Thursday, May 10, 2007

Done and done

All of my grades are in. I am done.

Last night, I didn't work on school-related things after I got my girls to bed for the first time since September.

Instead, I indulged (as is my custom at this time of year):

9 comments:

Liberal Arts Chemist said...

Well done. Sounds like we have the same course load. What I don't like about the way my courses get endloaded with marking (project reports, lab reports and exams) is that there comes a point where a persons mind seems to be using "The Force" rather than any defensible logic for marking. I tend to put a lot of ink on things that I mark even on things that I know the student will never see.

Being a teetotaler I am not able to join you in your single malt society but my 2007 Diet Coke has an amusing aroma and a quiet aftertaste. In fact, in a fit of madness I have spent the last two weeks planning a teaching a weeklong program of chemistry and biology labs for grade 12 homeschooled students that have not had a chance to experience the sort of labs that students in the regular school system would have had. Finished yesterday.

That said, I am a burnt out candle right now. I just packed and sent the back files of marked tests, lab reports, projects and exams for students from 2002/2003 to the paper recycler and I now face three days of faculty meetings. So much for my soul.

I can live without the patronizing comments that I get at conferences from faculty at "real" universities with their 1 course a semester workload about how nice it would be to work at a smaller institution. I have worked both sides of the fence and in my opinion the chronic panic of research at large universities is nicely balanced by the backbreaking workload in a smaller university.

Take care.

Ψ*Ψ said...

I'd kill to grade lab reports instead of writing them. Exams are survivable. Homework, I can ignore. Lab reports are an insufferable waste of time.

Liberal Arts Chemist said...

I don't want to highjack this thread but I gotta ask ...

"Ψ*Ψ said...
Lab reports are an insufferable waste of time."

Give me options. Really, I am asking what, in your mind, would work better as a way of measuring if the conceptual knowledge has been processed by personal experience.

In our Baconian paradigm the experiment is not done until the the report is written. To my observation the Brits have a different paradigm based more on Cartesian system where you do a pile of work (mostly written up on scraps of paper, the margins of newspapers and the cuffs of the labcoat)and then you go into a room with three or four of your superiors and when you come out you have a new degree.

I think their system is more relational and our system is more factual but I would be daunted by the subjectivity of the evaluation process.

So you can write lab reports or face oral examinations. I would love to have other options.

Matt Jenks said...

I wouldn't say lab reports are an insufferable waste of time. Writing them helps foment good practices for later in life when you would need to write quarterly reports, journal articles, theses, dissertations, grant proposals...it may be tedious, but it will pay off in the end (says the guy who finally got off his lazy duff yesterday and updated 20 pages worth of notebook).

Insufferable? Definitely. Waste of time? Eh. As with anything, practice makes perfect and you'll develop a skill set that you can use later in life for more important things.

Like when you get fed up with life and you lock yourself in seclusion and write dark, meaningful poetry all day long that will some day be forced down a sophomore English student's throat. I heard a fly buzz before I died...

Matt Jenks said...

Oh yeah, by the way, Eric...congrats on another year done.

Ψ*Ψ said...

I might rather face orals. I've found that upper-division lab classes consist of multiple journal-style reports per semester. These are incredibly time-consuming for what is supposed to be a one or two credit class. P-chem and inorg are the worst here. The former has an upper limit of fifteen pages (for experiments that take an hour at the most). I haven't taken inorg yet, but according to friends, THOSE can be upwards of twenty or thirty pages long. Were these due once or twice a semester instead of weekly or biweekly, it might have been manageable.
I'm not opposed to all lab reports. One recent class required Org Lett format and very concise writing, and another had sensible guidelines. These resulted in about 3 to 6 pages written for each experiment, which was a reasonable amount of work.

Congrats on finishing out the semester and all apologies for the rant.

TotallyMedicinal said...

As a Scot, there's nothing quite like a malt, although my particular favourite will always be Macallan, especially their 18y.o. - quite divine really. Glenlivet is quite acceptable too - perhaps more "everyday" drinking.

Cigars aren't really my thing, and the one in the picture must take a couple of hours to get through!

ElderChemGeek said...

MMM single malt looks good, but I think your little brother has a nice bottle of JW blue he's dying to share with someone!

Enjoy your summer...

Matt Jenks said...

Oh man! A whole clan of Chemgeeks! And all of them deeply in love with the scotch.