The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

My College is going broke

I am taking a course in Accounting. This is a major personal challenge. Business Class is the only class in college that I came near flunking. My "D" in Business didn't keep me out of the top ten percent of my class, but that was probably more of a statement about what happens when small liberal arts colleges are going broke than a statement of my other stellar performance in school.
The Accounting course uses the WileyPlus system which is an online study program that eliminates your textbook and provides assignments and tests online.
It also provides the instructor with a lesson guide and standardized tests. Basically, you talk your college into paying for your lesson plans for the year and you can go off and do whatever crap professors do in their spare time. Try to score with co-eds, brew beer, protest social injustice, bugger the dog... whatever....
The benefit to students is that you get to do your work online with a little screen which is awkward to look up information. I'm really glad for www.accountingcoach.com which is what I've been using to help with my assignments.
Click Here to read what other students have to say....
After reading the their reviews I suspect I hate it because I need the paper textbook. There are other products that are much worse.
The one thing that really angers me is the cost. You pay $200 for a time limited access code. This is a clever plan as it means you can't but a used book and the company gets paid for every use.
I can see how they sell it as a useful and money saving product but I don't like it.
I should not have taken this class.
I can't seem to retain the information. I made little note cards and carry them around with me but when I set down to make a balance sheet or a statement of retained earnings I can't think of the correct items to write down. It is kind of insane as much of it is plain common sense.
I spent most of the day Sunday doing my assignments. They were late and I only got half points.
I'm going to have to drop the class when it is time to start farming. There is just no way...
In other news....
My college is going broke.
They do not know why.
The old President retired just about the time everything started crashing and they just hired a new President who was dean of a business school in Virginia.
The previous President focused on building the endowment (which was basically nothing) and starting a wine studies program. He moved away from a local presence in the community and the colleges religious roots.
The new President is very enthusiastic and thinks he is going to get stuff done.
There are a couple areas that bring students to the college. There is a good nursing program, the athletic department is really good at recruiting, there is a decent business program.
The faculty immediately suspected a sinister plot to destroy academic freedom at the college and started a rumor that tenured professors would be cut.
There was a meeting. The President gave an impassioned speech about unity and that they could not cut staff positions any more. There had to be solutions. One of the faculty asked him if he was going to take a cut in pay. He told her he was not taking a cut in pay but was contributing to the college and if she thought she was so clever she should take her fine academic qualifications and look for another job where she would feel appreciated. (a bit of a paraphrase)
Next came a retirement offer in an attempt to get rid of the Tenured Professors who are draining the college funds and are pretty much full of BS. Those Professors did not take the offer. (of Course) Instead, several people retired in the facilities department. Didn't even make a dent in the budget.
The latest news is that students are tagging on campus, "I stand with faculty."
There is a petition going around to other universities to stop the oppression of our faculty.
It is kind of funny.
I've observed that liberal arts College Professors are College Professors because they thing they are pretty damn smart and they just have to bring you about to their point of view. Not so much that they are passing on the sum of classic knowledge accumulated by our civilization. Heck, our acclaimed English/Writing professor is the one that finally figured out the soot on the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins looks like a vaudeville act. And because he is white, he is offended.
I took my daughter to tour the campus and during the intro for parents and students the faculty heads introduced themselves.
There was a Professor who was on Oregon Public Broadcasting for years and he started talking about journalism. I wanted to take his class. Then the Writing Professor speaks, she kind of smirks and talks about English Lit. from a Queer perspective. I could see young people cringe all around me. It isn't because of the "homophobia" it is because you know she thinks she is just as clever as shite for being all "on the edge" and challenging her students, and the students are thinking, "I just have to get through Lit. 101, maybe I can do it at Chemeketa Community College...)
Here is an article about the "Threat to Tenure."
Another interesting article which shows how serious college Professors take their brainwashing mandate.
But I digress.
The point is not how much I disliked 80 percent of my college professor but rather, will I have a job next year.
The faculty at my school are completely convinced of their own self worth. They seem to think that if they set there in their small town and send out a few clever article to the New York Times that students will just appear.
It ain't gonna happen.
The school has to find its focus. It has to cut expenses. It has to concentrate on what makes money/brings students. I would not be surprised to go to work one day and discover that they were eliminating the grounds department and were hiring a Mow Blow and Go company to do our jobs. That is why I have a resume and I'm looking at other jobs.
The faculty is incensed that the College bought a new campus for the Nursing program in Portland but it is an amazing campus and that is about the only thing my daughter is excited about at the school. The old arraignment didn't work and Nursing is what is paying for the Archeology and the Humanities professor salary.
Read this discussion.

Monday, February 11, 2019

I get my college bill and understand why small non ivy league private colleges are going broke.

For those of you who are just randomly stopping by I shall explain. I am a farmer who decided to become a groundskeeper at a small liberal arts college so my daughter could get free college tuition. 
I did this partly because it looked like she was going to be a writer and I was probably the bad influence. 
Student loans suck the life out of you and a liberal arts education is not always useful.
Fortunately she decided to become a nurse and the college I work at has a great nursing program.
The fiscally sensible thing for her to do would be to live at home and commute the 7.5 minutes it takes to get to school.
Speaking of fiscally sensible things, I decided to take advantage of my free tuition benefit and take an accounting course.
I hate accounting. I hate balance sheets, asset to debt ratios, debits, accounts payable, and my mind goes numb hearing about them. In fact I'm kind of drifting off right now.
But some day I am going to have to actually do it. 
I can't take the class for credit because I already have a degree.
That is idiotic. They say it is a tax issue, I say it is BS.
More creative accounting.
It brings to mind why I hate accounting.
Small colleges usually give tuition discounts to make up for the pathetic pay scale. When times are good they see it as a great benefit. But when times are bad and they want to cook the books the decide it is a expense and want to cut it to make it appear they are saving money. It only puts off the inevitable as potential employees realize they can just get a real job and save for college with the difference in pay...
So I got my bill today. Over $5,000 for a four credit accounting class. The nice lady at the counter even said it with a straight face. 
I think I clicked on the take it for credit box on the online application to see if I could get away with it.
Now I'm back down to an audit. There were a few phone calls and a trip to the registrars office.
Let's add this up... $5,000 for a 200 level intro to accounting class and $235 for class a stack of photocopies and a time limited access code for a website text book. Sounds like one heck of an advertisement for community college for me.
Actually, that is my plan. I'm taking the "free" class so I actually know enough terms to take the financial accounting for farmers from the community college. Because that is the one I can actually use. 
yeah, I'm going to do a few debt asset ratios to find investment opportunities for my private investing account. Yup, that's me... Donald Trump, today junior groundskeeper, tomorrow... Well probably tomorrow I'lll be cold and wet and annoyed and trying to do my accounting flash cards in the rain...
Self improvement is a lot of BS...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I take a college course, tear down a barn, get snow

I spent my Sunday afternoon applying ice melting liquid at work. It was not what I had in mind.
My list today was, Attending Church (canceled due to snow), Doing my homework, (can't concentrate), Making pig feed (spread ice melt instead), Going to visit MuddyValley and getting a lecture about Donald Trump. (spread ice melt. May give him a call this evening...)
It was a bit of a frustrating afternoon. We have missed every single weather event this year with our ice melting but no one seems to notice. I drive my Kawasaki Mule about and make trails and then it rains and washes away.

I got a call in yesterday to cut up a downed tree. I really didn't see much point in cutting it up on the weekend. It missed the girl's car and security put lots of caution tape around it. Thing is... It already fell down. It ain't gonna stand it's self back up, take better aim, and topple again...
I took my daughter in with me so she could study using the free internet at the campus Starbucks. I went in to help her get the wifi set up. The nice lady gave us free drinks as she knew I was on a weekend call-in.
My supervisor showed up to help cut up the tree. It was nice to have help but I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to drive my daughter around spreading ice melt. I will find out Monday.
Soon it started snowing. Security showed up because security is bored.
My supervisor left to go send emails.
I cut up the tree and cleaned up the mess in the snow. The security guy got tired of standing around and watching and grabbed a rake and helped me.
It really starts snowing. My supervisor went home.
Me, being thoroughly institutionalized at this point, retrieved my daughter, and signed out of work. Then I called my supervisor to see if I would get a call back to apply the ice melt during the snow event.
Nope... It was so slick I could cut cookies in the parking lot with my Mule. And I did so. Security seemed to find this amusing. I guess I'm a real employee now...
When I got home I helped my nephews finish replacing a post in the barn. They did most of the work. I did my best to confuse them. It was cold.
Today started with freezing temperatures. My friend the boiler guy at work texted me pictures of frozen wheel tracks.
I got my call-in at noon. It was above freezing and temperatures are climbing. We will have rain tonight. Starbucks was closed until 4 p.m.
The daughter seemed to be content riding with her dad for four hours. We listened to odd playlists on Spotify. We got coffee when Starbucks opened. We had to pay. It was a student that helped us.
We drove home in a mini snow storm. The wind is blowing like crazy. I think it is going to turn warm overnight.
Last weekend we tore down the old barn. It was supposed to go down 20 years ago but we never got around to it.
We hooked two tractors, one to pull in the direction it needed to fall and the other to keep it from hitting the hay shed. I cut the wood off the side to help it fall.

I don't think there will be much good wood to salvage. Should have taken it down five years ago to save the wood.
In other news I have taken advantage of my free college benefits to take a class in accounting. I hate accounting. I can't concentrate. I don't have time.
I went to the college bookstore to buy the book. They gave me a packet of papers and a little box that contained a code. The cost was $235.
You get a code that is good for six months that gets you into the WileyPlus website where you can read the book and do the exercises.
This was my first accounting lesson. When you have a captive market you can charge what you want. I found the access code online for $97.
The packet of papers was prepared by the instructor. Previously he used the school photocopier to make the packets and they were free. He got in trouble. He gave us binders for the packets in class.
I may post more about this later.
Or I may not...
I need to win the lottery...

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