06 January 2006

New Semester

Well, my syllabi have all been written. The two classes I teach on Monday are in second draft. The one I teach on Tuesday is in first draft. I've taught Math 025 before (basically, Jr. High math), but there's a new book and they've started using a computer system called MathXL. It was surprisingly easy to register and load copies of Cathi Kunicki's projected homework, etc. I'll play with it some more over the weekend, but the upshot is that I won't have to collect and grade homework. I'll probably do some on-paper quizzes now and again, to keep them on their toes, and tests will be on paper, but I'm still pleased. Math 015 (elementary school math) is not fully on that system yet, but we're encouraged to introduce it. So I figure I'll start with paper-work and gradually phase into the computer stuff.

Math 123 (Math in Modern Society = Math class for people trying to avoid math) is going to be...different. Unlike Math 015/025, it is not a prerequisite for any future math class. There is no set curriculum I HAVE to cover to prepare students for another class. The only guideline I was given was "do something from each of the four sections" so I've tentatively chosen two chapters frome each section to look at. I had to include the ones on Fibonacci numbers and Mandelbrot sets. I mean, if I can pick and choose, why not pick something cool? *grins* Though I will tell students to look through the ToC for anything they'd really like to look at. Most of them won't bother, but if a few of them are especially interested in a topic that I skipped over, I'll try to add it in. Which means the "tentative schedule" on my syllabus will be even more tentative than usual, but that's okay. It's kind of nice not to be tied to a specific set of topics.

Oh, my 015 classes are in IF. While I would be happier if I'd been consulted before this assignment, I can't complain too much. I enjoy driving and feel less restless when I get out of town every so often. The upshot is that I'll get some extra pay at the end of the semester, and that I have no duties whatsoever on Friday. So I have a constant three-day weekend. Yeah, it means MTWTh are a bit scrunched, but I can deal. Basically, MW I'm in IF for the morning. Back to teach 025 in the evening. TTh, I'm planning to take Dr. Hill's matrix class (if I can find a cheap copy of the book...ugh that thing's expensive), then I have 123 in an odd timeslot (18:00-19:15).

Final thoughts: There are two symphony concerts on Wednesday nights this semester, and my mom already bought the tickets, so I've scheduled tests in my evening classes for those nights. This means that I need only find someone capable of handing out the tests for me, and don't have to find someone willing to/capable of giving a lecture. As we DO have a set curriculum in that class, canceling it for two nights is not an option. Oh, and the semester is starting just as I was finally getting a chance to ENJOY break. Ah well.

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