Workout notes: 31 F (0 C) at the start; I walked my 10.5 mile course (included the Goose Loop) and it took me 2:37 instead of the 2:34 it used to take me in 2012 (with the same effort). Time marches on. But there is a long time between now and October 18, 2015, so I have a lot of time to build up to a marathon and time to work on my 5K/1 mile run first.
First, I realize that there are doping scandals at the highest level of sports and sometimes eligibility fiascos at lower levels.
And I also understand that academia at the higher levels, at least in my field (mathematics), tends to be honest. Sure there is a fake journal here and a fight over “who got the results first” there. But when one writes a math paper, it isn’t as if one can crib other sources.
I am mainly talking about the lower levels.
I remember my English class during my senior year in high school; it was the usual “British Literature” that is taught for college preparation. I had great teachers.
One of the things we had to do was to write a book report and present it in class. And so I sat through them; I specifically remember the one on Wuthering Heights.
The guy who gave it had an easel complete with charts, a circle diagram (concentric circles) with the various characters and relationships in the concentric circles, with Heathcliff vs. Heathcliff in the middle.
I rolled my eyes; I knew that the guy giving the presentation wasn’t smart enough to come up with this on his own.
Afterward, the teacher said “very good; perhaps you should look to sell this to Cliffs Notes. ”
Well, eventually I went to a book store, looked at Cliffs notes…and what did I see? You guessed it….and no, he didn’t sell his work to them.
That was just the beginning of my eye opening process.
The bottom line: many see education as nothing more than a credentialing process; a way of getting credits, a GPA and all that. The idea that one’s mind is supposed to be challenged and grow along the way really isn’t a popular one. It is all about “that piece of paper” and, perhaps, learning something along the way.
Yes, students search for solutions to homework problems on the internet; that is why I try to give some in class exams. The exception is for a courses in which I expect them to be able to use software.
I still remember my undergraduate days. I really did my homework and I really did find joy in figuring out things for myself. Not everyone else took the same approach, including some who had a higher GPA than I did.
Even funnier: some (almost all?) who got undergraduate degrees are completely unaware that what they learned was..well…baby stuff.
I wonder how many of these would have survived Ph. D. comprehensive examinations which, at least at my school, had a pass rate of 30 percent?
Then after sweating these, which seemed so difficult to me at the time..you work on your dissertation and find out that your qualifiers were really just…baby stuff. :-)
Now contrast that with sports. Say you want to finish a marathon within the course’s time limit (and yes, the time limits are getting longer year by year).
If you don’t put in the miles, well, you aren’t going to finish (true for most of us, anyway, especially those of us who are older than 50). And to finish the marathon, you have to cover every step of the course.
True, there is some cheating (even in trail ultras!) and some who claim to do what they haven’t done. But the vast majority who finish a marathon really do finish it; there is no “cut and paste” available; no one to crib off of.
Of course, even in running where the results are there for all to see, there are those who don’t understand that, well, a 2-2:30 plus half marathon is really nothing to boast about (at least for someone 45 or younger) and that a strong marathon runner would have gone twice as far in close to the same amount of time. But I suppose there is a social aspect to it; the vehicle “mileage” stickers and the attitude face selfies..and of course, the “bling” (Showing off a medal for a half marathon finish? Really? should you award yourself a medal for finishing a medium long workout? ;-) )
Note: my current half marathon running time stinks; I ran a couple of 2:01 half marathons in 2013 but I have enough self awareness to know that those times stink. My “over 40″ PR is 1:34 (1999) and, for a 40 year old male in good health, that is more or less a “meh, fit but not a runner” time.
But no matter how sorry the performance is and how many grossly overestimate their achievements, there is no getting around that most have covered every inch of the course under their own steam…sans wikipedia. :-)
Interesting question. I suppose that context is important (grade? all boys or all girls school?).
I don’t have a good answer. Here is why: had some of my high school teachers dressed like this, yes, I’d be distracted. But is the onus on me, or does the teacher at least bear some responsibility? And please, spare me the “it doesn’t matter” stuff: obviously a male who came to teach while wearing a speedo would get called out.
I’d have to think about this one.
First my workout: This was my first weight workout in about 2 weeks and I felt it.
Pull ups: 4 sets of 10, 2 sets of 5. Quality: ok, not stellar. Rotator cuff
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 180, 5 x 160 (pathetic) (rotator cuff)
incline press: 7 x 135 (bad)
standing military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbells (weak)
It was a start, but it was rather bad.
Running went marginally better: treadmill, 0.5 incline, started at 5.3 mph and increased by 0.1 every 1/4 mile
2 miles in 21:18, 3 in 30:55, 4 in 39:47 (last 5 minutes at 7 mph)
Yes, I coughed afterward, but this time only for 2-3 minutes or so, instead of 10. It IS getting better, albeit more slowly than I’d like.
After the workout weight (dr. scale): 176.0
Basically, I was weaker with the weights than with the run. The swim is going to be UGLY tomorrow.
There is some chatter among professors about the appropriateness of calling out certain types of student behavior. The old model is that this is somewhat untoward as “professors had more power than the students”. But things have changed; often the professors are adjunct professors with little real power and these-a-days there is a tendency for administration to use student evaluations to evaluate the professors (at least at the more teaching oriented places).
I see something else going on here:
The above refers to grade school. But in the college setting, replace the parents with deans, administrators or even professors from departments that are desperate to retain their students.
There is where the tension comes from. Most professors expect 18-20 year old students to…well, behave like 18-20 year old students. Getting undermined from other parts of the same campus is very irritating and it happens too many times (though not all of the time..at least right now).
You may have read things like “most of the newly reported science results are wrong” and this is because, well, one is more likely to report a positive finding, and many positive findings are honestly done false positives. So, one psychology journal has decided to prohibit the reporting of p-values in its articles. That makes no sense to me, and evidently it makes no sense to some scientists and statisticians either.
Ok, no 100 percent; I still have some illness “afterglow”. I’ll put this on my virus post.
But I didn’t cough much when I shoveled snow (about 3 inches of easy, fluffy stuff) in very cold (14 F) weather. I cursed the idiot plow drivers as they buried our walks instead of putting the snow on the useless median and did the walks…again.
Peoria is simply a horrible place to live; Canadian winters (last 2 anyway), incompetent city government and idiotic people.
But when I finished shoveling (AGAIN), walking to school and climbing the stairs I was soaking with sweat…and did not cough…once. I can’t tell you what a huge improvement that is. I’ll probably walk on the treadmill tomorrow.
But my wife is home, taking up space and coughing away…no rest of the wicked, I suppose.
No relief from the brutality of this winter either; yes, THIS YEAR, and LAST YEAR have made the “top 10 coldest Februaries on record:
February 2015 is on track to being one of the coldest February’s on record for Illinois. Data through February 24 puts the statewide average at 19.4° F. This is 11.5°F below average and slightly colder than last February’s 19.4°F. Before February, this was shaping up to be a mild winter with near to above-average temperatures (see graph to the left, click to enlarge).
At this point, February 2015 is ranked as the 8th coldest on record, edging out 2014 (see table below). The NWS forecasts show that temperatures for the rest of February will be 15 to 20 degrees below average. Therefore it is possible that it could move up the ranks. I will post more on this at the end of the month.
Yes, it will get colder:
And yep, we will get slammed with more snow again.
We have the worst of both worlds: Canadian winters and US conservatives in the same place.
When I started as an assistant professor, our Provost insisted that to be tenured, all tenure-track faculty had to have scores on their anonymous student evaluations that were above their department’s averages. I tried to explain to him that if this were sustained over time, the result would be that all tenure-track faculty would be required to have perfect scores. After that happened, no one would get tenure, since it would no longer be possible to score higher than average. He gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look.
(by department average, they mean vs. all tenure track and tenured; this is the “everyone should be above average idiocy”)
And yes, they expect you to view whatever “research” they did on a level with yours.
I won’t lie: I wondered how teaching would go.
It turns out that I was able to climb the 4 flights of stairs with no difficulty. So I am feeling better (cold log is here) but I do have a cough which is (TMI) very productive at the moment. I’ll have to take something for it prior to going to bed, else I won’t be able to sleep.
There were two positives to come from this cold:
1. This past weekend, I saw 4 of the 5 Missouri Valley basketball games. Of course, 3 of the 4 games I watched were blowouts; the Illinois State vs. Loyola was reasonably competitive (67-60 ISU). But Bradley lost to Northern Iowa by 17, Drake crushed Missouri State 78-43 behind 62 percent 3-point shooting (it was 35-14 at the half!) and WSU cruised past Evansville 62-43; Ironically the Bradley loss was by a lesser margin than the other games. And at least BU was still in the game at the half (down 27-23); WSU lead Evansville 30-14 at the half.
So, had I planned things better, I could have caught the SIU vs. ISU blue and had my own “Arch madness” on the TV. Still, 4 out 5 games isn’t too bad.
I wonder if TV game viewership goes up during cold/flu season.
2. I learned something about teaching from today: today I taught:
Lagrange Multipliers (brief calculus II)
Limits and evaluation of limits along different paths for functions of 2 variables (calculus III)
The separation axioms ( ), closure and interior in topology.
I didn’t really use notes as I was dead to the world this weekend. But it looks as if I did a competent job even though I was part of the walking dead during the classes.
Reason: I know this stuff. THAT is the take away to teachers: if you want to be able to teach something effectively, you need to know it well beyond the level you are teaching it.
I’ll put it another way: if you need a “teacher’s edition” with the answers in it, you suck and you shouldn’t be teaching the stuff. I’m not opposed to having a solution key to give to the grader or, on occasion, to see what unwarranted assumption the book made (and yes, they sometimes make them…much to my disgust).
Workout notes running: 2 mile warm up in 20:36 (treadmill)
1 mile (middle lane, as opposed to the inner lane I used last year): 7:46 (1:58/1:55/1:55/1:56)
1 mile walk (slow)
2 mile treadmill (20:50)
Weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10, easy?) hip hikes, Achilles, rotator cuff rests
bench press/military press super set: bench (dumbbells) 10 x 65, 8 x 70, 8 x 70, military (dumbbell) 12 x 50 seated, supported, 2 sets of 10 x 40 standing
super set rows/pull downs: 3 sets of 10 each (110 rows, 130 pull downs, wide grip, “other machines”)
Though I thought that I felt tired going in, I felt pretty good afterward.
The run: hard enough to make me cough later (for 1-2 hours after), but not hard enough to cause pain in my teeth.
I’ve coughed after really hard runs (usually 1 mile or less; sometimes after a hard 5K when it was a 20 minute effort for me) almost all of my life..it has never been serious.
Taking it for granted
One thing about teaching the basics of a subject like topology: it reminds me of how much I take for granted when I do my own research. Yeah, I’ve worked out all of the nuances, but for many of them, it was 25-30 years ago!
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