Friday, September 28, 2007

Fame and Fortune; At Last They Come Home Where They Belong

In Wednesday's geology lab, we participated in a minerals/rock-identification exercise that was really a review of the previous geology course I took last fall. It was great fun, and a good reminder of why I'm so interested in geology.

So at the end of the lab, my lab partner and I were attempting to identify "unknown rock C," along with about 7 other students. Clustered around the table at the front of the room, we debated what minerals were present in the rock, whether it was more mafic or felsic, intrusive or extrusive, and attempted to locate the rock on a chart that would help us identify it.

"Andesite," I said. "I think it's andesite."

My colleagues gathered around differed, each offering a different hypothesis as to the identity of the unknown. Eventually the TA -- noticing our debate -- came over to walk us through the identification process. After this, she finally pronounced that the rock was . . . andesite.

One of the students (a member of the university marching band, I believe; probably all of 19 or 20 years old) said to me, "Next week, will you be my lab partner?"

YEAH! Score one for the old lady of the class!

Dear Geology Major . . .

who sits in front of me in my geology class:

Your swiveling classroom seat is not an easy chair or a lounge chair or your living room sofa. You are sitting in class, not in front of the TV. The professor's lecture may be boring, but I bet if you really try, you can drum up a bit of enthusiasm for understanding how the systems that make up our atmosphere work. When you slide your butt down in your chair, stretch your long legs out in front of you, and reach back with your arms as if you are participating in some crafty new-age yoga pose, your hands end up about two inches in front of my nose. I could casually reach over with my pencil and poke you in the top of the head. In other words, you are seriously invading my personal space.

I have refrained from doing so thus far, out of kindness to your kind in general (i.e. young, silly undergraduates) and because I enjoy watching the professor get astonished at your overall stretchiness and flexibility in the middle of a classroom lecture. But my patience is nearing an end. If you feel a poke on the top of your prematurely balding head, or if the backwards-pointing brim of your baseball cap gets knocked down any further than it already is, you'll know it's me.

Signed,

Old Lady Who Sits Behind You In Class

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You Never Call, You Never Write

I'm trying not to complain, but since I had to miss class on Monday (because I was doing some professional development work for a school district) I emailed my professor on Friday, asking for Monday's homework so I could get started on the homework on Tuesday. Here it is, Tuesday night, and still no response.

Guess I'll pick it up in class on Wednesday.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Homework

In this semester's attempt to achieve science nerd queen-ness, I'm taking a 2000 level geology class that takes a systems approach, involves some chemistry, and really pushes on my (somewhat rusty) quantitative skills.

It's that last part that is the reason why each week's homework (handed out on Monday; due on Friday) TAKES ME ALL WEEK TO FINISH SUCCESSFULLY. Last week's assignment involved the quadratic equation. Now I do remember learning the quadratic equation back many, many years ago. But really, in my life as an English/adolescent literacy type, there's not a whole lot of call for it. So this week, as in every previous week, the homework (initially) stumped me. I got help from all and sundry, including Footslogger, my math teacher friends, the class TA, and a math professor. Eventually I did finish it, though I'm pretty sure there are mistakes in it.

We also had a test on Friday, and I'm pretty sure I did ok. As always, the content of the course is interesting, and the math points up the weaknesses in my background. Oh, and how long it has been since I took algebra (24 years, to be pointed).

On a completely unrelated topic -- but one that is on my mind this weekend -- I heard a rumor (oh, how I hope this one isn't true) this weekend about a former student caught in some reprehensible behavior with a high school student. Makes. Me. Sick. I know this behavior is not a reflection on me or my teaching, but it makes me feel that I failed this student somehow. It is a sobering reminder that my students -- future teachers -- have huge responsibilities to their students and to the parents of those students. Which makes my responsibility that much more serious.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh, the drama.

Just a short note to say that I'm freaking out because I have no idea how to do my homework assignment for my geology class. It involves half-life and requires manipulation of an equation.

Can you say 23 years since I took algebra?

I'm going to try to email my lab instructor to get some help. Or maybe my husband can help me. Otherwise, I'm lost.

Education? Computers?

OK, I saw the career thing flying around at Dr. Crazy and Profgrrrrl, and decided to go and do it myself.

So here are my top 10 careers, according to Career Cruising:


1.Professor

2.Foreign Language Instructor

3.ESL Teacher

4.Music Teacher / Instructor

5.Computer Support Person

6.Computer Programmer

7.Computer Trainer

8.Elementary School Teacher

9.High School Teacher

10.Multimedia Developer

I find it quite interesting that ALL of the top 10 involve either education (which I've been doing for lo these 23 years) or computers (which I'm a freakin' geek about).

If you want to go and try, the username is nycareers and the pw is landmark.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Summit video

video

Here's a short video of the final summit of Katahdin, the successful end of my pursuit to complete the Appalachian Trail. Narrated by Footslogger, of course.