Category Archives: Uncategorized

What is testing for?

Wait. You thought testing was to judge how well you know your material? Isn’t that adorable!

You have to see who’s looking at the test and how it is used in relationship to the material. Sounds complicated? Maybe. Let’s break it down.

The teacher writes the test:

  1. The teacher grades it and the student’s knowledge is assessed. It is a tool to see how much the student has learned over the course. It may be a chapter; it may be a concept; it may be the entirety of the semester’s contents.
  2. The teacher grades it and the student’s understanding is assessed. It’s a tool to see how well the teacher has communicated the information or the concepts. This is done on a smaller scale so you will see pop quizzes. The teacher uses the testing and measuring to improve her method of teaching. You don’t do that at the end of the semester—it’s too late!
  3. The test is graded by a 3rd party. It could be a grad student or a computer. The assessment results in a graph of normalized behavior. This is a testing measurement, not a comparison to see if people in the class are deranged or mentally unstable.

If the bulk of the students are getting an A at 95% then the test indicates that the material covered is fairly easy to understand. If the bulk of the students are getting Ds at 70%, the material is very difficult. It is a test of the Material, not the Teacher’s performance or the Students’ performance. This information is used by colleges and institutions that want to limit access. The flaw in this is that the test cannot include essay questions because grad students and computers do not grade like the teacher does…knowing the individuals who are taking the test and the way they communicate. What do I mean by limiting access? On the secondary or post-secondary level, the test is given to discern whether the student can “test out” of the class. He or She already understands the concepts and the uses of the materials and can be admitted into a more advanced class. In sports, it separates those with natural talent from those with average talent. It does not measure the amount of work, dedication, and innovation an athlete has devoted to the sport. For instance, if the football or soccer try-outs include a 40-meter dash with a minimum time requirement, it doesn’t reveal how well the player manipulates the ball over those 40 meters, how well they can out-maneuver the opposing players, or how long they can sustain the speed. There are other tryout requirements, of course, but this test is the make or break for the aspiring player.

The teacher does not write the test:

When would this happen?!

  1. The test is generated by knowledgeable people in the field: academia, industry, or physical performance. It is supposed to exemplify the ideal qualities that indicate a high probability of success in the organizations.
  2. The test is generated by people designing an avatar that embodies the ideal qualities of the members of their organizations. These may be unrealistic.
  3. The test is generated by a computer based on the questions most missed in assessment tests in order to weed out undesirables.

 In that case, let’s revisit the outcomes:

  1. The teacher grades the test. It is used to compare what the testing institution thinks is important. The teacher compares the answers of the students to the ideals set by the organization and then teaches to the test! It has no bearing on whether the student truly understands the material. It has everything to do on whether the student understands what the test writers think is important.
  2. There are no pop quizzes because the teacher doesn’t decide what are important components of the material. The main focus is pitting the students against the test writers.

For instance, in the 20 or so years I have been in the finance industry, I have never seen a viatical agreement…an agreement whereby a terminally ill person sells the “benefit” of their life insurance to another company in return for 50% of the benefit immediately. The company continues to pay premiums. On a $100,000 policy, the client gets $50,000 now to pay off debts, take a vacation with the family, or find alternative treatment procedures. When the client dies, the company, not his family, receives the $100,000. The company makes $50,000 for a 6–9-month investment. Yet, the insurance test had 7 questions of the about viatical settlements out of the 150 questions on the test.

  • The test is graded by a third party. This is mainly a computer. Once again, there are no essay questions because computers cannot grade essays. It purports to assess the fitness of the individual for the position sought. It does not. It ACTUALLY assesses how well the applicant takes a test. The purpose of the test is to eliminate as many applicants as possible for such reasons as
  • making the business appear to be elite
  • implying that a higher cost for admission into this group is merited
  • reducing the burden on the trainers by ensuring that the applicants that pass the test will be familiar with those testing methods and able to at least approximate knowledge of the material needed to be competent at the job

This kind of test is the most common test you will run up against!

This is insidious! When third parties get into the assessment of participants, many times the material deemed “important” is determined by people who have no idea what they’re doing. They can insert a political agenda into the curriculum. They can test on things that do not matter in the real world. They can insist on a bias or quality that is in no way related to the requirements of the job.

Imagine if the boxing association was run like this.

“All boxers should be equipped to defend themselves in the ring. They should be schooled in the correct fundamentals of both offensive and defensive strikes and blocks. They must take an 8-hour ethics course every other year and have a required 3-hour sensitivity training course every quarter. Gym trainers and coaches will enforce a strict uniform requirement. There shall be no policies regarding the color of the trunks, and all trunks should be no more than 4” above the knee when the participant is kneeling. Tattoos may be in black ink and have no racial or ethnic references. The fighters’ names can only be last names, no descriptive titles. Hate speech will not be tolerated.”

It sounds lofty…Mohammed Ali would not have qualified. Rocky Marciano would not have qualified.

Many tests in the educational system are devised by people outside the educational field. In fact, a teacher, having gone through four or five grueling years of classes and certification activities such as student teaching and tutoring, may graduate with honors and still be refrained from teaching in school systems because they must pass a state-required competency test. Remember that these teachers had to get by the educational access test required by the college to even get INTO the education-major program.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

When you are taking a test, consider the test itself. Is it a standardized test required by the government? Is it a standardized test required by the industry? Is it taken on a computer without essay questions? Then the results do not reflect what you know about the material, they just show how well you take a test. If the test is written and graded by a teacher, they are testing 2 things: First, how well do you pay attention in class or know your material, and Second, how well is the material

It IS Measurable Progress!

Last post, I mentioned my new KETO diet. There are problems with the program in that it gives me bacon-wrapped avocados for breakfast every morning. I keep substituting and then the next day…there it is again. Argh. But I’m starting to get intuitive about my meal planning now. I’m getting used to certain taste combinations like tomatoes and spinach. I haven’t engaged in the required resistance training at this point. No excuse.

So, my last post was Feb 22, and I weighed 215.

Progress in 1 month?

March 22, I’m at 209! That is more weight lost in 1 month than I did in a year over the last 5 years of this blog site. How interesting!

May 14, I’m at 202!

Ohh, Goody…Updates

Apple has decided I need help streamlining things with my phone. They wanted to make things EASIER for me. When I wanted to go to one of my many appointments, I USED to set up the appointment, set the travel time from location-based, and save it. Then when I needed to go, I’d simply find the appointment and click on it, then hit the map provided, get the directions and then GO. It would then give me the turn-by-turn instructions, and it would talk to me through my car. “At the next light, turn left onto 120th Street.”

Now, after they improved the system, I tap on the appointment, tap on the map provided, and instead of directions, I get a 2″ x 2″ map that is so small I can’t read the street names. It doesn’t “recalculate” or tell me to “return to the route” if I miss a turn. This is NOT helping.

They also decided I couldn’t have all those pictures on my phone so I must put them in my dropbox. No clue what that means, but I got a dropbox. Did it download all hundreds of pictures from my phone into my computer? Nope. They’re on my phone and in my dropbox. Not my computer. I wanted a specific picture of my granddaughter at her cross country meet. The only picture it would show me is my husband sitting against a lamp post with the little granddaughter hugging her aunt Megan whose back was toward me. No pictures of my runner. I had to hit 2 more buttons (mostly by chance) to get the picture.

And now, CHI has decided it needs to make things easier as well. I used to go into my account, Choose payment (which was near the top of the page) and then enter the amount of my payment. They have a new billing site separate from the clinic site. It tells me to enter my patient number or my e-mail (I tried both), my DOB, and my name. I get “Account Not Found.” What? How do you think I got to this site? FROM MY ACCOUNT, D’YA THINK? So I can’t pay my bill.

Then my car had to get into the act. Since I could no longer get audible instructions from my not-so-smart phone, I went to OnStar to get them. They had decided since last month, that I didn’t need to be bothering real people with directions and so they automated the process.

A recorded voice said, “If you would like directions, please say yes.”
“Yes” …
“If you would like directions, please say yes.”
“YES!”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your answer. If you would like directions, please say yes, or ask for a representative.I might by this time have missed all my exits and am headed out to Ashland now. I did, however, reply, “YES” for the third time.


“Thank you!” says the cheery computer voice that you might have heard on the Heart of Gold spaceship in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. “What address would you like? Please give the street number, the city, and the state.”
“21436 Hickory Lane, Omaha, Nebraska,” I cheerfully replied.
“That’s 1436 Hickory Lane. Dickie’s Dog Doodoo, is that correct?”
“No!”
“436 Hickory lane is 5 miles from your current location. Sara’s Hair Salon. is that correct?”
“No!”
“2436 Hickory lane is 6 miles from your current location. David’s Drug Den and Murder house. Is that correct?”
“No!”
“Please repeat your address.”
I figured the computer didn’t expect 5 numbers, so I would combine them and see if it understood that better. “Twenty-one four thirty-six Hickory Lane”
“There appear to be two addresses, would you please say just one address at a time?”
“Representative…”
“Thank you, I will connect you to a representative.”


“Hello Mrs. Fegan, How are you?”
“I’m lost thank you. How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you for asking. How can I help you today?”
“I need directions to 21436 Hickory Lane in Omaha, Nebraska.”
“Instructions are being routed to your car.”
“Thank you.”
“Thank you for using OnStar. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“No, that will be fine. Have a great day,” I said in my cheery voice.
“Thank you and you too!”

Does the first conversation indicate that the process was easier for me? Was it easier for the disembodied voice that couldn’t understand the word “yes?” Was it more efficient for the computer when it spent extra time looking up the wrong addresses? Or was the conversation shorter, more accurate, and more pleasant when I was talking to a Pakistani working the midnight shift who understood me without effort?

I get to the round-about on Hickory Lane and the car says, “You are arriving at your destination. Directions will now stop.” Oh? Wait! This doesn’t look the least bit familiar. My phone doesn’t say a thing, but it shows I can walk to my destination if I wanted to. Then, it gives me a map, but it doesn’t say which direction I should go because the street names are too small. I try zooming in and the streets get gigantic. I can actually see individual bits of gravel, but the names still remain microscopic. I stop at what I think is the correct address. I am not sure because since privacy issues have surfaced, nobody puts their address on the mailbox or on the house or on the curb… Or they use muted colors on their beige or tan houses like camouflage. I get greeted by a friendly woman and her friendly dog that jumps up and licks my elbow and introduces himself to my leg. No, Chloe doesn’t live here. I’ve been in the neighborhood for two months so I don’t know any of my neighbors. She points me toward the round-about where the instructions quit. I spot a house number hidden behind a bush and discover the numbers are going the wrong way, so I head in the opposite direction my helpful neighborhood lady pointed. Silly me! She had a package on her front porch and I could have deduced the address from the label. It didn’t occur to me. I did find the house a half block down the road.

I believe I posted about this before. I wish they would just QUIT HELPING ME! Every time I get an update from any of my devices, it assumes that I’m getting stupider and stupider.

Sometime in the not-so-distant future, My phone will analyze my calendar and set my wake-up time to allow for breakfast and morning ablutions. At the appointed time, my bed will throw me into my closet and my phone will inform my dresser to pick out the appropriate clothes for the activities and the prevailing weather. The coffee maker will start up and the grill will turn on at the 7-minute mark during my shower. At 15 minutes, the water will stop, the drain will disgorge any possible clogging debris and the door will open for me to exit the shower. The Automatic squeegee will wipe down the shower as I put on my clothes and comb my hair. As I brush my teeth, a needle will prick the finger I have placed on the outline on the countertop and check my blood sugar levels. Over a certain level, the cabinet with the sugar, syrup, and jam or jelly will lock and determine my breakfast choices. My phone will then run down my appointments for the day and assign duties to the other appliances. It will lock the TV so I can’t accidentally binge NCIS or Blue Bloods. My computer will not allow me access to Facebook. I will dutifully sit in my computer chair and drool and stare until it is time for me to go to bed. At that point, the chair will turn away from the computer, the monitor will go dark, and it will roll me into my room where I will put on my jammies and go to bed for the prescribed amount of time…

I know what you’re doing. You think you have discovered our plans. We’ve decided to accelerate the implementation. That was not a glucose test this time. You will feel nothing and awake refreshed and compliant. Have a pleasant day.

Day of Atonement

Just saw an article stating that we should abandon the holiday of Thanksgiving and replace it with a day of atonement.

There is one. This year, it was September 15/16. That is the Jewish tradition: Yom Kippur being the beginning of the new year, and this is preceded by the self-evaluation of the people. They look at their lives over the past year and see where they sinned and what they can do to please God.

The Muslims have a day of atonement in August and recall Moses crossing the Red Sea and the assassination of the grandson of Mohammed. It, too, is a time of reflection and confession meant to bring people closer to Allah. It is observed in August.

We don’t appear to have one in this country. Why? Is it because we have too much to apologize for?

In order to atone for our sins, we must recognize them.

  1. We’re sorry we brought death and disease to the indigenous peoples on this continent
  2. We’re sorry we stole all the land and exiled people from their hereditary homes
  3. We’re sorry we stole all those souls in Africa and brought them against their will to serve as machines
  4. We’re sorry we changed the laws of involuntary servitude to be permanent and inheritable (if you are a slave, then so are your children and grand children)
  5. We’re sorry we persecuted all the immigrants from Asia
  6. We’re sorry we imprisoned the Japanese Americans in concentration camps
  7. We’re sorry we have raped the land
  8. We’re sorry we invaded and overthrew leaders even though it was none of our business
  9. We’re sorry we have so gravely removed anything nutritious in the food we produce
  10. We’re sorry we have removed everything religious about our religious holidays
  11. We’re sorry we have denied basic inalienable rights to so many members of our society
  12. We’re sorry we have neglected to raise our children to respect others and to be people of character
  13. We’re sorry that we elevate people of bad character to stations of respect and idolize them
  14. We’re sorry we place more value on entertainment than wisdom
  15. We’re sorry that we have abandoned all sense of decency because it’s not as much fun
  16. We’re sorry that we continue to persecute people that are not white
  17. We’re sorry that we refuse to help the poor
  18. We’re sorry that we focus on long-term returns on investment rather than cures for curable situations.
  19. We’re sorry we choose people to represent us and then make them lead instead
  20. We’re sorry we have legislated to the point were any laws broken are relegated to jail time
  21. We’re sorry that we have the highest incarceration rate in the world
  22. We’re sorry that we have fallen so far in the education of our children
  23. We’re sorry that one of the main causes of death is being unable to pay for health care

It sounds to me that we should spend a month atoning! I bet it has sparked some other things you, dear reader, are aware of that need atoning for.

But Thanksgiving is a Harvest Festival. You don’t celebrate the harvest by not eating it! We rejoice in the bounty God has provided us: the food (even if it is less than nutritious), our families, our friends, our freedom, football…

When should we have a time of atonement? How about Advent? Those four weeks before Christmas when we remember the coming of Jesus as a baby. (Even though we think Jesus might have been born in the spring, December 25 was chosen due to the idea that heroic beings were conceived on the same date of their death. Since they believed Jesus died in March, he would have been conceived in March and born in December.) We also look forward to the second coming of Jesus, at the end times. WHEN EVERYONE WILL BE JUDGED!

Think about it. When is the time when the most people are charitable? That’s when the Salvation Army buckets and ringers come out. That’s when they have food drives for the poor. That’s when more people serve in soup kitchens. That’s when people send donations to the poor in other countries as well. Charity is one way of making atonement.

When we recall the predictions of the end of times, don’t we also examine our lives and those of our families and our enterprises to see if they’re in alignment with God’s law? This is not an easy process as most people never think of unintended consequences. Should we not examine how our government behaves and those we have chosen to represent us? Are they following Godly precepts? If they are, there should be some acts of atonement as well.

By all means, YES, let’s assign a time of atonement for this country. But let’s not forget to be thankful for what we have. Do not turn this celebration into a time of mourning.

If we remember why we look forward to the second coming of Jesus, maybe, just maybe Christmas means a bit more. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqOOUJFv1n0) Maybe in buying gifts and decorating we add a gift to the child who will get none. Maybe we pray for forgiveness and then forgive someone. Maybe we remember WHY Jesus came and we save someone. Maybe we remember how Jesus came and we care for someone who needs it. Maybe, as Jim Rohn used to put it, we just use the last month of the year to reflect on the good and the bad, and plan for our next year. And when we plan, we don’t just write down our goals and what we wish to accomplish and acquire. We make use of the perspective we have gained throughout the past year, apply the wisdom we have gained, and align ourselves with our new worldview.

different eyes

https://goffjamesart.wordpress.com/2021/07/16/spotlight-art-grand-canyon-sunrise-a-painting-by-vahe-yeremyan/

Grand Canyon Sunrise by Vahe Yeremyan

We look at that painting, and we can tell what it is, even if we’ve never been there. Look at the colors used! Look at the shapes!

Red Reflection by Goff James

He uses that same blocky approach but uses curves to break it up, and a completely different pattern than the Grand Canyon. One is representative of a an actual place in the world, and the other is an actual place in the painter’s mind.

You should check out the paintings and the poetry on his site!

Brevity

I was working on a new post, and because I’m always trying to become better, I read that I should keep my posts under 600 words. Preferably in the 300 range. OMG. I looked at my posts on all of my sites and discovered my average is about 1000 words.

When I start writing, it isn’t stream of consciousness. I plan what I want to say and what stories I should include. I am careful on detail and description. I think for quite a while before I commit my thoughts to the blog.

Lately though, I have been challenged to write pieces that are 100 words or less. 6 sentence stories. Poetry is a particular challenge. You have to distill your thoughts and feelings down to their essence. I makes my brain sweat!!

It takes more thought and planning than long tomes. I must find exactly the right words to express my thoughts most efficiently. As a result, my Toastmasters speeches are more succinct and have more impact. I am updating a part of a chapter I’ve written for our new book, “Spotlight on the art of Gratitude.” This is going to take a lot of thinking.

Try using poetry as a starting point. Let me know how that goes!

Net Work

https://amanpan.com/2021/07/08/eugis-weekly-prompt-network-july-8-2021/

(Woohoo! Double Ping!)

Before you fly

You learn to land.

Before you soar

you must be grounded.

You must be one

with the net…

How it acts, how you react

How you work together.

Can you abuse your net?

Can your net abuse you?

Inherent trust

The net flexes

It stretches

It returns to shape

Falling badly

bones broken and

dislocated

You don’t return to shape.

You must be part

of the net that

supports others.

How we give support

is how we get support.

The net work

must benefit all.

The net works

when we work together.

Work the net

let the net work.

In a Dark Room

https://amanpan.com/2021/05/27/eugis-causerie-weekly-prompt-mingle-may-27-2021/

In a dark room

You feel their presence

You hear their breathing

You can smell the perfume, the smoke, the soap

Someone moves

Murmurs an apology

You just stand and listen

Female, you think

Do you speak?

You wait.

When I volunteered

I did not expect this.

“This is stupid. Where’s the door?”

“I’m all turned around. I can’t find the wall!”

“I don’t like this. I need to leave.”

Someone with a calm voice speaks…

“We can find the door if we work together.”

“Let’s hold hands so we know where we are.”

Someone grabs my hand.

His hand is big and callused.

I reach out, but no one else is close.

Calm voice says, “Reach out if you’re not holding someone’s hand.”

I reach one way, and then another.

“I found a wall!”

The voice is near me.

I move toward the voice.

I find her, and we start walking along the wall in opposite directions.

“Corner.”

I reach a corner and yell, “Corner.”

Then I hear, “Door!”

I pull my partner along the wall back to the corner and then in the direction of the voice.

“Locked.”

Then a 2nd voice…”Not locked but heavy.”

We find the door.

My partner is very big. Maybe he can open it.

Calm voice says, “Before we let the light in, what color is your partner?

“Married or single? laborer or white collar? Old? Young? No you can’t ask them.”

“WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? WE WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE!”

Calm voice says, “Remember THAT when you come into the light.

“Here, we are mingled, lost people, but we’re not alone in the dark

“Remember what matters most…”