Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Teaching Can Be Fun!

I got my teacher's version of the book today. It doesn't come with just-a-book. Oh, no. It also has:
-a student study guide
-a paper test bank
-an electronic test bank
-an instruction book on how to make power-point slides
-a disk of power-point slides
-a binder of lectures.

I don't even have to come up with a syllabus: it tells me how!

Who knew teaching could be so easy!


While I'm shocked, or flabbergasted, or something, by the excessive laziness and incompetency these additional, um, resources imply, I am nonetheless glad to have them. If I'd had a semester, or even two weeks, to prepare, I could read the book and come up with all the summary information on my own; with two days, I will take all the help I can get.

Monday, January 15, 2007


I want to teach. But I am not someone who is good at planning things six weeks away, let alone six years, so I have almost no experience. You know it: the class from this summer. So over the break, I asked if there were any classes that needed instructors.
Naturally, there were not. I didn't expect there to be, but there was no harm in asking.
I went away for the last week of vacation. The day I left, I received an e-mail from The Person Who Knows that a class had suddenly lost a teacher and would I still like to teach?
Of course.
But being away, I couldn't prep. I was actually unable to get any materials (instead of just having lots of "I have to do this first" excuses). It's Intro, so it shouldn't (ha ha ha) be hard for me to remember the information, but I worry about making a lecture class interesting. Good. Instructive, for those who want to be instructed.
I should be working on the syllabus so I have something to present to the class that first day.
And I'm catching up on all the blogs that accumulated on my week away.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Brash? Timid? BrashTimid..

I am trying to compose a letter (e-mail), a sensitive-ish one, to my advisor.
I am realizing that most of my e-mails -- to anyone -- are timid and submissive. "I think it might be good if we..." "Maybe we should..." "Is this a good idea..."
(I am hoping these are not, in fact, direct quotes.)
I am realizing that this does not put me in a good light.
I am realizing, even given the fact that the precise placement depends on the person reading the e-mail, I have no idea where the general area of the line between "confident" and "arrogant" is.
I am writing about this on my blog so that I don't have to face the fact that I just have to pick some words and then hope that either (a) my words aren't arrogant or (b) my advisor is in a thick-skinned mood or (c) both.
Here I go, facing the fact...

edit: it's done. it's sent. now for the stomach knots...

Hey. Let Go.

I'm a radio person. I don't love it -- there are long stretches of "Ick" and "Didn't they just play this song three seconds ago?" -- but since I'm not enough into music to be willing to spend money on something I'll discover I don't like, it works for me. And I sing along with the songs I like. This clues the toddler into the "coolness" of the song (toddlers are lovely the way they think grownups, especially their parents, are the ultimate cool); the toddler sings it sometimes, and requests it fairly regularly. I don't own the song (hm: maybe I'm just cheap), so we have to wait for the radio to play it. It's falling out of rotation; that is, I can no longer feel confident it will be played every morning, let alone every day. Therefore, I was extremely excited when I heard the opening bass line this morning as we drove to school. The toddler didn't quite get that it was Paralyzed until the chorus -- but that was all that was needed; we were off and singing.
My point? Apparently, I'm an attention whore. I desperately want to call the station and thank them for playing the song because my toddler loves it blah blah blah -- because I think they'll play the call on the air.
I am so very much not calling.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Let It Go LetItGo...

I had a revelation in the shower this morning.
(What? Isn't that where all revelations occur?)
People keep trying to run education like business. Cut out the deadwood, make sure that people who don't perform are fired, whatever.
Business, see, is not just output. It is also input. And the quality of the output depends, in no small (but maybe no large either) part, on the input.
But no one is policing the input. If the student is a legacy, he's accepted, regardless of how capable he is. If a student is a famous/rich person, or child thereof, she's accepted. If a student is an athelete...
This is probably obvious. Well, no. I take that back. It may be obvious to us, but it's clearly not to people who want to treat education like business. And it's not just college & up; while there's no screening of who-can-get-in in public schools, there's also no room for the difference in the input. A refiner wouldn't treat aluminum ore like iron ore (let's just pretend there's a plant that processes both. Or not; actually, it doesn't matter.) A financier wouldn't treat bond information from her dentist the same way she'd treat bond information from the WSJ. Yet educators are expected to treat children the same. Sure, there's divisions of "bright," "normal," and "slow," but what about when kids with lisps get classed with kids with ADHD? They're not "slow" in the same way.
(The title refers to not having the entry be perfect, because I, like luckybuzz, can't let anything go.)
(No, you're right, she didn't say that, but that's what I thought of in reference to myself when I read her entry.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


As seen at luckybuzz's


You scored 57 anxiety, 48 awkwardness, and 18 neuroticism!

You don't seem to be particularly neurotic, but you certainly are Phobic. You are a nervous person, with fears, worries, and doubts--but, unlike a true neurotic, these don't manifest themselves visibly. You manage fine in social situations, despite underlying nerves--the best advice I can give you? Chill!

Your high anxiety score implies that you are unable to relax, worry about the future often, and probably are plagued by irrational fears and self-doubt.

Your low awkwardness score implies that you are socially capable, are personable and charming, and probably go to parties and have fun. So. Very. Not.

Your low neuroticism score implies that you don't exhibit subtle neurotic behaviors--your nails are probably an acceptable length, your pencils aren't covered with bite marks, and your bookcase isn't arranged alphabetically by genre. Congrats!


See the other results!


The Neat Freak

The Dork

The Geek



The Subtle Neurotic

The True Neurotic

Link: The Neurotic Test written by littlelostsnail on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test