Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We don't need no education

Dear Diary,

Whew!  What a day!  With Professor Burke away, I had to cover his math preparation course.  When I walked in, the students couldn't even tell that there was someone different teaching them (or was it Professor Burke the whole time and I'm at the conference?!).

A few days ago, Professor loosely mentioned to me that I should book the conference room in order to have a place for those young students to take their quizzes and sit.  I went over to the chemistry office and signed out the conference room, writing my name down in the book, and getting the key.

Before the lecture, I had to familiarize myself with all the course material.  So, I made solutions for all the quizzes they were about to take (on differential equations, basic complex analysis, and linear vector spaces) and read key passages of the book ("Basic Training in Mathematics" by R. Shankar...a big name in applying Quantum Field Theory methods to condensed matter systems...Happy 80th birthday year, Shankar!).  Unfortunately, as soon as I walked in the door, they asked me a question I hadn't reviewed!

So, I had to improvise a bit, but it worked out well.  30 minutes later, they were taking their quizzes.  Hopefully now they'll pass the differential equations quiz, but I have to find out since I need to grade and send the scores to the boss before the end of today!  I even answered one question about Hessians, huzzah!  The students seem to be a little worn down...but they're sure learning a lot!

Oh, and I made sure to return the key so someone else can use it.

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