These past few weeks, my typical day goes something like this: Get up. Take Cu Dan to grandma. Go to work. Go to class until 7 PM. Go home. Put Dan to bed. Take a bath. Play with Dao for a bit. Jump back on the laptop around 10 PM until 2 or 3 in the morning.
Between work, school and freelance projects, I have been living and breathing in WordPress. All of a sudden, I am getting all kind of WordPress inquiries. I am going to be extremely busy in the next few weeks as well.
Forewarn, do not watch this clip if you have a light heart. It’s a video clip of a woman beating a toddler senselessly. The kid looks about the same age as my baby boy. How could a kid that young could tick off a woman that much is way beyond my comprehension. My heart simply stops to such human-less behavior. Kids at his age deserves loving and caring, not beating.
I interviewed one of my colleagues who is a mother and had taken a few online business courses. She preferred online over onsite classes so that she could be home with her son, especially after work.
She took courses in which she sat through videos and courses in which everyone joined in at a certain time. She likes the latter better because she preferred the interaction with the instructor and other students through webcam. The liveliness of the participation made her learning experience much better than going through videos.
One of her biggest complains was that the interface was way too crowded for her laptop. She had to have too many window browsers open including one for video, one for the lesson, one for class discussions and one for exercise. She wished the design was simpler to let her focus on her main task.
I also interviewed another colleague who took an onsite Linux class. The first class, the instructor walked through the installation process and helped out the students who had trouble. The other student in class could also hop on another student’s computer to help with the installation.
In each lesson, the instructor took the students through the materials. He typed command lines on screen and the students followed along. After that the students would go through the exercise on their own and then moved to the next lesson. Every three lessons, the students would have an assignment to complete for a grade. The assignment based on the lessons the students had learned.
My colleague said the course could have been easily offered online because every task required using the computer. The students could learn at the own paste and they would have more time to troubleshoot their own codes before asking the instructors or other students.
Then again he liked the onsite class because he could meet with other students. They could take a break and connect with each other. The social aspect appealed to him and he wouldn’t think that online classes would offered the same experience.
Chúc tất cả các đồng bào, đồng chí, đồng tính và đồng loại năm quý tỵ được đồng tâm và đồng lòng với nhau. Hãy đồng cảm và tôn trọng lẫn nhau. Hãy ca tụng sự khác biệt để cuộc sống thêm sắc màu và tươi đẹp.
Let our LGBT brothers and sisters show their pride too. Tet should be a celebration for all so let’s stop this divisiveness in our community. Happy Lunar New Year, my friends.
I am testing out CloudFlare with Visualgui. I run the free option and it looks promising in term of performance. So far I like the way CloudFlare optimize my site for delivery, but security is the main component that makes me interested in taking my site to CloudFlare. The set up is quite easy as well. I am going to let it run for a few weeks to see how it goes. I might make the recommendation for the Law School.
Paul Rand, 1996:
It means integrity; it means honesty; it means the absence of sentimentality and the absence of nostalgia; it means simplicity; it means clarity. That’s what modernism means to me.
To see examples, check out Steve Heller and Gail Anderson’s New Modernist Type.
A couple months ago, a new Dunkin’ Donut opened in my area and gave out medium coffee for free. I took one and converted since. I have never been a big fan of DD’s coffee, but it must be this new place with the new machines. The coffee is light, sweet and fresh, but something about its finish that gets me hooked. Now I can not go back to drink Starbucks’s bold. Now I understand why people say Starbuck coffee tastes like burnt. I am not really a coffee snob. I just need sugar and caffeine to get me through the day.
I started school yesterday. I am taking Advanced Web Design and Graduate Seminar. Each student is required to create a course page for web design, so I whipped up this. It looks like my schedule is going to be crazy again so blogging will be sporadic.
Over the holiday break, I managed to launch Black Bag, a freelance project. I also picked up another gig and will get starting soon. I probably won’t be able to take on anymore work in the next few months. I have to make time for the kids. I am still working on balancing time between work, school and family.
I also got a brand new iPhone 5 yesterday courtesy of George Mason. The retina screen is truly stunning. The typography looks crystal clear. I really hope the next iPad Mini will get retina display as well. I am holding off on the first generation.
Fantastic advice from Brian Suda on “Getting to your minimum hourly rate“:
If you are worried about losing a job because you are too expensive then you have two more problems. If you go below your hourly rate, then you are losing money. If you are too expensive even with your minimum hourly rate, then so be it and walk away. If you are worried about being too expensive and all the customer is worried about is cost, then they aren’t the best customer to have anyway. People are happy to pay a premium if they feel they are getting premium work. Sure, your rates might be higher than the competitors, but you are willing to answer the phone at strange hours or go out of your way to help or suggest new projects. You are worth your price. You can never and should never compete on price, that is just a race to the bottom. If you properly sell yourself to your customer, they might balk at your rates, but go out of their way to find the money to still work with you.
Never worry about being too high if you know your rates are reasonable.
I definitely need to take this advice myself, especially when someone from a PR company says that my price is “extremely reasonable.”