The Mac Lab

Tag: final 0809

Skocko the Grouch

by on Jun.02, 2009, under Blog

oscar_smOnce again the kids in the Mac Lab blew away my expectations yesterday. During day one of finals, I saw some incredible work (Oscar H) on the big screen! But the presentations were cut short because about 80% of the students chose to ignore my very challenging instructions. Aughhh! I never expected that! (And I let the students know it.) Now I have a choice. Give 200 students a D- (or worse) on their final exam (based on the rubric) or cave yet again to give the lot of ’em a final second chance. I think you know how I feel about the compromise I’m making. The last three days of school are completely shot. Gone is the celebration and you better heed this WARNING: If you’re one of the 200 and you’re not 100% plugged in and finishing what you should have started weeks ago, the D- (or worse) you earned for the final yesterday will be your lasting memory of the Mac Lab.

Recently, I admitted that I’m no Mr. Rogers but today I’m thinking that I should give it a try.

Hello, boys and girls, today we’re going to learn about following instructions. Can you say, Follow instructions? Good. Can you follow instructions? That’s good too because you know what happens to boys and girls who don’t follow instructions, don’t you? That’s right. They get bad grades. Can you say, Bad grade? Very good! And you don’t want to get bad grades, do you? No, I didn’t think so. Okay, now let’s sing a song…

Or you could just watch these step by step instructions THAT HAVE BEEN POSTED AND REQUIRED SINCE SPRING BREAK! Grrrr! The 10 Required Projects | The Generic Webpage | 00.html | Using the 00.html Page | Making the Links | The Structure of the Index Page | The Rubric Page | The Rubric Movie | Rubric Answers | The 5 Point Scale

Now, boys and girls, wasn’t that easy? I’m going to go outside now and beat my head against a wall. Have a nice day!

Visitor Update: Today our 15,000+ visitors have accounted for over 70,000 page views.

Wednesday/Thursday Note: As these are the last days of school, I’ll not be adding blog posts today or tomorrow so you can focus on your finals. I forgot to tell the students yesterday about the Digital Yearbook you may sign if you’d like. Forum regulars have set up different options. Enjoy your summer and always remember to Pay it Forward!

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Time’s Up

by on May.29, 2009, under Blog

hd_pw_smYesterday a student told me that Dreamweaver was “broken” on his computer. You see, he’d been moved to a new computer and it turned out the only thing that was broken was his memory. He didn’t know how to define his site. And sadly, I know he’s not alone. If you’re one of those lost in space students, this movie should jog your memory (ignore the password.rtf file). Of course, you’ll probably also need directions to connect to the correct server. Better now? That some of you don’t know this tells me that I have to do a better job teaching the fundamentals next year.

It’s not just the kids who aren’t holding up their end of the academic deal who seem to have forgotten things either. Yesterday a student was weaving something (a key chain?) in class. When I asked what she was doing, she informed me that she was “finished” with her Website. Can you imagine how I reacted? Everyone, repeat after me.

Today is the last official day to work (Jake C). I’m going to begin grading your projects this weekend but I’ll tell you right now that any student who chooses to finish out the year flaunting the rules will pay an academic price. Yes, yearbooks were handed out yesterday. No, you may not exchange them in class today. Don’t even open it or it’ll end up in the VP’s office with the cell phones. You’ll have plenty of time in class next week to sign to your heart’s content. Today is the last official day to work, remember? So how ’bout we finish on a strong note? We’ll get through most of your final presentations on Monday so you’ll have plenty of time during our last two-hours for wrapping up personal affairs. Fair enough?

Yes, even though it’s a pain, I’ll let you make up time and work next week but the door closes on the day of your final. (I’ve got to stop being such a softie!)

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A’s and Bees of CDs

by on May.28, 2009, under Blog

baca_bee_cd_dvd_disc_smYes, I skipped the “F” reference in the title, and I sure wish you guys would, too. Giving grades is a pain in the assessment. It’s by far the worst part of my job. I’ve rigged the game so you’re guaranteed an A or B if you play by the rules but I’ve still got students choosing other grades for themselves. Hey, I’ve written over and over about how stupid I used to be. I guess some students feel the need to exercise their right to self-destruct, too. Talk about going in circles (David B).

Note: I would have said, Talk about stupid! but I’m not supposed to call students names.

Since we just had a peek at David’s disc design, I should confess that the printer is currently in malf-mode. I’ve got numerous lines in to tech support and hope to receive deliverance today so we can start printing your discs. The assignment still stands. I’ll be printing your jewel case sleeves every day from now on and will print the discs when/if the printer’s working. If I have to come in Saturday to get this done, I will, but there’s NO SATURDAY SCHOOL so don’t ask to come in. Sorry, but that’s the only way I’ll be able to get things done. Grades close tomorrow. Finals start Monday.

Be a busy bee. Finish strong.

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School Spirit

by on May.27, 2009, under Blog

operation_fresno_smFor some fortunate students, the Mac Lab will be a fond memory. It may also be a stepping stone on their personal artistic journeys. Vocation or avocation, art will always be a part of life for some of you. Lauren C is such an individual. She is plugged in to her art and she’s worked as intensely as anyone I’ve ever seen on this piece. From the start I expressed my misgivings about the clash of artistic styles between the boys and their surroundings but to her credit she’s stuck to her vision. I’ll print this and let you be the judge. One thing I will say, without reservation, those boys represent some of the best line work (Illustrator) and shading (Photoshop) we’ve seen yet in the Mac Lab. Really a tour de force that Lauren should be proud of.

I’m seeing an ever-growing number of students who, at some point during the year, have discovered a palpable passion for art. For them, the class isn’t work, it’s a joyous adventure that others will never understand. I’ve tried to describe this but words really do fail. It’s something you have to discover for yourself. One of the tragedies of life is that there are people who walk through their days without ever touching their bliss. You need to discover what it is that you love to do. (Yes, need is the correct word.) Read the quotation at the end of this post and find a way to feed the real you.

CD/DVD + Jewel Case: Right-Click and download these Photoshop templates.

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by on May.26, 2009, under Blog

alt_self_andrea_smAt 7:25 during the 19th and final Mac Lab Saturday School™ of the 08/09 school year, there were 55 students in the room. (The clock always reads 10:30, and if you’re counting, the others are out of frame behind the file cabinet, far right.) When I got here at 6:15, 27 students were waiting outside. (Kevin L and Atheer M were first in line at 5:40.) Thankfully, the incoming flow tapered off and “only” 65 kids showed up. Some had to wait a while but everyone got to work eventually. For some, it was just another day. For others…

Made an iFriend Sunday morning when jumping from here to here to here to here. Departing seniors continuing on with digital arts, you’ll want check out the second here for must-have Illustrator scripts and the fourth here for killer Illustrator sketching tips and a bonus, “Oh, that’s why Illustrator bogs down sometimes!” factoid. It’ll change the way you work (and the way the rest of us will work in the fall). Everyone, the third here is a wonderful read about doing the right thing. Find some time outside of class to read and ponder the implications in your own life. Returning veterans, Adam O’Hern, the author of those posts and reformed HiC heister, has offered to drop by the Mac Lab to share some of his artistic wisdom with us next year. (Anyone who puts Spitwad-Marksmanship on his resumé is okay in my book.)

Final Exam: There’s been a lot of angst about the CD/DVD portion of the final. Let’s put this to rest. The custom CD/DVD + Jewel Case is a Mac Lab Parting Gift™ and all you have to do is create something that you think is cool for full credit. I’ll print your jewel case insert and disc, you burn your files onto the disc, take the groovy souvenir home with you, and everyone’s happy. Get it?

Girls, read this sometime, heed the advice, and stay safe out there in the WWW!

Is that eye beautiful or what? Check out Andrea C’s alt self portrait WIP that references this and this and this but just like the others have done, Andrea takes it a step further. As for the eye, that’s a brand new idea that I absolutely love! Brand new unless one considers the ultra-cool triangular-based illustration Nicole C is working on. Since the girls are in different classes, I’m guessing neither knows what the other is presently working on. Besides, Andrea’s uses negative space along with overlapping translucent triangles that generate other polygonal shapes and whilst Nicole carefully maps adjacent triangles. You guys are so good it’s brain-numbing. You’ve all been part of the most creative group of artists ever to pass through the Mac Lab. Thanks for making this such an astonishing year. And considering the consistent, quantifiable, year by year leaps in student achievement, it’s awe inspiring to ponder what’s going to happen next year. Talk about exciting!

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