So, are you ready for the new semester?

August 24, 2007 at 6:03 pm | Posted in life, math, technology | 1 Comment

It seems everyone is asking me that these days. All this week, I think everybody I’ve run into at the college has asked that of me at least once.

My answer? “No, but I will be.”

That’s kind of why I’m here at the college instead of camping in the Adirondacks, or visiting friends in Jersey, or spending quality time with my sweetie, or just about anywhere else! *sigh*

It’s coming together, though. I’m teaching two sections of Probability & Statistics, and I’m psyched about it. I’m going to be using the computer a lot. Delivering lectures on PowerPoint, grabbing data sets off the web and computing stats on them in class in real time, having students do homework using statistical software, having them submit homework and take (some) quizzes online, etc. I’ll also be doing more hands-on activities in class than I’ve ever done. It’ll be new and different and exciting, at least for me.

I’m also teaching Modern Algebra 1 and an honors section of Linear Algebra 1. They, too, will have more hands-on activities in class. Lots of prep work.

For those about to burn, we salute you.

August 20, 2007 at 1:26 pm | Posted in festivals | Leave a comment

Everyone who is about to go to Burning Man, have a transformative week. Perhaps someday I will join you.

(But honestly, there’s a better chance of me going to Pennsic War or Starwood.)

Addictive game

August 17, 2007 at 9:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

This game is really cool! Thanks, Jenny!

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

August 17, 2007 at 12:19 pm | Posted in environment, technology | 3 Comments

Here’s a short article about the guy who invented them in the 1970’s.

Little homeowner victories

August 11, 2007 at 9:17 pm | Posted in house, life | 2 Comments

Today, I fixed the door that was coming off its hinges, and the toilet that needed new guts.

To fix the door, I needed a drill bit, so I got a set of 25 multi-purpose drill bits. Not Craftsman or Snap-On or anything, just drill bits for the occasional thing. Like drilling pilot holes in a door that was coming off its hinges. So now I have drill bits. 🙂 I also fixed the light in the upstairs hallway, but that only involved replacing a light bulb, so that’s really nothing to blog about.

To fix the toilet, I just got one of those $17 kits they sell in Ace hardware. Worked like a charm. Well, a charm that needed a good spit shine. But it worked.

I’m such a great husband/homeowner type person! I feel so handy! What trivial things these are to brag about, but I did them. In my house. Hah!

MathFest 2007

August 10, 2007 at 12:58 am | Posted in conference, math | Leave a comment

This entry was written on Thursday 8/2/07

I can do this.

I’m here at the Project NExT workshop in San Jose, California at the beginning of MathFest, the MAA annual summer conference.

I love Project NExT. I describe it in some detail here. There’s lots of workshops about things that concern people in the beginning of their careers as math professors. Lots of great people to make contacts with who are good at what they do and have expertise and a willingness to help and guide folks like me, or who are at the same stage as I am who are asking similar questions and with whom I can have some solidarity.

But perhaps the best thing about it for me this time is the much needed emotional boost. I need to be occasionally reminded that I can do this. I can be great at this. I have a great support network, I have the ability to be great at my job, and even though I feel overwhelmed and that I’m not really making progress and that I’m making so many mistakes, I can be great. They picked me as one of 80 Project NExT fellows from hundreds of applicants, which means I’ve already done good stuff, and that according to these people, these experienced people who include accomplished teachers, published authors, award winning student mentors, and an MAA president, I have the potential to be great.

I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying this because sometimes I forget it. Sometimes I don’t believe it. But I can do this. I can be excellent at my job. I can work with my colleagues, I can inspire my students, and I can have a fulfilling life besides.

Thank you, Joe, Aparna, Chris, and Gavin.

Flight regulations for baggage

August 1, 2007 at 2:58 pm | Posted in conference | 2 Comments

If you’re flying, you should know about the 3-1-1 rule.

At least they seem to have standardized it. For a while I wasn’t sure what they were allowing or not, and it seemed to change from week to week.

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