My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Thursday, June 13, 2013


I'm re-reading the instructions for the 2012 1040.

And I'm reading the instructions for the FBAR and realizing I'm in breach of the reporting laws. And the government is threatening to fine me $100,000 for not realizing I should be reporting my maybe $20,000 Japanese life insurance policy to the feds.

I have a hard time understanding why I should be reporting all this information to the US government when I live and work outside the US and properly pay my taxes, mandatory health insurance, and mandatory retirement here in Japan where I live.

And my children see me struggling with the reporting laws and wonder why they should have any interest in claiming their US citizenship "privilege". (My wife gave her green card back precisely because of this nonsense.)

And the irony of ironies, I have to use proprietary software owned by Adobe to report it in a proprietary format owned by Adobe ... on a machine whose operating system Adobe does not deign to support.

Most tax documents can be viewed and printed using free/libre or open source software. Adobe has "graciously" refrained from suing the viewer projects so that this can be done. But the FuBAR is different. You have to fill it in and submit it electronically. That requires Adobe's PDF viewer. But Adobe's PDF viewer for Linux is old and has dozens of known vulnerabilities.

And, if, like me, you choose to run a secure OS like openBSD, not Linux, Mac, or MSWindows, you're sold up the river.

What's the use of using a secure OS if you have to tear huge holes in it to send your reports to the feds?

I can't afford a throw-away computer.

Why is this ironic?

You don't really need even a PDF reader to organize a small financial report like tax reports or bank account reports.

Colon-tagged plain text, signed and encrypted with gnupg or pgp should be all you need. And it would be infinitely more secure, and the signature would be orders of magnitude more reliable. And the size of the signed report would be about an order of magnitude smaller.

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Courtesy is courteous.