With all of the madness going on about the novel coronavirus, one thing I've been struggling with is how to appropriately grade work. Relatedly, should the university allow a pass/fail option? Does it not matter because graduate schools will (likely) take any grade dips this semester into account?
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This has been quite the week. On Monday, I led a group four students to Southwest Florida to report on two satellite caucuses put on by the Iowa Democratic Party in St. Petersburg and Port Charlotte. It was a long couple days... I think I put in my 40 before noon Tuesday.
At this point, there's not that much more to be said on the topic, but I figured I'd share a few of the things that struck me about the coverage and the aftermath.
I work in a news desert. The journalism department at Florida International University is housed in at the Biscayne Bay Campus, which is in North Miami. Northeast Miami-Dade County, in general, gets little attention from either of the two large dailies – The Miami Herald and South Florida Sun Sentinel – partly because it is relatively far away from their respective centers of political gravity and partly, I suspect, because there aren’t a lot of subscribers out this way. It's time to do something about it.
As the fall semester ends – my 12th term as a full-time educator – I figured I’d take a moment to reflect on what worked, what didn’t and how I might continue to improve both my own skills and the experiences of my future students.
The jury room, on the seventh floor of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice building in Miami, is cold and getting colder. As the room slowly empties as more and more prospective jurors are called to individual courtrooms, the loss of their collective body heat turns it from chilly to tundra.
I realize I didn't come up with the term -- the first time I heard it was in relation to the DTLA (downtown Los Angeles) art walk -- but "Arty Gras" seems appropriate for the madness that is the annual Miami Art Week. But this time I have something to show! Whoo!
It seems like I'm on a bit of a roll. And yes, that is a bit of a 20-sided dice joke. Anyhow, this is the fourth piece I've had published in the last two months. The latest is about the closure of a comic book shop in Coral Springs that hosted Dungeons & Dragons games. A lot of these shops seem to be closing despite the recent uptick in popularity of D&D.
Many professors -- including myself -- assign an obit assignment to students where they write about the lives of one of their classmates. Though they find the exercise a bit macabre at first, they soon get into it, imagining their lives as famous journalists, activists or artists -- and surrounded by dozens of adoring grandchildren when they die happily at 105.
So, yeah. I already f***ed up. On Friday, I had an epically long day at work and after finally closing things up at about 9 p.m., the absolute last thing I wanted to do is head down to the gym. So I didn't. Oh well. But, fear not, as I worked out Saturday and Sunday, so I'm not too far behind.