Matt's Blog

Archive for September, 2007

Back to School… or… not?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Yesterday was the day when everyone went back to school… The day most people dread. But, what did we go back to school for?

Most school in British Columbia have a short day the first day. For me, it was barely 15 minutes. We all got up early, went all the way to school, went to our homeroom and were done within 15 minutes. Most of us then went back home. You starting to see something wrong with this picture?

So, we had to get to school. Some parents drove their kids (possibly taking the day off work to do so), some kids took the bus (like me) and some kids walked. Gas now-days is expensive, you have to pay for the bus. Some kids it probably takes an hour to get to school. All the teachers have to go to school so they can hand out our schedule, agenda and give us a locker. Then we can leave, and go home.

What a waste of time! It’s wasting money for students/parents in possible transportation costs, it’s costing the teachers to get their and it’s costing the school money to have the school open, clean and heated! What for? 15 minutes of crap.

Also, another thing, we’re going their to give the school money (school fees). Yes, I like the fact that I don’t have to do anything on the first day of school, but still. Why not just make it a full day, or just start school on Wednesday and give out our stuff before our classes.

As for the school fees, those are stupid to. The law passed about not having to pay for classes essential to graduating has way to many loopholes. You have to pay for any workbooks you might use. Workbooks you usually need for the class. Why should we have to even pay any school fees? The Province newspaper reports that in BC, the provincial government is giving $5 billion to education (which works out to be about $7000 per student). How does that not cover any school costs? I can understand paying for materials you use in a class like Metalwork or Woodwork, but the rest of the fees (except the yearbook) should be covered. I also think that the school should provide some basic school supplies to students. Supplies like pencils, pens, erasers, white-out and paper. A lot of families can’t afford to pay for all that.

What a complete waste of time for everyone, and a complete waste of money.

What do you think about this, and is it a similar situation in schools in your area?

Google Reader Changes

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

It looks like the Google Reader team has made some minor-ish changes to Google Reader!

You can now hide your subscriptions by clicking a little arrow between your subscriptions and the feed entries. Once they’re hidden, the feed entry space expands to fill the gap. There is then a little “My Subscriptions” link that expands into a dropdown of all your feeds, when clicked.

My Subscriptions Link

My Subscriptions Dropdown

The loading “screen” is different now too. Instead of a Erlenmeyer flask and “Loading…” in the center of the window, it’s a little yellow “Loading…” with a little circle animation in the top center of the window.

New Loading Screen

Even though the new changes are fairly minor, I like them.

Update [September 5, 2007 @ 9:30 PM]: There’s a search box in the top-center of the page now, with a dropdown box to narrow your search to certain feeds and/or folders. Sweet.

Update [September 5, 2007 @ 10:37 PM]: The Google Reader blog confirms this. You can also use the Back/Forward buttons in your browser, and the unread count stops at 1000, now, instead of 100. Awesome.