Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In absentia

It's been a long, long day, and I'm in a particularly honest mood.

I'd like to I apologize for being somewhat gone from this space; I've got no excuse, only explanation. Namely, there's a lot going on, both in my personal life and in my professional life. One or the other I can handle, singly; when the two come together...well, there you have it...

I've much, much more to say about a great many things, including the Honors Program (going well; it's a lot of fun), my two classes (also both going well, I feel, with some ups and downs), the curriculum review (grrrr...), several trips I've made since my last post (lots of fun, and lots learned, on all of them)...but given my mood at present I don't think it would be wise to say much more.

In brief...

Honors Program: I'm learning as I'm going, but having a blast. The students are great. I'm growing into the job, but I hope it can't be said that I'm afraid of making a few changes where changes are called for. The tone I'm trying to strike is one of anti-elitism.

My two classes: my HON 179 is quiet. I'm working on that. My Complex Variables class is fun, a mix of math majors, physics majors, and a few odd engineers and chemists. We're making our way through Churchill and Ward, slowly but surely. It's not the smoothest run I've ever made, but it's the first time I've taught the course (ever!), so I'm willing to make a few mistakes here and there.

The curriculum review: in the words of the late, great Rodney King: can't we all just get along? Into this program (over the past 19 months or so) I've put several hundreds (if not thousands) of hours; I've written hundreds of pages of proposals, meeting minutes, and position papers; I've attended god knows how many meetings...and I fear the entire process may amount to nothing because a few folks seems unwilling to compromise. Color me disappointed right now. We'll see what happens next...

Trips: since posting last, I've been to Laredo, Wildacres, Charlotte, Roanoke, and DC (am I missing anything), doing faculty development for high school math teachers and university faculty, speaking on 3x30, and trying to convince the American Mathematical Society's Committee on Education that yes, we should be trying to get our students to write more. Et cetera. I'm tired of traveling. It's time I stayed home.

More later. Much more. For now, I'd best be off to bed.

Thank you all for reading.