Monday, September 27, 2010

The Learning Pyramid

Last week I started my Fall ’10 quarter. For the many who read my blogs rarely, I have been going back to school since Spring ’09 earning at least an AA degree in Accounting and planning to transfer to a four year college. My classes so far are hit or miss in terms of good or bad instructor and how interesting the class. Almost all of my classes are boring.

Almost all of the classes I took while an undergraduate at San Jose State were not boring. That’s weird. All of my major classes, minor classes, and most GE classes were not boring. Why was I not bored? My answer is being naive. I was a robot—read the material, study, do homework, and take the test. Another answer is I had a boring college life. I spent most of my time studying. I had no college life. I just spend my time reading the books.

My Intermediate Accounting professor handed out a Learning Pyramid sheet on the first day of class. (My instructor has a Ph.D. in Accounting. He’s my first instructor in junior college with a doctrine degree.) I looked at the sheet. There was no surprise. Lecture and Reading, two most common teaching methods in schools, scored a 5% and 10% average retention rate, respectively. I agree with the percentages. Most of my classes and readings are boring. Some instructors believe in group work or students working together in class solving problems. They want to satisfy the 50% Discussion Group rate. Group work rarely works because most of the time students talk about other stuff.

Yesterday, I read and completed the homework for Chapter 1 in Intermediate Accounting. Boring. Just boring. Some of the material was a review from Financial Accounting I. I forgot most of my accounting classes from Fall ’09 to Spring ’10. The homework took a long time to complete. I spread out my time completing the assignments to prevent going to sleep.

I also agree with Practice By Doing at 75% and Teach Others/Immediate Use at 90%. Almost everything I learned at San Jose State was useless at the companies I worked at. I learned everything on the job. On the job training was critical. There was practice by doing and whatever I learned something I used it immediately. I remembered almost everything the next day.

The traditional classroom lecture and reading continue in schools and colleges. I have a better understanding when students at any educational level from grade school to high school to graduate school say their classes are boring. My work experience speaks for itself. People apply and retain what they learn and its exciting learning hands out by doing it and doing it immediately. Teachers who apply Practice By Doing and Immediate Use should be promoted superintendent of their school district or dean of their college.

Finally, why am I bored with most of my classes at De Anza? I can become a robot again, but I’m not. I think back of my work experiences. My on the job training by practice and using it immediately were effective learning compared to my lecture and reading today. I have other activities and many hobbies outside the classrooms. And I realized there are better ways to learn.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, September 26, 2010

De Anza Week Sept 20, 2010

Mon Sep 20

Take it or leave it. That's the attitude and, perhaps, the lesson for the quarter. The lesson came early. The classes I'm taking are offered once or twice a year and not throughout the year. The classes are Intermediate Accounting Part I, Computer Accounting Systems, and Excel. Excel is a requirement. I was told the class is easy. I believe business students can learn on their own. They should know basic accounting after their freshmen year.

Fall '10 is the first quarter I attend De Anza Mon-Thur. The good news is my classes are spread out. Winter '10 and Spring '10 I stayed on campus between classes for extended periods of time. This quarter I have a two hour break between Excel and Computer Accounting Systems. I use the time to complete my Excel homework.

I arrived at 10:30am to get a parking space. I parked at the Flint Center Parking Garage because it's the biggest garage. There were few parking spaces. Intermediate Accounting is today at 12:30pm. I went to the library to watch anime on my laptop.

I was thirsty. I walked to the express store to buy bottle water. The line was too long. I went to Intermediate Accounting class. The class was full as expected because it's offered once or twice a year and there's one section. I saw a few students from past accounting classes. The instructor didn't have add codes for waitlisted students. Scary. The instructor warned he may not add students. One of the students said it's a scare tactic to weed out some students. That's experience talking.

The instructor is my first time with a Ph.D. All of my other instructors has a masters degree. He warned us he has back problems so there may be a chance of cancelled classes. He also teaches at Santa Clara University. This professor is a passionate accounting professor.

I go home after class because the time between Intermediate Accounting and Social Dance is almost five hours. Today I did errands going to Target, JC Penny, and Costco.

There were lots of new students at Social Dance. There were very few returning students. The showcase dance for Mon's class is the Rumba. Really?!? I expected Nite Club Two Step because the instructor was consistent Mon's class was Nite Club Two Step or another smooth dance. I'm glad for the change. I review my Rumba notes to remind myself how to dance it.

Tue Sep 21

Excel and Computer Accounting Systems are the classes for Tue and Thur. Excel is 9:30am and Computer Accounting is 12:30pm. I arrived at the Flint Center Parking Garage at 9:00am. There were plenty of parking spaces. I make a note tomorrow I can arrive before 9:30am.

The instructor for Excel is the same instructor for my Peachtree class. I expected Excel to be self pace like Peachtree. I was wrong. There is lecture class and there is a mid-term and final. I asked students I know who took her for Excel. They said it's easy. The class uses Office 2007. I asked the instructor if Office 2003 is okay. She said yes, but she recommends Office 2007. I think about getting Office 2007 for my Gaming PC. I use the computer lab in the meantime. I forgot to bring my USB memory stick. I copy the class Excel files on Thur.

I went to the library because I have two hours between Excel and Computer Accounting Systems. I watched anime and browsed the web briefly. I exited the library at 12:15pm.

The instructor for Computer Accounting Systems is the same instructor who taught Intermediate Accounting last year. She was terrible. I have no choice. It's confirmed the instructor is teaching Computer Accounting this year. Take it or leave it. On the other hand, I have a better instructor for Intermediate Accounting; however, one student in Computer Accounting told me she took my Intermediate Accounting instructor for Financial Accounting. Everything she said is true that happened yesterday including arriving late, losing focus, and told the class his daughter with a chronic illness.

Computer Accounting Systems has open seats. Everyone who wanted to add was successful. I exchanged contact information from three classmates for assistance and the upcoming group project. The first two weeks we review financial accounting. There is no homework. The textbook is required on the third week.

Wed Sep 22

I arrived at 9:50am at the Flint Center Parking Garage. The number of students on campus was smaller than Mon. I spent my morning at the library watching anime on my laptop.

The number of students in Intermediate Accounting was smaller than Mon. The instructor added all the students who were on the wait list. I talked to a student who took him for Financial Accounting. She said the instructor comes late and dismisses the class early. He did both on the first day and today. Overall he was okay. I take him than my instructor for Computer Accounting Systems.

The Wed night dance class the featured dance is the Cha Cha Cha. Really?!? I expected a different dance. There were a few regulars who showed up and a few I recognize by face only. I attend at least two more weeks to see whether I attend dance Mon, Wed, or both.

I calculated the number of hours out of the house for Spring '10 and Fall '10. If I attend both Mon and Wed dance class this quarter, I spend an additional two hours out of the house. I could use the two hours to workout at the gym. We see what happens. If my Intermediate Acct and Computer Acct Systems are unstressful, I attend both Mon and Wed dance classes.

Thur Sep 23

I walked straight to Excel after arriving at 9:10am. There were plenty of parking spaces. The crowd has been smaller since Mon of course with classes being closed. I expect normal attendance and crowds starting on the third week.

I copied the Excel classroom files on my USB memory drive before class started. My Excel instructor has a Boston accent. She talks fast. I see the frustration from some students. We started working on the first homework assignment.

After class, I went to the library to begin catching up on emails. Finally, Computer Accounting Systems, the last class of the week. We continued reviewing basic financial accounting or concepts taught in Accounting 1A. The review was good.

One of my classmates took Computer Accounting Systems from another college. He said the class is easy. He has a point. I looked at the textbook at the bookstore. It's easy. Also, a friend took a similar class for his major. It's easy. I believe the unchallenging course content made the instructor added additional projects including the group presentation final. This class is interesting.

I came home and two of my three books arrived by mail. I purchased my Intermediate Accounting in a loose leaf format from Amazon. I purchased my Excel from I'm fortunate my seller lived locally and was delivered personally.

The first week felt long. I establish my routine beginning on the third week. I continue to arrive early for parking and park at Flint Center parking garage next week. This weekend I begin Chapter 1 for Intermediate. The professor said Chap 1 is a long chapter. I anticipate spending lots of time reading the chapter and doing the homework including going back to my Acct 1A textbook.

Fall '10 is the first time I don't have a class in L74. L74 treated me well with high scores and high grades. L74 reminded me of SJSU's Dudley Moorhead Hall Room 357. I always got an A grade.

Fall '10 is the first time I have classes Mon-Thur. The blog procedure is the same. I create one blog a week separating each day.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Monday, September 20, 2010

Accutane Day 592

I’m happy the cyst is removed. My face looks better. One of my stitches came off three days after my surgery. I was told stitches today are biodegradable and stitches fall off when the skin is fully healed. That was a relief. I planned to make an emergency appointment after Labor Day weekend. It was unnecessary.

I went to my follow up appointment. My dermatologist gave me the laboratory report. The report said my cyst was not a cyst. There was “mild cystic dilatation. There is no evidence of malignancy.” The report further states a congenital origin and other medical terms I don’t understand. My dermatologist inspected the cheek, removed the stitches, took a final look, and said everything is good. The blood cots showing on my skin heal in six months.

My eczema appears on my face occasionally. I apply Topicort to the eczema. I apply Atralin on my nose every day and on my cheeks every other day. It appears I’m more sensitive to Atralin than I thought.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tomorrow Is Another Day And Time Moves Forward

The Census Bureau reported Thur 14.3% of Americans in 2009 are in poverty. That’s 1 in 7 people or 43.6 million people. The 14.3% figure is the highest since 1994. I think about poor people when I go to the grocery store occasionally. I see a parents pay groceries with food stamps a few times. How can people raise children without financial support? I’m sure some families did well and now must accept assistance because of the recession. I digress.

Yesterday I looked outside my front window. There is a school across the street from my house. I saw soccer moms and dads with their children playing soccer. The family mini vans and sedans were parked on the street. There are some families unaffected by the recession.

I thought about the families in poverty while I watched the soccer families. Then I thought about life. I thought about today, the present. Time continues on. Life move forwards. Each second moves forward making tick-tick-tick sounds from my clock. Money, fame, popularity, intelligent or dumb people, and personal possessions. Time and life are nondiscriminatory. Time and life continue forward in good days and bad days. They never stop for anyone. If something happens to me good and bad, time and life continues.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Our Lives Our Average

I believe 98% of the world population is average. The 2% are extraordinary people include Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, The Beatles, Kobe Bryant, Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Ray Croc (founder of McDonalds). The extraordinary people have an edge, a skill, trait, behavior, attribute that only the very, very few in the history of the world do. That's absolutely special.

We 98% people live average lives. Money, intelligence, wisdom, physical capabilities, physical attractiveness, metal states are irrelevant. We experience emotions, pains, successes, and failures. We have the best and brightest memorable moments. We have the worse and forgettable moments. We have strengths and flaws. That's life. That's being human.

Life your life doing your best. The best example is Charlie Brown from the Peanuts comic strip. The boy lives life one day at a time. He never gives up. He never gives up flying a kite and kicking a football from Lucy even though he fails every time. He goes the pitcher's mound and pitch, pitch, pitch even though he never won a ball game. Charlie Brown has friends who support him such as Linus and Snoopy.

We can make the best of our average lives. Live each day doing your best. Always meet new people and make new friends. Seek new adventures. Experience new experiences. Accept who you are and find ways to be a better person. Being average doesn't mean living life status quo. Add variety to your life. You want to say "Yup, I did that." So do it.

Side note: MLIA stands for My Life Is Average.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Free Your Mind

I remember a conversation days before Fanime ’10. We talked about popular anime series we agreed is popular, but the series is terrible. The conversation lasted pretty long as we named terrible popular anime series. We side tracked the conversation and talked about anime fans should share what they think about a series. It’s okay to dislike a popular anime series. We have seen anime fans jump the bandwagon and say a popular anime series is good when it really isn’t. These bandwagon anime fans usually don’t know what they’re talking about when they explain why an anime series is good.

Think freely for yourself. If you like it, you like it. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. If you agree or disagree, then share the reasons. You don’t need to be detailed and share your opinions as if you’re lecturing a class. A few sentences are acceptable.

Also, share your suggestions and ideas. For example, if you’re with a group of people who have no idea what to do for a Fri night and if you have an idea, say it. Your idea may be accepted. If it’s not accepted, you started a conversation for the group to brainstorm what to do.

The Personal Side Of Me Finding Raymond Mar