Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week #2 - Hurricane Isaac

Well, week #2 was a mess.  Monday started off like I planned, but Hurricane Isaac decided he wanted nothing to do with the republican national convention and headed for us instead.  Classes ended up being cancelled Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  For me, Isaac was largely a non-event.  I lost power for all of about 30 seconds.  I worked a bit on my lectures and cleaned up around the apt, but mostly I was bored of watching the weather channel and not leaving the house for three days.

Some of my students didn't fare as well.  Classes resumed on Friday and I got a number of e-mails from students saying they wouldn't be back because their parents' house is flooded, their route back to school takes them across a road that could get washed out in a dam break, etc...  I don't know of anyone that got seriously injured, but either way, it's a crappy start to the semester for some people.  

As for school, I'm not sure why we started up again on Friday.  Only about 2/3 of my students showed up.  And with many of them having gone home for the hurricane and then monday being labor day, I don't blame them for not wanting to come back for just a single day.  I know it probably has to do with requirements for how many days school has to be in session, but it was less than ideal.  I don't know if the school lost power or what, but every building I went in was really really humid.  And it was so humid outside that every window in the building was covered in condensation like a glass full of ice water.  But, teaching went well.  I used my globe and legos to illustrate how the constellations change over the course of the year.  And, for a few people, to help them realize that midnight happens when we're on the side of the Earth that is facing AWAY from the Sun.  It still amazes me the number of people that have no concept of our position in space.

At the end of the week the school announced that we would no longer get our 2 day fall break, but instead use these to make up classes that we missed.  And, they'd pick a Saturday that would be optional as a make up day.  I only missed one day of my MWF class, and the fall break will take care of that.  My TTH class missed two days (well, a whole week, really), but I'm going to try and make it up using the fall break day, but not the Saturday.  I really don't want to teach on a Saturday.

The weekend was spent mostly on stuff around the apt, with some time spent on preparing lectures and updating the course web site.  I got a lot of e-mails from students that don't read instructions.  It'll probably be a running theme for the semester, but right now I'm still surprised how many of them will go to the trouble of sending me an e-mail with a question whose answer can easily be found on the course web site.  I'm answering most of the e-mails with something like "this info is on the course web page."  Hopefully that will help curb the e-mails.  

On to week 3 and teaching people about seasons!

1 comment:

  1. I definitely feel for you! We had our own hurricane during the first week of school last year, and some students could not get back for a week or two. It was a tough start! And I'm sorry about your Fall Break :( Hang in there, Lego Man!