A different kind of teaching for me

May 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Posted in education, life, local, motorcycles | 3 Comments
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I’ve begun the process of becoming a RiderCoach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). The first step is to take the Basic Rider Course (BRC) and pass it with flying colors. I’m registered for the class at SUNY Canton that goes from June 11 – 13. Check.

Then the good folks at Adirondack and Beyond Motorcycle Rider Training (ADKMC) who run the classes at SUNY Canton decide that they’d love to sponsor me for the RiderCoach Preparation course (RCP). Then the folks at the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP) enroll me in a local RCP, and I continue studying and volunteer to help out with (or just watch) some BRCs.

The RCP lasts about three 3-day weekends, or they may schedule it differently. Quite a commitment. There’s a knowledge test and a skills test. After passing that, I can teach the BRC for ADKMC!

The site coordinator there says teaching three courses a year (out of 18 offered) is a minimum. Less than that and you start to get rusty. I imagine they have RiderCoaches scheduled for all of the courses this season. Perhaps when I pass the RCP I’ll offer to cover any of the current RiderCoaches if they want to back out of a course they’ve already committed to and do something else that weekend.

I’m really jazzed about this. It’s something that involves a different area of my brain than my regular job, and it’ll be nice doing something non-college related during the summer. Not as good as being a tour guide in the Grand Canyon, but I’m liking the idea of it.

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Time to crawl out from under this rock

June 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Posted in family, life, martial arts, math, motorcycles | Leave a comment

Hi all,

Just some quick update stuff. I wanted to mark my return to the blogosphere with something deep and/or profound, but nothing’s coming to me. So it’s just non-deep and non-profound me here.

Dad and Sandy are coming to visit in 9 days. Excellent. It’s also giving me/us an excuse to get some delayed house projects off the back burner. Good stuff.

I haven’t been motorcycling much since Jenny hurt her back a while ago. The few solo rides I’ve taken have been good, but I’ll be glad to have my riding partner back in the saddle. Best not to rush the healing of these back injuries, you know.

I’m doing the REU again, and the team I’m directing is making progress. They also seem to be enjoying the work, which I’m glad about. I also finally got some comments and suggestions from my editor about the paper I submitted last year. Essentially, it’s recommended for publication after serious revision, but the editor’s notes are detailed and thorough. I’m digging in.

I haven’t gone back to TKD this summer, and my attendance last year was sporadic due to work. I need to get going with the physical activity, though. The gut does grow without it.

There it is. Nothing deep or profound. I told you.

Paper, textbook, and motorcycle updates

August 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Posted in life, math, motorcycles | 9 Comments

Just a couple of updates on stuff from my last entry. My paper is done, and it will likely be submitted to a journal this week! I’m very excited.

About the textbook problems: after I complained to the publisher (the email was positively scathing), our rep fixed everything to our (the textbook manager’s and mine) satisfaction. I have the new edition in the bookstore, and they took back the old ones at their expense, and all within 3 business days of my complaint. I’m upset about the price increase, but that happens with new editions all the time. Overall, I am very happy with the way the situation was handled. No hard feelings.

I got my motorcycle back with the new exhaust pipes on it. The pipes were from an ’82 Yamaha Virago 920, and I have an ’81 Yamaha Virago 750, but folks on online forums said that exhaust systems from those early year Viragos are interchangable, so I took a chance, and it paid off. They fit just fine, and it sounds great. Not too quiet, not too loud. And I picked up a windshield they couldn’t get rid of for less than half the price, and it looks great! The only problem now is I need new saddlebags, since the current ones now hit the stock pipes (which are higher than the aftermarket ones I took off). That, and I need to fix a pesky turn signal, but hopefully that’s just replacing a bracket; a quick fix. That should be done soon, but the saddlebags will have to wait … I’ve put enough money into this bike this year!

Math is Delicious!

August 13, 2008 at 11:47 am | Posted in books, comics, life, math, motorcycles, technology | 6 Comments

Check out Questionable Content, one of my favorite webcomics. It’s about a bunch of 20somethings centered around a coffee shop. I’m currently wearing this t-shirt. There are others here. Good geeky stuff.

In the meantime, I’m doing math a lot these days. The REU inspired me to get this paper that I’ve been procrasti- … er, working on, out. And for a week and a half now I’ve been incredibly productive! Talk about taking the bull by the horns and running with your nose to the wheel! It’s been great, and it looks like I’m going to meet my self-imposed deadline of getting this paper presentable, at least to a couple of colleagues to look over, and without qualifiers like, “Ignore the formatting errors in chapter three,” or, “I know the proof in the Hermitian case needs work.” This is going to be a no-qualifiers, one edit away from submission to a journal, state of done-ness.

This makes me very happy. It almost makes me not mind so much that my motorcycle’s been in the shop for a week and a half. I think I’ll call them. They said a part was on order last week, and that it’d take several days to get, so it’s not totally unexpected that it has taken this long, but I’m getting antsy.

What else is going on? Jenny’s tummy is unhappy, so neither of us got much sleep last night. My poor sweetie. 😦 She’s been doing lots of riding on her bike, though. Good for her! She’s taking it slow, practicing on the college campus after hours and on local residential roads. She’s concentrating on having excellent control, and building experience, and therefore confidence, little by little. We can’t wait til we can ride together, each on our own bike!

One and a half weeks until classes start. There was a recent issue with one of my textbooks. One company bought the textbook I was using from another company and raised the price by over 60% from the last edition. Then they had the nerve to ship us hardcover copies of the old edition, and were charging the inflated price! I sent one of the nastiest emails I’ve every sent, and it looks like it’s being taken care of at no cost to us. We’re getting the new editions, and my textbook manager won’t have to have our bookstore pay to send the old copies back. If it all works out, I’ll have no ill feelings about the publisher. I may not use this book again at this price (it’s a bit late to change at this point), but we’ll have to see.

Now I’m off to a clicker demo. “Clickers” are used for ConcepTests, classroom voting and such, and the college is evaluating several systems from various vendors. I use them regularly. I don’t recall if I’ve posted any entries about them. There’s lots of info online if you want to google “clickers,” or “conceptests.” Ta-ta!

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