Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ouch burn!

Jeez Louise.

In rereading my post from last night, I realize how embittered and cold I must have sounded to my students who've happened to peruse the post.

The note I'd hoped to strike was more akin to the one I sang in class today (well, yesterday, technically, but who's counting?)...more of a "please, please, on bended knees" sort of deal: please help me to help you, Jerry Maguire style.

I want you all to know that I'm frustrated, but it's not with you, it's with the inherent difficulty of the problems with which we're all dealing together, and with the frustration you're all feeling in meeting that difficulty head-on.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: y'all are awesome people who are a genuine joy to work with, and I want to make the most of our time together. Whatever you need from me to make that "most" happen, let me know; I hope I've just done a good deal to let you know what I need from you.

Meanwhile, I have to say that I had a wonderful day this past day: all four classes offered up cool mathematical ideas, from optimization problems in Calc I to cool combinatorial trickery in 280, and from 480's highly successful peer review (folks, chime in in the comments section if you'd like to say something about how things went for you today) to philosophical meanderings and ethnomathematical thought experiments in Abstract II. For homework, try to think about what sort of intelligent alien creature it might be who would have no understanding of discrete quantities.

It was a magnificent day, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending it with all of you.

I hope tomorrow brings as much fun and fulfillment as the past 24 hours have.

With that note of confidence (and with the bulk of this damned NSF report finally behind me), I'm off to a belated beddie-bye. Avanti!

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