Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Days of School

  1. I have become way too committed to the Math Placement Exam. What started as a simple idea of trying to get students to take the right math class has become immensely complicated. I am pinning my hopes on the new registration system being able to handle this for us. Otherwise, I will have to learn about databases and set up a shadow registration system to handle math classes.

  2. How can I have data on 16,000 students yet still be missing so many?

  3. Do I love how I can set up a very sloppy hash to hold all this data without regard for time or space? Yes, yes I do.

  4. Yesterday was the first day of the Calculus Circus. I was psyched to see that the class nearly fills the big lecture hall. I like to have the room capacity be as close as possible to the class size. I like there to be a sense that you have to get to class early in order to get a seat.

  5. Newest educational technology SNAFU: When I bring the stylus for the Sympodium tablet towards the tablet, it causes interference with the wireless mic. Maybe you know someone whose car radio makes funny noises right before someone in the car's cell phone rings? Similar. This is bad because my entire teaching style is based on fill-in-the-blank PowerPoints, so writing on the tablet is important. Were I thinking on my feet, I would have told my students the story about the lightsaber sound effect. Instead I turned off the mic and tried to talk loudly. And I thought that I had everything under control because I brought my own 9V battery for the wireless mic (people frequently forget to turn it off).

  6. Today was the first day of the CS class that I'm taking. The guy teaching the class has a way better teaching schtick than I do. Of course he teaches a way different audience than I do. Would I find him as entertaining if I were a real undergrad? Not sure.

  7. There is another student in my CS class with purple hair. And his is all purple, and he has a mohawk.

  8. I should be planning class for tomorrrow. I keep reminding myself: With careful planning I can double-dip on lesson plans for my two honors classes.

  9. My honors classes are awesome, by the way. I love smart kids.

  10. More to follow, once I deal with this placement crap.