Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do." -- Oscar Wilde




It feels like Friday, but it's only Wednesday.  That's because I have been working to perform 2013 tax reporting at city and state levels, filed the corporate 1099s with subcontractors and the federal government; and just now completed updating my entity registration in the federal government database called SAM -- of all this work, which is fitted in and among other meetings, the SAM website gave me the most trouble.  After calling the telephone support desk, I had to change my browser to Internet Explorer in order to finally take care of the update.

You have to take these tasks like the tax filings and the  SAM re-certification as small victories over bureaucracy whenever you can get them.

For those who have lists longer than mine, here's a good article on the most effective ways for small businesses to manage their time, written in a brief and straightforward manner.  Unfortunately, teaching doesn't exactly fit into the same time management system as operating a business.

I'm working on an updated course description and website for my spring course in the UW Information School.  It's an advanced risk management course that looks at how differently such management is performed in the public and private sectors.  I designed the three hour course and  taught it for the first time last spring, inviting eight guest speakers over the course of the quarter.  Will I change textbooks?  Which speakers will I invite back?  What did I learn the last time I taught this course?  Not all the questions or the answers fit into predictable amounts of time, so I've been in swiss cheese mode more often than not.

And now it's time to stop working on the new course and think about what I'll be covering on Friday in the Law, Policy & Ethics in Information Management Course I'm teaching this quarter.  We have a "real world" discussion each week that I pick either on Thursday or Friday of each week.  It's not part of the regular reading for the course.  Instead I send the students one article to read and then have a list of questions to provoke discussion.  Looking at the topic from the multiple perspectives of Law, Policy and Ethics, the first week we talked about Edward Snowden and his actions; and the second week we talked about the president's signals intelligence address. Last week, we talked about the decision of the JPMorgan Chase board of directors to give CEO Jamie Dimon a large raise.  What will up this week?  It's not clear yet, though I'm monitoring the risk landscape in Sochi; asking myself how a soldier could be deployed 10 times and then be found nearly dead, rehabilitated and applauded for 3 minutes during last night's State of the Union address; and, as you might be able to tell, still looking for the perfect story to discuss from all three areas of information management.

Like I said at the top of this post, it feels like Friday but it's only Wednesday.

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