My Dreamweaver class
I started teaching another Dreamwaver class last week at the New York Hotel. This time my students actually had the skills I required, unlike last time. This time I even have a Mac expert, a Linux expert, and a programmer in my class. Some of these people could even teach me a thing or two on a computer.
The only prerequisites I have for my class is that they're comfortable in front of a computer with the Windows OS, they can websurf and they can email easily. That's it.
Last class I taught in July, I found myself saying things like "When I said to press the Enter key, what I really meant was Press the Enter key. I wasn't trying to be cryptic about it." It was like pulling teeth with some of these students. They didn't even have those minor prerequisites I required, even though they claimed extra skills like knowing some HTML.
I find that when their checks clear, it eases the pain. I'm not about to give a refund if they're own lies caused the problem. I love it when they apologize to me when they don't do their homework or come late. Why should I care? They only hurt themselves because they learn less that way and their money still goes into my bank account. I teach adults and I try not to treat them like babies even if they act like babies. If it's a graded class, I have no problem flunking them. They're only hurting themselves, so why do they bother apologizing to me?
Some of them get upset when their own incompetence, laziness or lies do them in, so I just bring donuts and the sugar makes it all better for them. OK, so maybe I do treat them like children just a little ;)
This class is far better though. They require little guidance and ask excellent questions. I can even have them just follow the text on their own and then give them tips on where the book went a little wrong or what's best in practice rather than theory. I even had the time to tell them about setting up graphics for the web using Photoshop and Fireworks since they learn so fast.
My Flash Film Festival
I set this day up so people could see some of the best entertainment on the web. I expected a larger audience, but the people that did come enjoyed it immensely. Three hours past before I took a break and they had no idea so much time passed. They were so entertained that they felt no passage of time. I already set up another Flash Film Festival for October 26th, due to popular demand and hopefully I'll get more than only a dozen people this time. I may change that date though. I haven't decided.
Among the entertainment I showed was:
The Go Sick Videos - which is Candid Camera on Acid
George Lucas in Love - an excellent spoof on Shakespeare in Love which shows George Lucas' inspiration for Star Wars
Losing Lois Lane - a short film on what happened when Superman went through a tough break up with Lois Lane and had to find himself again. Even Danny Strong from Buffy the Vampire the Slayer was in it (he played Robin). It was a more human approach to looking at superheroes.
Four More Years of Vader - Darth Vader has just been re-elected and is explaining his positions for the next four years in a TV news interview. He explains that the people of Alderan are much better off than under the tyrannical flip-flopping influence of Princess Leia and that much of the trouble was caused by the rebels concealing WMDs
American Jedi - What happens when you cross Star Wars Episode 1 with American Pie? You get a teenaged Obi Wan Kenobe who must complete one task before becoming a true Jedi; getting laid.
Zombie College - The award winning cartoon series. A young boy named Scott follows his heart and goes to Arkford University, also knicknamed Zombie College because some of the students are really the living dead. Can he pursue his dreams and avoid having his brains eaten? This is a comedy, believe it or not.
Napster Bad A humorous attack on Metallica back in 2000 when they opposed Napster</a>
The Sick mind of Joe Cartoon - He made cartoon mutilation and sick humor into a popular artform. I actually met Joe and he is a very funny, generous, hard working, and eccentric person. He's also a bit nuts, but it's part of his charm.
Craziest - The award winning short story of one woman's brush with the game Scrabble and madness.
The Cartoons of Jib Jab - This team created many popular political animations that are both musical and comedy masterpieces. I also included the hidden musical Godzillary when Hillary Clinton ran for the Senate in 2000. It's hidden because seeing Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani knock down buildings as giant monsters is not as funny after 9/11
Killer Bean 2 - One of the most popular web animations ever. It's been seen on the web over 10 million times.
Ultimate Stick Death - Stick figures with bad ass martial arts skills.
Bohemian Political Rhapsody A spoof on the 2004 election to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
The God and Devil Show - If God was Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford was the Devil, they'd still have a popular talk show together. Here they are interviewing Charlton Heston and you get to send him to heaven or Hell at the end
My work at Bear Stearns
One of the cheapest clients I ever worked for in many ways. They even have a ban on paper clips. Their CEO decided that paper clips were the most expensive way to bind a document, so he refused to spend money on paper clips. Everyone there has to either buy their own or find another way to bind a document. They also short change the driver of the car drivers they use to pick me up and so they hate picking up anyone working for Bear Stearns. Bear Stearns is constantly looking for ways to cut my billable hours and it's a constant source of aggravation.
My work at the NY Psychiatric Clinic
They still can't decide on all the features on the database I built for them and have me constantly change it. They owe me a small fortune already and getting money out of them lately is getting harder and harder. They're supposed to give me a large check at the end of next week, but it won't be for all they owe me.
A house call I made
I usually don't do House Calls, but someone really begged me to do it. She promised me she'd pay me whatever I wanted and would make it worth my while. I wanted to give it to my buddy John, but she only trusted me. So reluctantly, I did it. I made a decent amount of money though. It was a hardware problem and I'm not a hardware expert. However, I got the job done.
This was for an Autism doctor. She also showed me the difference between how a child with Down Syndrome and a child with Autism reacts to stimuli through video consultations. It made sense to me even though I'm not a doctor.