Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Freshmen Are Rude

This morning in lecture, I had serious difficulty restraining myself from casting hairy eyeballs, uttering loud sighs, and coughing in (mostly passive-aggressive, I admit) attempts to shush the loud freshmen around me. The loudest bag of cookies ever opened, conversations about how boring the class was, and people dropping CPS units in class were all ganging up on my patience quota, attempting to frustrate me right out of my gourd.

I restrained myself by promising I would tell you reader(s) all about it.

See, my professor was not in class today, so the lab director (also with a doctorate) who just happens to be fairly young and female, took his place to lecture. I noticed a DISTINCT difference in the way students were behaving toward her, talking away as if she was not lecturing in the front of the room, etc. Perhaps there is something going here in terms of gender? Hmmm?

Anyway, it annoyed me and I wanted to tell you about it. And I wanted to cut off the ears of the cookie-eater behind me, but that is for another time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Drum Roll, Please . . .

I. Made. The. Highest. Grade. In. The. Class.


Monday, September 18, 2006

And another thing . . .

I have a test on Friday. Think of me, please!

An Elephant

Rough draft of a poem written recently in a meeting:

A monstrous elephant
is rampaging through this meeting room,
thrusting his tusks through the upholstery
and battering away at the polished tabletop.
His massive head butts up under
the lip of the table, overturns it
and tramples heedlessly on the meeting
minutes, paper clips, and agendas.

The conversation glides quietly on,
with barely a ripple to mar
the calm surface.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nuclear huh?

You might be wondering, dear reader(s), how things are going in the science nerd sweepstakes I have recently entered. Well, everything has, in fact, been going along swimmingly. I had to change where I sit because the band dorks turned out to be non-stop talkers -- very distracting, when I'm trying to figure out science for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. I do have a huge bruise on my arm: on Wednesday in class, because some guy came in late, everyone in his row had to stand up to let him squeeze into the really tiny row. The girl who sat behind me stood up and DROPPED HER NOTEBOOK ON MY ARM. Ouch. But I am willing to take the beatings and the torture, just to be a science nerd.

I will say that my lack of science background caused me a momentary problem on Wednesday, when the professor -- who is really great -- was lecturing on the origins of the universe. He got the nuclear fusion part and showed us this diagram:

It looked like this to me:

but I went straight home and asked my even more science nerdy husband about it; I think I understood his explanation.

Today in lab we had to identify rocks, and that was somewhat difficult. The girls at my table and I kept looking at rocks and saying "Is that metallic? It's kind of shiny... but maybe it's not." Then there were issues with whether this rock would scratch glass, or could be scratched by a penny, or was metallic, or fizzed when an acid solution was poured on it, or tasted like salt, for god's sake. Complicated, especially for me and the other freshmen.

But now I can definitely identify galena and pyrite and probably plagioclase feldspar. Which is good, because we have a quiz next week!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fern Envy

I got this fern from a colleague who said it had outgrown her house. Now it's in the process of outgrowing mine. It's huge and beautiful, of course, but the question is, where do I put it? It needs to be in a bright room without direct sun. And it needs to be up off of the floor, or my cat will eat pieces of it and vomit a lot. Right now, it's in a room on the north side of my house and it's on a baker's rack that's really too shaky and small for it. I'm thinking of buying a plant stand, but probably in that room, which I think will work ok.

Any suggestions on the care and feeding of unknown ferns?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Nap Cat

This handsome guy is one lucky cat. His name is Loner, and he's been with me since he was found abandoned as a young guy. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 01, 2006

As a Freshman . . .

Since I'm now taking a freshman level class, I'm technically both a faculty member and a freshman. It's been an interesting experience (now that I'm so experienced, with a week of class under my belt!), reminiscent of My Freshman Year by Rebekah Nathan (that's actually a pseudonym for Cathy Small at Northern Arizona University). I've sat in class and listened to interesting discussions like this one that took place between a couple of band dorks (I can say that, cause I was in the band in high school) behind me:

Male Band Dork: Wow! It's really crowded in here. I can't wait till next week.
Female Band Dork: Why next week?
Male Band Dork: Everyone goes to class for the first week. Next week, they'll all be skipping, and we can spread out a bit.

Skipping class? WTF? Why would anyone do that?

Also, I've noticed that, towards the end of class, these kids (and I say "kids" because I'm the only grey-haired chick in the bunch) start closing their books and putting them away just like my high school seniors always did, religiously, in the last 5 minutes of class. It always bugged the shit out of me then, and it still does, even though I'm not the teacher.

By the way, the website associated with this course is freaking amazing!! I'm completely impressed.

My class looks to be great, although my lack of background in chemistry is going to bite me in the butt, I believe. It took me quite a while to work my way through the section of chapter 2 on atoms and their accompanying electrons, neutrons, protons, etc. Luckily, my husband has long been a science nerd, so I was able to close the book and say "OK, here's what I just learned about electrons. . . is that right?"

We'll see how I do on the first test . . .