asked the teacher directly, he said sure, I showed up in class with the textbook and did the work. Nothing official, no transcript, no records, no tuition.


That’s exactly what happened with me. I was home for summer from college and wanted to know some more stuff about chemistry, so I went to the local university, sat in on their first class, then after class talked to the professor and he said, sure, come on back and here’s an older edition of the textbook you can borrow; it has all the same stuff in it, just give it back when we’re done. No money changed hands and a good time was had by all.


For the class I audited, the professor required “Visitors” to maintain full attendance, do all the readings, and fully participate in class.

One reason I did it was that my undergrad degree was in a different field, and I felt deficient in background compared to other grad students (even though I obviously had enough background to be admitted to the program). I was interested in the material, and willing to pay in order to have the course be listed on my transcript.

I really love the “good time was had by all” aspect of your experience, the real love of teaching and learning that goes with allowing someone who’s truly interested to sit in on a class. You may well have been the teacher’s favorite student that session!

At the same time, there’s something that doesn’t sit right about expecting a professional to give their services and knowledge away for free, or expecting the institution to supply the venue at no cost.

I’m of two minds about it. I guess in the end it just depends on approaching the professor and see what they’re willing to do, within the bounds of the institution.