Turkey day 2005

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone, it was both a blur and passing slowly at the same time. The pictures are here as you can see we had both sets of grandparents visiting. Now growing up, Thanksgiving at our house was mostly just my parents, my brothers and I. This year was different, with the extended family around and it was really great. Seeing them playing with the kids or talking while we were making the meal just made all the difference. All in all, Thanksgiving this year gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling, that was in part from being able to wear my comfy slippers all day.

I also built the Dining room table and just finished it in time (literally). It has a stained glass window inset into the tabletop, with lights from below of course. After 3 some years of being here it is about time I got a table for the dining room don’t you think?

Painful on the ears, or Playing Music Pt1

Now my family is not known for thier musical prowess. in fact, one might say the opposite. One thing I always joked about with Ann was my future rock star career. Well, last Christmas she bought me a guitar, and I was very excited. However I never really got around to playing it. So for my recent birthday she got me lessons. Which as it turns out is exactly what I needed to get me to practice and play.

Now, my family is thinking, “what Owen playing guitar!” You see, in the Collins family mythology there are some events that get repeated endlessly at family gatherings and holidays. Usually first in line is my brother Jon’s complaining about seeing every Gothic Cathedral ever made during a trip to France. A couple of steps below that is little Owen playing the violin in the 5th grade. “And Owen’s bow would go down when everyone else’s was up…..”

So since then my musical abilities have been limited to whistling and singing along to the radio. But now I have jumped back in the music arena with the guitar. I’ll keep you updated with my progress.

Grading the Graders

My parents sent me an article about rating professors.If your interested I am Here . Only a couple people have rated me at this time. We’ll see how I last. What does this mean? You have to look at both the website rating system and the people rating the professors. According to the Chicago tribune, the creator of the website ‘got the inspiration for his site when “I had a professor who was particularly dastardly.”‘ With a beginning like that, how much credence can you put on a fair and accurate judgement of a Professor’s work?

Other parts of the article mention how this reflects a view of students as consumers. These sites reflect the modern view that people paying for a service or product should be catered to. That is very true for buying a toaster, it has to perform it’s function, but should that same standard hold for teachers? At my last teaching jobs one of the administrators said we (the University) “were in the business of purveying knowledge for a fee.” It doesn’t seem like that what college should be about. But is that where we are heading?

It comes down to why people go to college. Is it preparing for a job? Gaining knowledge(for a fee)? I like to think that the students are learning about who they are and what they want to be. Where I ended up ater my college career(undergrad and grad) was not where I expected, but I realized what made me happy and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Admittedly now I have tons of student loans to pay off, but I see it as worth it overall.

What were your favorite parts of college(that were class related)? Mine invloved great teachers and those eureka moments when I finally caught on.

Crowes in Concert

I went to a Black Crowes concert last Saturday.

It was interesting on many different levels. First, it was the first concert Ann and I ever went to together. What was quite odd was that the concert was on Campus. Now here I am at a little college in Virginia, and who does the Student activities Board get? The Black Crowes. It shows the insane amounts of money that they have here.

So as a result Ann and I went to a concert where we were the older than the majority of the audience. Picture it, the band on stage, Chris Robinson wearing a shirt that says: “Long hair don’t cost a thing” While the crowd is wearing polo shirts with the collars turned up, text messaging on their phones. And who calls people while you’re at a concert? The last concert I went to no one had their cell phones (they did exist however big they were).

But overall, it was a lot of fun, even if the sound wasn’t that good. But what can you expect for a space that was pretty much a big garage.

Quite a garage band for $20.

A beginning

Here is the beginning of my blog. How much can you expect from a guys that doesn’t talk much? We’ll see. I’m hoping to keep you up to date on what’s going on at my job, my family, my research and my hobbies/interests.

the Blog of Owen Collins