Aug
12

Dog days of summer

Filed Under (program evaluation) by Molly on 12-08-2014 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Wikipedia says the phrase of “dog days” refers to the sultry (read: HOTdog days of summer) days of summer, typically July and August in the northern hemisphere. In Oregon, it is definitely August. It was 100.4 yesterday; 96 the day before. I didn’t sleep well, even with fans and cool evenings (low 60s). This is the hottest summer I’ve experienced in the 16 years I’ve been in Oregon–there were 10 days of hot weather in May, June, and July; and now so far in August. The Dog days are also when the star Sirius can be seen (assuming there is no cloud cover, a common phenomenon  in Oregon–if not the winter rainy season, then summer thunderstorms.) Dog days were thought to be when “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man (sic), among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” according to Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813 (A Compendious Analysis of the Calendar; Illustrated with Ecclesiastica, Historical, and Classical Anecdotes 2 volumes).

Personally, I don’t think there are frenzies of anything; it is all I can do (and I see others as well) to get what has to be done, done. (Phrensies is an obsolete spelling of frenzy.) Certainly the heat will cause humons to have fevers and hysterics (tempers); I just can’t see humon doing much right now. Dogs, however, are a different story…especially with thunderstorms.barking dog

The evidence of summer is everywhere: the thermometer, the flurry of email messages about school starting, the frenzy of the pace of deadlines, my children leaving, the plethora of tomatoes and zucchinis; I’m sure there are others I haven’t mentioned. All this evidence can be counted and compiled; it provides value to what I do. What everyday activity can I do to keep me moving forward; oh wait…I can evaluate a whole manner of things. Perhaps the easiest is books.  I can go back to my library (in between answering emails and deadlines) and learn something new; something I didn’t know before. Something that may be useful or may not (I don’t know).  Two books that jump out at me that I need to digest–Altschuld’s new book and a book by James C. McDavid and Laura R. L. Hawthorn. Book reviews are a form of evaluation that isn’t frenzied. Reading becalms; reading enriches; reading increases knowledge and expands horizons without leaving home. What else can one do during the dog days???Dog days Summer-Reading

mytwo cents.

molly.

 

References

Altschuld, J. W. (2014). Bridging the gap between asset/capacity building and needs assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Brady, J. (1815) Clavis Calendaria, vol. II, page 89. Nichols, Son, and Bentley, 1815.

McDavid, J. C. & Hawthorn, L. R. L (2006). Program evaluation & performance measurement: An introduction to practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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