April 29th, 2008


Fade Away, Radiate...

Grades Are Done

I suppose technically I finished them last night, just after midnight when I went ahead and recorded the grades on the Registrar's online forms. This morning I double-checked the final exams which the grader got to me at the last minute on Monday. One either minor change or an unreadable number (grin) which didn't change the final grade. So then it was a matter of ripping the summary tables from the spreadsheets and putting them in webpages so that students can look up their grades, if they can remember their Personal Identification Number (PID).

Usually I'm working right up to the noon deadline, but I had smaller classes this time around. The Honors Math-Physics Integrating Seminar was a snap -- everyone did well, even though we stretched some brains in the process. Let's hear it for Bessel's Equation! Though I was teaching two PHYS-1800 labs in the second half of the semester, I was trading teaching time for grading as the other instructor successfully completed her having-a-son project. There's a terribly complicated grading schema in that course, since we never know how many assignments there are going to be, so everything gets rescaled once or twice. But (almost) everyone either met their Mid-Term estimated grade or raised it by a half-notch.

That left me with just the grades for the PHYS-2050 Honors section. But with less than two dozen students, even reading the 5-7 page papers wasn't a chore and I polished those all off on Friday.

So it's not that I've reformed my procrastinating ways, but between 47 previous semesters of organizing grading and ultimately a smaller grading load, the chaos factor was minimized and the whole thing was relatively enjoyable and painless.

Though there was the errant paper from another lab section which may or may not have been caught by the grader. Students should really know what lab section they're in and check the right box, you know? (double-jeopardy-grin)

I'm Free!

Well, not really. Summer-I session starts on Monday 5 May 2008, so I have to write a syllabus this week/weekend and get other materials ready to go for next week. I like teaching in the summer -- double periods mean fewer interruptions and we're in and out in 7-1/2 weeks. The good news is that I'm only doing one class and not pulling a double, which is a long haul each day. The bad news is that I'm only doing one class, and with our skyrocketing gasoline prices, we're edging closer to the day when I lose money teaching. (frown)

Anyway, I have some writing to do, some reading to do. The mouse on my main writing computer has a dying microswitch contact in the left mouse button. Fortunately I dug through my random assortment of spare parts at the office yesterday and finally found one of my spare Microsoft Mouse 2.1A's. My usual source of spare parts in Holland was out -- spare mice tend to turn over fast and I don't want to mess with a newer mouse and have driver and feel issues. And my other usual parts source, Surplus Trading, is too far for a joy ride for just a mouse. Next time I'm heading to Chicago, I might try to stop for fifteen minutes and get some parts. Go wild and spend ten bucks. (triple-surplus-grin)

Anyway, right now I am in the funny state where I feel like I have nothing to do. Time for some lunch, then maybe go out and see if there's anything good at the P.O. Box in town.

Nap, anyone?

Dr. Phil
  • Current Music
    Grading Playlist: Braveheart Soundtrack and Blondie