Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School

I think that it will get very easy for me to get used to teaching a Mon-Tues-Weds schedule with my only class on MW being in the afternoon. This gave me all morning to redye my hair, go to yoga class, and figure out what I was going to wear. When I told a student who couldn't find me this morning that "I was in class" what I meant was "I went to yoga class instead of heading in to the office earlier than I had to." This was the right choice, I think. The hair is now a multi-toned red-burgandy-purple, as I had fading purple and mixed red with purple and applied it rather unevenly. Since I don't teach again until Monday, I should be able to squeeze in some time over the weekend to fix the hair.

The first day is pretty easy in the big calculus class. I mostly talked about syllabus stuff, the logistics of online homework, and then I let most of the group go when I dealt with the weird problems and special cases of students who had them. Since 10-15% of the students had things to talk about, I was there until the end dealing with such things.

Soon I need to fix my calculus slides from last semester to be the calculus slides from this semester. Even though I'm not using clickers, I think that I'm going to keep all of the clicker questions in my slideshows. They will no longer be graded. Since we're using mandatory online homework (costs $35 or requires the purchase of a new textbook -- custom edition with limited resale value) and the university has switched to a new clicker vendor (few used clickers around campus, new clickers are $50), I didn't want to require too many expensive technologies.

Never did get a chance to call the dentist's office today during their office hours (8am - 4pm). Need to have my temporary crown adjusted so that I can eat food that requires chewing. I've found a method of chewing where temporary-19 doesn't bump too much against real-14, but it's not how I normally like to chew. I've already been warned that when the real crowns come in that I will definitely need to have them adjusted. The dentist took many, many, many impressions, but with my bad bite, the lab won't be able to make perfect crowns. (Yesterday I had a cracked amalgam filling in 19 removed and 19 prepped for a crown and I had the badly fitting crown on 18 destroyed and all of the decay removed from under the old crown and 18 prepped for a new crown.)

Tomorrow will be spent crunching all the data I'm collecting from the 270 students who haven't yet demonstrated that they have passed the prerequisites. Many of them would be a lot closer to getting what they want if they were nice to me. Just like how at my summer job I was the one who said yes to everything and my primary minion (who was everyone's friend and the most social mathematician that I know) said no to everything, I am a pushover. But only if you're nice to me. Tomorrow afternoon is the class I'm taking (for which there was reading assigned for the first day!).

And Friday? Friday I have no classes whatsoever. Sure I had to take a 12.5% pay cut to get this nice schedule of no teaching on Thursdays or Fridays, but 12.5% of my low salary isn't that much to give up. Seems worth it so far.