Friday, September 21, 2012

Another productive Friday

When someone I worked with asked me to cover his class today so he could go to a doctor's appointment, I agreed because I would be here anyway and he said I could talk about hurricanes if I wanted to. So last night I threw together ten or twelve slides and figured I'd write on the board a lot and maybe tell a couple of stories about that time I was in an airplane hangar during Hurricane Claudette and the roof blew off.

But then this morning came and all I could think about on the way in was the kinder-pocolypse that's been happening at our house. Not hurricanes. Not adiabatic ascent and the Ideal Gas Law. Kindergarten. Will my kid be chastised by his peers (and/or teacher) for failure to color today? Because honestly, I don't think I can take it anymore.

As an aside, I just want to tell you about my wonderful friends. Four of them have contacted me this week to talk and encourage me (and in one case, offer me a hypothetical bottle of wine while we waited outside children's choir at church). They are lovely. Lovely, wonderful people. I am so lucky.

But as I feel it would be awkward to go over to their houses and snot-cry all over the place right in front of their families, I have to reserve that for alone times in the car. Foul-mouthed tirades are reserved for Ryan after bedtime. He's a lucky, lucky man.

(By way of an update, if you asked Charlie yesterday, he had a great day. He only had to miss *a little bit* of center time. Yay? If you asked him on Tuesday, he would have been lying face down on my red checked table cloth sobbing about having tummy-aches every day and wishing he could pay attention and finish his work and not miss naptime. That angst-filled day may have been related to me being out of town for two days. Go me.)

So anyway. Not exactly in the breeze-though-two-semesters'-worth-of-atmospheric-thermodynamics state of mind this morning when I arrived. I still had high hopes that my familiarity with and enthusiasm for the subject would carry me through the entire fifty minute period. But then I started talking and could feel, actually physically feel, my brain vacillating wildly back and forth between Way! Over! Simplified! and Oops, that was kind of a Masters-level analysis right there. And every time that second thing happened I would freeze and say "Uh, you don't have to write all that down. Heh heh."

I kept on talking though! I referenced a YouTube video that probably would have been really good to have cued up because, you know, actually watching the video would have been LIGHTYEARS more valuable than listening to me describe it. Two students were engaged and smiling and nodding. Two were asleep. The rest were fidgety and confused.

And I ran out of material at 10:35.

Crickets. No questions.


When in doubt, you can always earn points by letting them go early.

So that was kind of a disaster. I came back to my office and spent some time looking at this picture until 11:00 when the dining hall opened. I'm thinking of using it for our Christmas card this year.


And then I finally got down to business after lunch. First thing on my to-do list: Figure out how to compute skewness and kurtosis in Excel. I opened Excel and when I couldn't figure out how to access "help" in the new version, I typed "=skew" into one of the cells and UP POPPED THE FUNCTION SKEWNESS. And then I typed "=k" and bang, there was the function for kurtosis. CROSS THAT ONE OFF THE LIST.

I have just enough time to add one or two sentences to my (hopeful) publication before my lab and then after that it is the weekend and we all get to be happy again for TWO WHOLE DAYS! I cannot wait.

UPDATE: Five minutes after I posted this I got an email from Charlie's teacher. She said "He amazed me today! He made three puppets, while the other students only had time to make two! Gold Star for Charlie!" Good news.


A. said...

Doesn't seem like things should be this hard with school when they are this young, right? Hang in there, looks like things are improving for Charlie.

I don't even know what skewness and kurtosis are (nor how to properly access Excel help), but I'm guessing they are things I would have picked up if I had ever bothered to take a statistics course... alas, I did not, and now get to plead ignorance every time someone starts talking about things like variance and effect size. Or, more typically, I just nod knowingly and say "Mm hmm" a lot.

Marianne said...

I think those are in Excel's Data Analysis add-in. Maybe in the ANOVA function?

Chiconky said...

Having a boy in Kindergarten/First Grade has made me re-think my opinions on gender-segregated education. Boys are just different, and they need a different sort of environment. So I'll share your hypothetical wine and hope that it does get better. And I totally think that's a Christmas card picture. Something like "Hope Santa brings us everything we picked!"

Sarah said...

Love the picture!

I hope things continue to get better. It is never too early to have a conference or even get the principle involved if you feel like this isn't a good fit for him. He's great-- maybe the situation isn't, you know?

Erica said...

I would like to be added to your Christmas card list please.

Kyla said...

I'm catching up on your blog in reverse order, so not really sure what is up in Kindergarten since last I read things were on the upswing...BUT, I hope that things have been smoother lately.