Monthly Archives: October 2006

Got it

I finally went to the DMV and got my motorcycle license today.  It took 2.5 hours, but  I got it.  For some reason I thought that I could only get 2 of 16 wrong.  I got 3 of the first 5 or 6 wrong and though I had blown it.  Turns out I passed and I didn’t waste my $40.  This also marks the time I’ve passed a license test on the first try.

Now I really want a bike.

Listening to: TWiT 74: Memories by Leo Laporte and the TWiTs

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CCSU Entry 2 – Electrathon

This was the first time I have been to the electrathon.  I didn’t really have any idea of the jobs that needed to get done or how long the competition would go.  From other CCSU students, I got the impression that the competition wasn’t a very big deal.  Very few people seemed to take it that seriously.  We got to the park very early in the morning, almost too early. 

First, I helped with the flag test station.  The drivers had to pass a simple test of the meanings of the different flag colors.  It was rather simple and a really easy job.  After everyone had done that, I volunteered to count laps.  I thought it would be a really good opportunity to see what the race was actually like.  The first race went alright.  I learned a ton about what the whole competition is about, the rules, etc.  I also got the sense that the race is a much bigger deal than I originally thought.

The second race was a different story.  Some cars had mechanical trouble, some were just slow.  There were also a few that were very fast.  The mix made for a strange combination of passing/no passing.  The second race was also worse from a volunteer perspective. 

The first race, everyone had a job and got it done.  The second race, because of the action on the track, more people wanted to get involved.  The more that other people got involved, the more confusing things got.  There were too many people watching the race, giving their opinions and trying to help.

The main downfall was the lack of organization.  This is understandable because  most of the organization was done by one person, which is an unrealistic expectation.  Volunteers weren’t assigned roles for the entire race.  There was also a problem with the volunteers lack of enthusiasm.  It didn’t feel like they wanted to be there and they weren’t excited for the race.

Generally the competition went well, but there are certainly areas that need improvement.  Overall though, I think that the competition is really good for the students and gives the students valuable experience.

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Vote for Jeff!

It recently came to my attention that CT State Senator Tony Guglielmo is running for re-election un-opposed.  Having a the strong belief in the democratic system, I find this to be annoying to say the least. 

When you go out to the polls, please fill-in my name (Jeffrey Rodriguez) as a write in vote.  Unless this post gains crazy popularity online, I probably don’t have a chance of winning.  But, I firmly believe that nothing good can come from a candidate running un-opposed.

Vote Jeffrey Rodriguez on November 7th.

Listening to: Coverville 255: Double the pleasure, double the fun, with all-request night by Brian Ibbott

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CCSU Entry #1

My FLL teams (RCX team and NXT team) have been meeting for about 4 weeks now.  So far, I think that the progress has been good.  The RCX team got off to a really great start and is now slowing down some, running into the normal issues that the kids have to work through. 

I think it’s a little more frustrating for them right now because of their quick start.  The RCX team had students who had experience with the kit before and felt no hesitation just jumping right into the middle and working.  I think their quick pace at the beginning may have set some slightly unrealistic expectations for them and now that they’re running into some problems they feel discouraged.  They’re totally discouraged, but frustrated with the slow-down.

The NXT team, on the other hand, started off really slowly and has been picking up speed.  None of the kids had really had experience with the new NXT kit so they were all in the same boat.  Its taken some time, but the kids have slowly learned to work with the kit.  The more they meet, the more excited they get about their robot and the work they’re doing.

Of the two groups, I prefer the NXT groups learning.  Not to say that I like that team better, but I think that having everyone start on the same level makes it much easier for them to work.  Unlike the NXT team, the RCX team had to deal with some kids knowing more than others and being mostly 5th graders, they don’t have much patience for anything.

The other night I had a very interesting experience.  I was working with the NXT kids, helping them build the robot.  At one point I had gotten four kids all building different pieces of the robot.  They were all diligently working on their task, while four other kids were all programming.  There were about fifteen minutes were  all the kids were quietly working and I didn’t have to do anything.  Then, all of a sudden I was flooded with kids asking for help.  All of the kids seem to run into problems within five minutes of each other. 

I’m very one-on-one with the kids, so when they all are asking for help, I obviously can’t help them all.  I’m still not sure about how to solve the problem or find a way to get to all the kids.  I did the best I could with trying to point each kid in the right direction and letting them go.  It also made me realize the importance of planning much farther ahead than the students.

Generally, the teams are doing very well and I think that both of them will be successful at the competition.

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Be Informed.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5589099104255077250&q=911pressfortruth

I know its long, but watch it.

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Shopping

I’m looking for a new alarm clock for no real reason, but having trouble finding the perfect one.  I’m looking for a oddly specific set of features.  1) It needs to have auto daylight-savings adjustment, 2) It needs to have nature sounds or a gradual wake up (something other than a buzzer and radio), 3) It should have more than one alarm, 4) The screen shouldn’t be painfully bright in the dark.

I’m thinking about this one, but it seems a little expensive.  The other options so far are this one and this one.  The second is even more expensive, and the third looks like a terrible screen.  Let me know what you all think or if you have any suggestions.

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Procrastination

This week I actually have time.  One of my professors is gone so his classes are cancelled.  That accounts for 1/3rd of my classes this week.  It works out well because I do have work to do.  The problem is that since I have some time to do it, I’ve done nothing instead.

I wonder if there is a way to track the study habits of kids.  I bet the internet flushed them right down the toilet.  Instead of spacing out my work and doing a good job.  I’ll cram it all in tomorrow and just get it done.

Listening to: Coverville 253: The Cure Cover Story, part 1 by Brian Ibbott

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