Friday, April 18, 2008


  1. Dealt with most of the grading. Hundreds of papers passed under my pen. Dozens remain.

  2. More medical excuses! A student (not in my class) is dealing with a condition so rare that I can't even hint at it because it's likely that it might be covered in the media, and I don't want to write about students in identifiable ways. Another student has a condition that is of the embarrassing/TMI variety; I really would have been much happier to receive a vague note citing "health reasons."

  3. Held a focus group of calculus students about the possible new calculus book. They LOVE the book that we HATE. Well, that most of us hate; one person on the committee likes it. The students only saw the section relating to the material that we'll be covering in class next week, so their comments can be taken as general comments about overall style and readability. The coverage of limits makes me wince. But if the students will actually read the book they paid for, I can revamp my entire method of teaching limits. We'll see what Tuesday's focus group says.

  4. Issue for a future post: How much academic freedom to low-status instructors have when teaching introductory math classes. I can see this as a serious issue for composition (because you have to write about something, and if you want to make an argument, you can't start with something that everyone obviously agrees with) and even for basic, say, Spanish (social and economic situation of Spanish-speaking people in North America). But what about algebra?

  5. Dentist yesterday. Passed!

  6. Sold about half the CD collection for about $500.

  7. Seems possible that for the first time EVER I will have all the students in a non-honors class pass! No Fs! This was made possible because slacker-girl was able to drop with a W well after the drop date. Either she withdrew from school entirely or else she convinced someone to bend a rule.

  8. All sorts of students in other classes want me to bend the drop deadline rule for them. For things that are their own damn faults.