- Date: Friday, August 26, 2011 -- 6pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our House
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Dining Companions: Dave and Karen H.
- Recipe Rating: B
The recipe is here.
Only 13 recipes left to go!
I haven't written in ages. This semester is absolutely flying by. I can hardly believe that this coming week is week 8 of classes. I am only teaching one course this term: Calculus 3. I like teaching. Occasionally I have had classes that were unpleasant, but for the most part teaching is very enjoyable. This semester, though, my students are an absolute delight. There are 41 of them, and I can honestly say that not one of them has been difficult to deal with, or unpleasant, or unreasonable. On the contrary, they are friendly, hard-working, and respectful. Hands down the best classroom of students I have ever had. Seven of them are also doing an honors option for the course, which means that in addition to the usual coursework, they also do projects outside of class on mathematical topics that may or may not be related to calculus. This semester I have students doing projects on Knot Theory, Game Theory, The Life and Work of Euler, Financial Mathematics, The Calculus of Tumors, and Proofs from Calculus. So I see those seven students frequently in my office, and we talk about a wide variety of mathematical topics. It's fun. There is also a group of 3 students who do their homework in my office during my office hours every week, so I have gotten to know them pretty well too. A lot of other students come by for occasional help as well, so I know quite a few of the students outside of class.
I really just enjoy this classroom of students. I am sure they have no sense of what it is like to be a professor, and what a big difference the attitude of the class can make in the professor's enjoyment of their job. So they likely have no idea how delightful they are. Yet I often feel like they are giving me a gift by being so diligent and easy to teach. I am very thankful for this class.
I have had a few health issues this term, and I need to have minor surgery in a couple months. None of it is dangerous or related to my brain tumor, and I feeling fine now, but for a while I was going in for a lot of early morning doctor's appointments and lab tests. And under those circumstances, I would have imagined that teaching my 9am class would have been stressful and unpleasant. But it has been quite the contrary. My interactions with my students have cheered me up on some personally challenging days. That is the sign of an excellent classroom of undergraduates.
Other aspects of this semester have been good too. I have been traveling to give talks, and will continue to do so in the upcoming months. Research is going smoothly. And now that I am feeling better my special gentleman and I recently started a serious exercise regime to kick our butts back into shape (Well, my butt really. He's always in shape.). We are doing intense 60-90 minute work-outs 6-7 days a week. It's insane. We are usually pretty busy, so on several occasions already this has resulted in us working out at midnight, drenched in sweat. It has been great though. I am feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.
Fall is here in full force now and it is hard not to think that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. And before I know what happened, I will be back from Christmas break and it will be a new semester, with different classes and new students. I wish that this term would slow down a bit though. It's a nice semester.