January 28, 2011
NOTE: this was written on September 11-ish of ’10. I wasn’t finished with it at the time, but I never did get back to it. See: 3rd sentence, re: nausea.
Three weeks in. Three lectures; as many labs. The abject panic has mostly subsided, the nausea has not. I wanted to have labs and lectures pretty well set before school started. For various reasons (ranging from beautiful summer days at the lake to funerals), that just didn’t happen. So, instead, I’m scrambling to get things done in time. Although this is the way I usually do thing, it is not the way I like to do them.
We’re still on Chapter 1 — mostly Kinematics. Is that where we should be starting? Heck, I don’t know. It’s simultaneously familiar and confusing, with the words we already know but now define slightly differently (what? you mean acceleration isn’t just speeding up?!? I can be slowing down and still accelerating???? …my family still brings up on occasion a particular Thanksgiving dinner, at which this was a primary conversational focal point. It’s almost at the “land-use/urban-planning argument” status in familial lore. I’ll save that fascinating story for another blog post.). In any case, the book starts with kinematics, so that’s where I start. At least for this semester. A rather difficult part of deciding to embark on SBG and inquiry methods is allowing myself to not be stellar this first go-round. No, my standards are not quite what I want them to be — but I think they’re better than what I used to have. No, I don’t test out my brand new labs on real students *before* I give them to my *actual* students — and sometimes it doesn’t work out quite so well. As of now we’re essentially following the layout of the book — maybe in a semester or two we’ll start with really important things, like Energy, and leave the kinematics for later.