Weekend grook* greeting, week 40

phone-499991_1920.jpg… I think Piet did catch a common thing with this weeks grook..… and it does seem amazingly easy to find something others do quite annoying and yet not even noticing when doing the same thing…. or the reverse..  to find things one has thought of as important and unique..  things that if someone else came up with it would be seen as insignificant…


There’s a neighbour’s telephone
with the same distinctive tone
as it pleases mine to make…
… which I find I cannot take.

well..  this also made men use about phones and phone signals..…  wondering how different, if indeed different at all, phones sounded when Piet wrote this grook…

.. anyway..  hope your weekend will be filled with appreciated variation…

* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein

Going to Frontiers in Education (FIE)

gears-1443730_1280.jpgIt’s soon time to go to FIE, this time in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. I’m really looking forward to this trip, since FIE to me in a great inspiration, where I can meet interesting people from a wide variety of backgrounds. This year will be more hectic than normal, since I’m part of a panel and four paper (1, 2, 3, and 4) presentations on top of being a member of the Helen Plants award committee. The committee selects the best special session

Special sessions are intended to be creative, non-traditional, interactive ways to engage engineering and/or computing education professionals in the frontiers of education. These are ~80 minutes in length; the number of special sessions offered is limited. These sessions intended to be of value to FIE Conference attendees, enhance the experience and knowledge of the session participants, and help advance the frontiers of engineering and computing education.

and is a great help for me in deciding on what to listen to among the wide selection of options at the conference (smile). Most of the sessions I’ve attended over the years have been rewarding experiences.

Two of our new PhD students (Virginia Grande and Tina Vrieler) in Uppsala Computing Education Research Group (UpCERG) will also attend, as will three seniors (Aletta Nylén, Arnold Pears and me) together with a soon to graduate associate to the group (Thomas Lind). The Uppsala University presence should thus be quite visible and hopefully appreciated as we will strive to use the conference as a great opportunity to get our new PhD students introduced to the area and become part of interesting networks.

Weekend grook* greeting, week 39

i-67355_1920.jpggrowing up I never felt confident about writing….. and I’m sure not due to lack of imagination….  my parents took me to the doctor to check my hearing when I was two… nothing wrong with it (then..  😮  )..…  my mothers explanation was that I had too much imagination and thus drifted into “non-hearing”…  and who am I to doubt my mother..  😉   …  seems like Piet have met (or read) writers with no lack of confidence..… especially regarding how they see themselves….

Literary grook

To imagine himself
is the poet’s art;
for his theme must grow out of
his innermost heart.

But alas, there are poets enough
on my shelves
who think it sufficient
to fancy themselves.

..  well…  guess one way to look at it is to measure what actually gets to the shelves..  :-p      …  although then I think there is a danger to always play it safe (see my recent blog on this.

.. anyway…  I know the weekend is further away than normally for this greeting (I write now due to my fathers funeral tomorrow).. but hope your imagination will serve you well this weekend…

* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein


Weekend grook* greeting, week 38

download-1002802_1920.jpg…  well this weeks grook is interesting I think….  like who is a person (really)???  …  is there really a definite answer to that… and at which level in that case???   …  take for instance, as I think Piet is doing here, someone saying/behaving in a certain way in a specific context and not doing so in another context..  what would that imply??  ..  can one really be totally consequent in what one say or do??


As people keep reminding you
the horrid things that people do
are superficial merely.

They’re really not like that at all.
It’s quite unjust of one and all
to judge them so severely.

It would be grand, it seems to me,
if people really were to be
as nice as they are really.

..   perhaps one can if it seen at a sufficiently abstract level…  sort of lifting the actions to a level where an image occur that is “consistent” and show who the person “really” is..  :-p

… anyway…  hope whatever you do this weekend will reflect who you really want to be…


* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein

Measuring the “unmeasurable” – shooting oneself in the foot?

fractal-1232491_1280.jpgGave a lecture on the Computer Science Education Research course here at Uppsala University this week. What I tried to convey were different aspects on measuring in the context of doing computing/engineering education research. I did that in the context of my efforts of trying to shed more light on the development of professional competencies in degree programs, an area that is ripe with complexity and aspects where ways to measure is far from obvious.

While preparing for the lecture, or rather discussion seminar, I became somewhat cynic and wondered if pursuing research in complex environments where measurements typically have a subjective touch is just stupid. Wouldn’t it be better to look into things where one can identify clearly measurable aspects that reviewers will recognise and feel comfortable with and thus have a better chance of getting work published? Nah, not if this meant that what I could research would be limited to simple and uninteresting things.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think all measurable things are simple and uninteresting, just that there is a danger that it could be so. I think that there is a risk that what is looked at has to be reduced, or confined, to a level where what is measured more or less loses meaning. My advice, – easy to say, much harder to do -, was to strive for balance between the complexity of issues to research and possibilities to “measure”. I think such a balance could be achieved by searching for tools and theories suitable for addressing aspects of a complex issue, aspects that are of interest and provides interesting insights into the issue. I didn’t use this “map” (made by Roger McDermott, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK, in his presentation of our paper “Investigation into the Personal Epistemology of Computer Science Students” at ITiCSE in Canterbury 2013), but it would have been a good illustration to inspire discussions about this.


Weekend grook* greeting, week 37

feet-1434700_1920.jpg… the grook this week reminded me of “det var inte med mening” (it was not done on purpose) given as an explanation instead of an apology when something goes wrong.… and yet I think that in most cases would have more of the desired effect if the latter was selected as response…  but guess it’s better than just shrugging ones shoulders as if it didn’t matter….


Some darling people you will meet
are plain disaster-prone,
and will always fall on someone’s feet,
and never on their own.

…  well…  I guess Piet is referring to something slightly different here..  maybe Gladstone Gander (Alexander Lucas) in Donald Duck (Kalle Anka) would be an example of such a “darling” person..  :-p

… anyway…  I hope you’ll avoid other peoples feet this weekend.. neither trod on others or being trod on…

* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein

Weekend grook* greeting, week 36

.. .. anothIMG_1745.JPGer weekend is approaching..  the title of this grook is relevant to thoughts emanating from my father dying last Saturday.. (which happened peacefully in his home and with his mind clear.... and feel grateful for being there with him… ) ….  sort of a time to sum up..  to think about what has been..

A grook on finding a form
commensurate with one’s subject

It may be observed
in a general way
that life would be
better, distinctly,
if more of the people
with nothing to say
were able to say it

..  I think my father comes out well when things gets summed up…..  and had things to say…  and did so succinctly..  perhaps especially when it came to using complex numbers in math education…  :-p

..  anyway…hope however you sum up your weekend it will come up positive…

* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein

Weekend grook* greeting, week 35

table-manners-1081430_1920.jpg…  the IT in Society class has started…  and it feels fine….. a good set of students that seem eager (and able)…..  and as usual the setting will be the health sector… an area where people actually should refine when being asked “how are you?”….  🙂

On wanting refinement

some people’s manners
repel you.
Ask, how they are
and, godammit,
they tell you.

.. and, well….  I guess this in many ways is a question of culture....  which is something the students will struggle with..  😉

..  anyway…  hope you’ll only have good things to say if someone ask how you are this weekend…

* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein

Weekend grook* greeting, week 34

connect-20333_1920.jpg… almost weekend again…   wonder if there’s something similar to larks bringing the weekends on…  :-p      I guess this could be seen as an example of cause and effect…   keen observations can probably “prove” almost any connection…  or perhaps the observations rather should be less than keen…

On tour

The cold ploughed field seems empty
of any living thing;
but overhead there hangs a lark,
suspended on a string.

It fills the air with trilling thrills,
so palpable and plastic,
absurdly bobbing up and down –
because the string’s elastic -,

till, duty done, and Spring harbinger,
it whisked into the air,
and lowered in another place
to spring it on them there.

....  this grook gave another association —- Santa.. and his ability to be in heaps of places almost simultaneously…  😉

…  anyway..  hope whatever sign you see this weekend will be connected to something really nice….

Weekend grook* greeting, week 32 & 33

Grook week 32

light-146595_1280.png…  been on vacation…  and the weekend is just about over already..  :-p    ..  guess that is one thing hard to imagine....  well..  I think Piet has a point here.. although I sadly think that there is too much imagination regarding how our neighbour’s tribulation might be a problem for us..


We haven’t much imagination:
it even overstrains our powers
to see our neighbour’s tribulation
as any real concern of ours.

We have too much imagination:
enough to credit, without fuss,
that all is well with all creation
whenever things are well with us.

..  but I think that’s an illusion… or rather not being those that he is thinking of here…  well, I think he describe those that “know” with very limited real base for doing so…   but if he thinks of those that knows what’s best for others than I think he might find quite a few at universities…  :-p

..  anyway…  hope your weekend will be free of anyone who would be seen as a pest…

Grook week 33


..  back to work for real…  and I guess working at a university might by some be seen as working with tons of persons that are among those that Piet is referring to in this grook….




Those who always
know what’s best
a universal pest.

..  but I think that’s an illusion… or rather not being those that he is thinking of here…  well, I think he describe those that “know” with very limited real base for doing so…   but if he thinks of those that knows what’s best for others than I think he might find quite a few at universities…  :-p

..  anyway…  hope your weekend will be free of anyone who would be seen as a pest…

* Grook taken from “Collected Grooks II” by Piet Hein