Monday, June 02, 2008


I've been acting like I'm going to be home all summer, but that's just not true. I have been continuing to work on spring cleaning and decluttering. It's amazing how much crap is in the house. It's also somewhat alarming how much of the useless crap in the basement and the garage belonged to previous owners of the house. I think I'm almost to the point that everything useless that I'm holding onto belongs to me. (I am ignoring the crap that Homeless Relative is storing.)

I haven't been spending the time making new Keynotes for calculus for the fall. New textbook, slightly different approach to the material. I have to make new slides. I haven't been making worksheets for recitation, either. All of my TAs this fall will be brand new, first year grad students (some of whom will be in the United States for the first time). I really want to give them the freedom to plan their own lessons for recitation. How hard is it to do a problem session? But, I have learned from experience that sometimes it doesn't work. They ask the students "Anyone have any questions from the homework?" The students haven't done the homework, so they say no, they don't have any questions. Then the TA gives the quiz (which the students all fail because they haven't done the homework) and lets the students leave. What should have been a 75-minute class has been reduced to 15 minutes.

My other work-related projects are being neglected, too. I'm secretly happy that the next person up the chain of command hasn't gotten me the data I need to see if our algebra course is useful or just a waste of time.

I'm leaving for MIT in about two weeks. I should start planning for that. I should start thinking about packing. I should really do something about that idiot light that has been on since October.