Thursday, February 02, 2006

Smarter than your average bear

Instead of lecturing today at university, two of my students gave presentations in my "Voting and Participation" class. They did okay. It was mostly a review day because the final exam is next week. So I asked my students to present two sides of a debate. One the one hand, low voter turnout and decreasing participation are of concern and we must do things to correct it. On the other hand, low voter turnout is not a concern.

The student discussing the second point did a good job. He made an excellent point that sometimes not voting can be a sign that the polis is happy with their democracy. Voter turnout is not the most important thing, but rather making sure that everyone agrees on democratic values and the rule of law. Yes, I know that there are MANY arguments against this, and I am not sure that I believe it myself, but I was trying to get the students to argue for things that they might not believe.

Unfortunately, the student stepped into a bit of doggy do. He said, "Amerikaner sind nicht besonders klug." That is, "Americans are not especially clever." The whole class laughed. I said, "Be careful!" He laughed. And then HE SAID IT AGAIN! Okay, so some Americans cannot find Europe on a map, but how smart is it to insult THE AMERICAN WHO IS GIVING YOU YOUR FINAL GRADE. I actually think the situation was funny, and I will not hold it against him.

Anyway, I like to think of my self as a little bit "klug," and perhaps even a little bit smarter than the average bear. I have been able to figure out this whole blogging thing myself. I am doing a little research on html by myself so that I can make my site more personal. I have also added the links and my pictures with no prior help. Did you see my new personal pic?

The German is very supportive of my blog. He even got me a neato new gift - a digital camera. Okay, so it is not "mine." We do share things in our marriage. But I realized that "all the cool kids" (as my cool friend Liz would say) post pics on their blogs and use something strange called "Flickr." I want to do that to. I want to be able to show you all of the crazy things going on over here. The camera came in the mail today. It is a Fuji FinePix E550. We got it off eBay. We are big fans of eBay. Below you will find some pictures of my living room. It is not always this clean! In fact, I cleaned it before taking the pictures! Tomorrow I want to post a pic of my beloved Smarty. But I need to take her to the car wash first - and you know how much I hate that. Have I mentioned that I am a bit neurotic?


Anonymous said...

I know I should be offended by the "Americans are not especially clever" sentiment but given the two term Presidency of George W. Bush I think he may be on to something LOL

And yeah I'm cool....well in a decidedly geeky way. Actually I did have a point with this post. I taught myself HTML and it is simple once you get the hang of it. I recommend Creating Web Pages for Dummies since it not only simplifies HTML but also the more interesting stuff like JavaScript and Flash. But be forewarned. This stuff is highly addictive!

Oh and I wanted to say I dig the new picture. One of these days I've got to play around with Flickr. And very cute apartment. I'm impressed by the cleanliness:-)

Anonymous said...

Me again. I wanted to pass along a website I used when learning HTML: You may have seen it but if not it is great. Very clear and concise.