Sunday, September 20, 2009

A weekend at home. A chance to get caught up, watch some horrible (High Plains U) and great (Southeast Doc School) football, baking, household chores, and.... um... thinking about grading.

Laundry? Check.
Dishes? Check.
Mow the yard (hopefully for the last time, as there is snow predicted for this week)? Check.
Grading? Not. Even Close.

So, Friday was my first exam in sedimentology/stratigraphy. I would say that I prepped well for the exam -- I read all four chapters, didn't miss a day of class or lab, took good notes, downloaded the powerpoints, made index cards of the important points, and spent about 2 hours just studying the index cards. I think I did pretty well on the exam, although I was surprised by the design of it. I had expected multiple choice questions, which would be much easier to grade (though harder to design). The test was almost all short answer, drawing diagrams, definitions, etc. Lots of writing, and I was just able to get it finished in the 50-minute time period of the class. I had memorized the formulas for things like the Reynolds number, the Froude number (dimensionless numbers designed to differentiate between levels of flow). I didn't write the formulas down as part of the definitions, and after I left the exam I thought perhaps I should have. But I did indicate in my definitions what the controlling factors of each formula were.... so perhaps that will be good enough.

I do feel like what we're doing in lab is definitely helping me understand the content of the course. And so far, that seems to be fairly unusual!

I've also decided to write a sabbatical leave proposal for a one-semester gig during spring of 2011. That will be when I'll be finishing up my current two-year study, and I hope that I'll be able to devote a considerable amount of time to analyzing data and writing manuscripts. Sabbatical leave proposals are due at the end of the month -- writing mine should be fairly easy since I have a good description of my research project in my grant application.

In other -- more interesting!-- news, Roxy has now completed half of her first obedience classes. She's doing quite well at learning the commands we are working on, and managing to control -- most of the time -- her excitement about being around other dogs! and people! during the classes! This morning she ran around the back yard, apparently stepped in poop, and promptly jumped on top of our new bedspread to share her fragrance. Slogger gave her a bath, and I did poop patrol just before starting with the mowing.

Now it's off for a shower and a shopping trip -- I have some unspent gift cards that are waiting patiently to be used.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grad Student Love

No, it's not kinky.

I just love my new grad student, Single Mom. She was an undergrad in my courses several years ago, and after getting great teaching experience for three years in the public schools, she decided to pursue our new doc program. Thrilled! Single Mom is helping me teach my junior-level course. Well, she's actually pretty much in charge of it. Using my lesson plans and powerpoints from last year, she is in charge of planning. We teach together, and she is doing most of the grading.


And unlike the last grad student I taught with, Single Mom and I have very much the same approach to teaching. We see eye to eye, and that is fabulous.

In other news, I had to write rejection letters for some manuscripts this week. That was hard and it sucked.

Plus I have a test in sed/strat this Friday, and it involves.... physics. I guess I need to study.