Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tidbits: Grades, Pens, Editing Prose, Glenn Branca

  1. Today I did my (next to last?) batch of Calculus III grading. In the midst of this effort the pen I was using ran out of ink. I always view it as a bit of an accomplishment when this occurs. For one, it's an indication that I've been doing work -- a whole pen's worth, in fact. It also means that I've managed to not lose the pen and I've gotten to use all the ink I paid for. So I was pretty excited. The pen was a maroon metallic gelly roll. Last week I finished a green metallic one. Grading problem sets using metallic glittery pens makes grading slightly more exciting. A student once remarked that it looked like a Harry Potter dwarf had graded her homework. I know nothing about Harry Potter; I chose to take it as a compliment.

  2. Physics grades are finished. I still have most of the narrative evaluations to write, however. Assigning final grades reminded me of how much I dislike letter grades. (But that's a topic for another post.) As usually happens when I assign grades, I spent far too much time musing about the true meaning of a B+.

  3. I spent an hour or so tonight carefully reading over a grant that two colleagues are writing. The grant is for $75,000 per year for four years for the purpose of increasing our graduation rate by 3% a year over the duration of the grant. The grant is pretty good -- there are some things in it that are really good ideas. One thing that will be a challenge is to merge the two writing styles into a coherent narrative. One author seems to be in love with parentheses. The other loves long sentences with almost as many commas as words. Surely there is a happy middle ground somewhere.

  4. Searching for relaxing music in my CD bookcase, I've rediscovered Glenn Branca's Symphony #3: (Gloria) Music for the first 127 intervals of the harmonic series. Good stuff. Ok, maybe it's not exactly relaxing. But I do find somewhat soothing.

No comments: