Fall Break overview

Fall Break is upon us, as is fall itself with rainy, cool weather today. It’s a break, but a full one:

  • This is the first day in over six weeks that I have had substantive time to work on the dual-degree engineering program. The deadline for curriculum proposals is coming up shortly and the thing needs to get done. I think I’ll make it. Some tweaking needs to be done: since we offer Calculus III only once every two years, students who want to do engineering but who start the program in even-numbered years can’t take it until they are juniors, which puts them a year behind in the engineering program. I’ve got a workaround right now for that, but it’s not pretty. So I am lobbying my department and dean to have Calculus III offered every year, like a normal math department would do.
  • This semester has been kicking my rear since about day 3 and hasn’t stopped. I have 14 hours’ of teaching plus being on P&T, which is about the equivalent of another 2-hour course. As a result, about 3 weeks ago all the structures that I’d set up for doing GTD got totally overrun with "stuff". I’ve been going day-to-day with to-do lists and so forth, but I’m going to have to take some time over break and declare productivity bankruptcy, and start the whole GTD thing over again with a much, MUCH fatter "Someday/Maybe" file (which will consist of the stuff in my projects list that got crowded out by the constant grading/prepping cycle).
  • Yesterday I had another grading blitz and got lots done. But I still have four untended items for the geometry class to get done. When this will get done is anybody’s guess.
  • Mom and Dad are driving up today to stay until Saturday morning. They are bringing Doodlebug one of these, and I hope she likes it, because they seem pretty cool. On tap is a tour of the new house (almost finished!), dinner at our favorite Chinese place tonight, then probably hitting the Childrens’ Museum tomorrow and more sights in downtown. And since they’re staying at one of these, we’ve promised Doodlebug that swimming in the hotel pool is part of the deal.
  • I’m doing a workshop at the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics meeting on Sunday in Indy on factoring, the division algorithm, and how they relate to cryptography. It’s nice because it’s virtually the same workshop that I gave to a similar group of high school teachers back in June. The sad thing is, with my GTD system fried, I actually had forgotten I was doing this until yesterday. Oops.

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