Friday, October 06, 2006


I'm back. It's been a busy semester. Somehow this feels busier than when I had 400-500 students, possibly because I have four sections and three different preps, all of which are completely new to me. (I have taught an algebra class of sorts 12 years or so ago, but I don't have anything from then anyway. Nor would I use it if I did, probably; I was pretty green at that point.) It also doesn't help that I may have arranged to do too much grading in my classes. My ideas about expectations for grading in what I now consider "small" classes may not have been in line with the school as a whole. Live and learn.

Anyway, some updates on what's happening here:
  • I finally have all of my furniture, including a lovely and comfy leather couch and armchair. Pictures may finally follow if I can declutter the place enough.
  • Looks like I'm getting to teach a special topics course in the Spring semester. I've got a proposal in for consideration to make a course on chaos and fractals. (If that doesn't get approved, I could do complex or numerical analysis.) The course is to be dual listed for students in the math ed masters degree program as well as an elective for advanced undergrad math majors, which means I may get to have a lot of fun with it. It may lend itself to a lot of interesting class activities, and I may not be expected to be super-technical all the time. I'm currently hunting for a textbook I like. The ones I've looked at tend to either be too technical, too vague, or cover only one of chaos or fractals, with sparse discussion of the other.
  • Interesting note about my spring schedule: I have three classes which meet one day a week for three hours. I've never taught one of these before, and I'm not sure what I'll think of it. I may like it for the ability to have large chunks of uninterrupted time to do activities and link different ideas together before anyone has a chance to forget them. Or I may hate trying to cram a week's worth of material into one night and feel completely exhausted at the end of each. I'll let you know.
  • I've given all of my first exams. I think I may have been overly easy in the course for majors; the grades came out extremely high. It was balanced out by my algebra classes, where the students completely bombed. I'm offering a "bonus quiz" next week to raise scores a bit, since I desperately need these students to understand things like what the domain of a function is, how to graph, and how to simplify exponents.
  • I seem to have some cold that was floating around for a while, but I'm not doing too badly. Just a sore throat really. So I'm wearing a scarf and carrying hot tea everywhere. I've just run out of green tea and honey this morning, too.

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