Monday, March 29, 2010

Not My Day

  1. SMARTSympodium wouldn't work in calculus class. Had to call tech. Class started late because of technical difficulties. Finished early because I was so flustered that I taught too fast.

  2. Calculus students in my office hours this afternoon have so little comprehension of algebra that they can not possibly have any real appreciation for calculus except as a rote series of procedures. Fortunately for them, I teach calculus in such a way that you can excel by memorizing procedures. Unfortunately, if you don't understand that if you have y = f(x) and an x and you are looking for a y, then you should plug in x, then there is an awful lot of memorizing to do. Doing max-min problems is hard if you have no sense of what it means that the original function outputs ys, the derivative outputs slopes, and the second derivative outputs concavity. Also when you solve 4(x - 6) = 0 as having solutions of 4 and 6, there is not much that I can do at this point. My students have no sense of zero divisors. I try to give the rule of thumb: You can't have more solutions than you have xs.

  3. A calculus student emailed me with some bullshit excuse about not being able to take the exam on Wednesday. I can't decide if I'm pretending to fall for it or if I'm going to reel it in and call her on it. I've decided to ask what time the flight is leaving before I ask the student to forward me the E-Ticket information with the airline and flight number. It is not my fault that the university gives off Good Friday instead of Easter Monday even though everyone's travel would be easier if we got off Monday instead of Friday.

  4. Been blankly staring at the computer all afternoon without getting anything done. Still exhausted from the conference. Not only was there a lot of stuff going on, but I don't sleep well in hotels.