Tag: Humor

BlinkistCurious DavidHumormyth of multi-tasking

Professor Hypocrite: Heal Thyself:)


Hhhh. There is some merit in the arguments made in that book I “read” on Blinkist. I think that I’d better view, review, read, and heed the following science-based advice about the myths of multitasking.

Carroll University USACurious DavidcurmudgeonHumorSelf-help

Resolving Pet Peeves: Life is Short


dscn4774It so easy to allow pet peeves to distract one and to engender a foul mood. Let’s see if I can exorcise them by listing some recent annoyances and thinking through a resolution while I proctor an exam.

  1. Leo the Great (pictured above) barks incessantly whenever I give Siri a command or use the dictation mode of my computers. This is also a nuisance when I proofread out loud. Solutions: Remove the dog (though he can at times be so angelic); don’t dictate; accustom him to my talking to myself:)p1080672
  2. Faculty colleagues who teach (loudly) with their classroom door open. Solutions: Close my door; close their door; put on sound reduction headphones
  3. Individuals who don’t differentiate between the reply and the reply all command. Solution: Send them a gentle correction: “Did you realize that you shared that slanderous reply with the entire campus community?”:)
  4. Bombardment by Bombastic Buzzwords (I’ve twice ranted to my one reader in the blogosphere about this peeve: here and here.). Solution: Think of the buzzwords as a specialized language unique to that marketing/corporate culture; update the buzzword bingo software; create a buzzword translator.
  5. Hmmm. Maybe I need just to lighten up or to consult Alex Blackwell’s eight step approach to dealing with pet peeves found here. Or at least to contextualize the irritation like this.

Or unwinding by playing in a pile of leaves.dscn4611Or listening to a beautiful piano recital.dscn4779Or snuggling up with some grand-nieces and grand-nephews.Version 2


Life is far too short to allow pet peeves to bother one disproportionately. Or as my dictation software once jabbered,”Hours longer we to bury was.” See the translation here:




Carroll University USACurious DavidDogs

Dogs have often proven to be among my best teachers…


Dogplay2 (1)

Today I am “dog-tired”—it was a three dog night yesterday as we celebrated a birthday with dear friends.

Several summers ago I was humbled at how much I have yet to learn about teaching and about learning. A friend Mary directed her, beloved, devoted blind Newfoundland Ernie to “rescue” me by, on command, swimming out to a rowboat where I feigned being in distress and he towed me back to shore.Blind Ernie

It has been 6 months since Robin the Newf left my life. She leaves me with many fond memories and enduring lessons about patience, love, persistence, forgiveness, coping with pain, loyalty, and playfulness.

New parents


Her successor, Leo the Great, already is reminding me of all those lessons and, in his own way, offering me new things to learn.




Robin and Glenn the Big Dog and Mollie the Golden Retriever and Queenie and Duchess and Snapper and Freud and Leo have made me laugh and cry, exhausted and rejuvenated me, and constantly pointed out to me the frailties of being a human.

My father-in-law, Walter G. Schmidt deep love of dogs was extolled in a eulogy given by the Reverend Charles Valenti-Heine:

…”And that world, for Walter, included his beloved Canines. Lucy, Canis, Oaf, Chaucer, Trollope, and Freud, the last named because Walter was told that the companionship of a good dog was of greater worth to people than any other therapy! The one time I remember Walter speaking in church was when Trollope died, and he stood up during joys and concerns to opine: ‘If there is a place in heaven for Presbyterians, then surely there is a place for greyhounds.’

I have had many dog role models both real and fictionalized. As I child I fondly remember Mr. Peabody and his seven-year-old sidekick, Sherman. I am attracted to the nonsense of dog cartoons in the same way that my dogs are attracted to scents.  Though many of my friends claim I behave more like Dilbert, I have often learned from the philosophies of  Dogbert  and of SnoopyRudyard Kipling  and Lord Byron have warned us of how dogs can capture your heart! Dogs continue to teach me so much! Some day soon I hope to be their full-time student.

Curious David

Arianna’s Student Guide to Twitter

I’ve invited (required) my student research assistants to choose a technology learning tool and to write for me a “guide-book” explaining how the tool is useful to them as students. The guide-book must include hypertext links, a video, cross-reference some of my blog posts about these topics, and be germane to undergraduate students. Here is the first of this series. I am pleased and amazed by what they can do when given the opportunity. As always, feedback from the Internet community is welcomed.

—DS (AKA DumbleDave)

Social media is everywhere. Young, old, it does not matter, each of us seems to be involved in social media in one way or another.
So what about those of us who are not too familiar with certain social media tools such as Twitter? Well, I am here to help.

No, I am most certainly not a Twitter expert, as I only joined per the request of a friend, but I do know enough to get around. To start, you need to go to Twitter and sign up to create your own account. In creating your account you will have to decide on a Twitter handle (the name that comes after the @) and a display name (typically just your name). You can also add things such as your bio, where you are from, and your birthday. I, personally, try to avoid that sort of thing. Once you have those things completed, you can add an avi (your profile picture) and a header photo, but neither is required. Then, if you choose, you can make your profile private. A private profile simply means people must request your permission to follow you, cannot retweet you, and that people whom you do not approve to follow you cannot see any of your tweets, favorites, or pictures. Now that you have your profile up and running with as much, or as little, information about yourself as you would like, you can begin to follow people. Following people allows you to see what they are tweeting, whom they are following/who is following them, and what they are favoriting. Generally the people you follow are your friends, celebs you admire, newspapers or news stations you like, and so on. However following is not limited to just that, you can follow anyone in the world, really allowing people to expand their knowledge of current events and get connected with people they otherwise might never get connected with. Once you have followed a person, if they know you, they will typically follow you in return, giving them access to your tweets, favorites, pictures, and information.

Now that you are all set up with a profile, following a few individuals, and hopefully have a few followers of your own you can begin tweeting. Tweeting allows people to express what is on their mind, to tell their followers what they are doing, and further their knowledge. You also have the ability to respond to other people’s tweets. You are not limited to just words: tweets can also consist of pictures or videos. Once you have tweeted,  people have a few different options with that tweet.  Assuming your profile is not private, they can favorite your tweet (communicating that  they like it), they can retweet tweet, or they can respond to it. You have all of these same options with other people’s tweets as well.

One really nice feature of Twitter is hashtags. When you tweet you can use a hashtag (or several hashtags) anywhere in that tweet and it will automatically generate a link that allows you to see every other recent tweet that was made using that same hashtag. This allows you to see what topics are trending—thus keeping you caught up on news and current events around the world. Hashtags might be used in a classroom setting. Professors might give their students a hashtag to use, allowing students from different sections of the course, and even students who are not in the course, to see what each other is saying. This usage in a classroom setting might lead students to generate ideas off of one another and help assist each other’s learning and success. In a recent update Twitter added a new feature called moments. Moments are like hashtags in that they let you see  news, sports and entertainment and fun things that are being tweeted about as well.

One downside to Twitter, however, is the character limitation constraint. Tweets can contain no more than 140 characters, making rather thoughtful, grammatically correct tweets next to impossible. Dr. Simpson, who also disliked the 140 character limit and was initially slightly hesitant to the embrace the idea of Twitter shared his thoughts about Twitter here. Despite this limitation, I still find Twitter a fun and easy way to stay connected with people both near and far, to get your daily dose of news, and maybe even get a laugh at some of the memes circling the internet like this!.

Now that you have a Twitter account and some basic knowledge of the tool itself,  I suggest just playing around and familiarizing yourself with it and seeing what you like and do not like and how it can be of beneficial to you. That is the way in which I learned all of my tips and tricks to Twitter.

Curious David

Razing the Bars (Wordplay continued)…

Shoveling Cleaning my office today I came across this history of the spell checker poem  “Candidate for a Pullet Surprise:”

“I have a spelling checker,

It came with my PC.

It plane lee marks four my revue

Miss steaks aye can knot sea…”

I sometimes use it as a “screen” for hiring student assistants who can proofread carefully, spell, and have a good sense of humor. Sometimes I have them read it aloud or dictate it to a computer.



App GenerationAppsCarroll ReflectionsCarroll UniversityClutter

Decluttering Revisited

I seem to return to certain topics—like reducing virtual desk top clutter. I am once again in the process of reviewing “applications”—I’ve installed (first on my Mac, then on my Ipads, then on my PC’s).I read a thoughtful piece in the New York Times this morning suggesting that the urge to declutter or the perceptions of succeeding in the task may be misguided.And I just ordered a copy of a revised Stephen Covey book to assist in my reordering my priorities.

I have a goal of reducing the 37-years of accumulated office clutter by pulling together all the institutional research have done the past 37 years (thank you former research assistants) and combining it with present data collection processes. however, I am amused and annoyed to discover how technology sometimes makes data acquisition more difficult.

Right now two of my student research assistants are helping me pull together a blog piece dedicated to the Carroll alumni I have known as students across the past 37 years. Take a peak at a work in progress.

Let me know if you’d like a picture of you from year’s gone by. I’ll trade you for one of me OR of you today.


Carroll ReflectionsCurious DavidGlobal Education

Nifty Shades of Buzz-Transparently Attempting to Engage the Reader as I Move Forward with Rebranding:)

Branding Love
Three books that I have reread the past few years are George Orwell (Eric Blair)’s 1984 and Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

George Orwell fascinates me on a number of accounts—his mastery of language, his prescience, and his outlook about politics. While I was faculty president, I gave copies of his book to people as a reminder of the chilling threats and effects of totalitarianism and the dangers of doublespeakLewis Carroll, though more playful, also is masterful with language and with alerting us to the the dangers of when illogic becomes the norm and when language is misused and abused. I find my institution’s decisions a few year’s ago to redefine the word “department” in our Carroll argot and the changing of our name from “college” to “university” Humpty-Dumpty-like. And the “buzzwords”  and evolving (sometime assaulting) lexicons creeping into our everyday discourse are painfully annoying, hinder communication and add many shades of gray to my beard. I am abuzz with buzzwords


  1. hum
  2. murmur
  3. high
  4. bombination
  5. drone
  6. purr
  7. whirring
  8. sibilation
  9. hiss
  10. whiz
  11. sigh
  12. rustle
  13. sough
  14. rumor
  15. report
  16. gossip
  17. heresay
  18. scuttlebut
  19. scandal
  20. small talk
  21. chitchat
  22. fizzle
  23. sizzle
  24. Look here for more here: 

It is interesting how the “buzzwords” (e.g. transparency, branding, moving forward, engagement, buzz) have positive connotations for some professionals and create a need create a need for a swear jar or playing buzz word bingo for others.

Gotta buzz the dog outside before buzzing a friend to see if he wants to play buzzword bingo tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll buzz over to Melibee to read some of their wonderful posts about global issues and making the world a better place.


Curious David

It’s Been a Reasonably Quiet Day at Camp Carroll as I return to Campus for the First Time Since Mothers’Day

It was a reasonably quiet day at Camp Carroll as I returned to campus for the first time since Mothers’ Day (Commencement) . I adjusted my invisibility cloak to semi-permeable but kept the missile defense system active. I spent most of the morning shoveling a path through my office and lab—the piles of papers, notebooks, etc. gave clear evidence that I had departed in a hurry. So THAT is where my Ipod was! Yech—that sandwich needs an escort out to the trash bin.

I dealt with the usual annoyances of computers not working; lack of access to locked rooms and I left today satisfied with having created creating a semblance of order in the office and lab.

How delightful to find summer notes on my door from three alumni! (I’m looking forward to chatting with alumnus Mike Martin about our collaborating on an applied social psychology research project. Thank you, Anita Rodriguez, Julie Sascer-Burgos (PsyD!), and Kristina Dones for stopping by. Of COURSE, I remember all three of you—and yes, I’d love to get together either in person, via Skype, or by phone. Thanks for your kind words—and the memories!  Yes, Kristina (class of 2009) I too have many positive memories. Anita and Julie (class of ’82) remember my office being in the basement of Voorhees. Each of these three former students also had classes with my two emeriti colleagues, Ralph and Virginia Parsons

David, Ralph, and Virginia

David, Ralph, and Virginia

It’s amazing (satisfying) how much I can get done with no interruptions. I chatted with a student who is trying to return to campus after experienced some academic difficulties. I believe that she will be able to graduate and I tried to be be both appropriately supportive and realistic about how she needs to change her behavior to succeed.

I had a brief visit from two colleagues. I shared with Psychology colleague Chris May my excitement about (self) publishing my statistics text and we made a lunch date. Tomorrow I (sigh) have three meetings.



Time to head home and see how the Newf is doing in my absence. She has now been home a week since her week’s hospital stay.