Day 57: All My Shortcomings At Once

Thursday, Dec 7

Physics: Review! The stuff on satellites and universal gravitation went very well. The review questions on relativity, the kids actually knew some of the answers better than I did, so the review was having them talk to each other and then report out to me. I’m pretty disappointed in myself. I tried to do my homework, but it isn’t in there solid yet. We’re done with it tomorrow, but by next year I need to step this topic up considerably.

Honors Physics:  I couldn’t figure out how to set up the photoelectric effect lab that we have, so defaulting again to YouTube. So, physics is over, we’ve shown that light is a particle. Time to close up shop, I guess. Oh, wait, what? What about light’s wave behaviors? I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!!! Because what does studying wave behaviors mean? It means MUSIC and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. BOOM I getta talk bout my favrit things! So we got started with a very, very basic intro into reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, and resonance to talk about what the wave behaviors are that we will begin drilling into deeper tomorrow. I’ve pilfered through all the optics stuff, and there aren’t any refraction blocks or divided petri dishes, just lenses, so I may have to get creative. We’ll see what I can manage.

AP Physics: Practice problems! I gave them the 1999 and 2000 released FR problems. The neato part is that 2000 is the year I took Mech C and E&M C as a junior in high school, so those were the questions that I had for my own test. I got a 3 on the mechanics because I was not skilled at learning on my own and I struggled to learn from the teacher in my 8am class. He had a very, very soft voice that was heavily accented, spoke into the board, and stood in front of anything he wrote. I really struggled to stay awake and pay attention, particularly to the topics that weren’t a part of the general physics class, like torque and oscillations, which is why rotational motion has been a mental block for me for the past 17 years. I’m getting over that now and have sorted out much of it, but it’s still not as intuitive for me as the rest of mechanics and requires me to actually solve out the problems carefully rather than mental-short-cut my way through them. I did get a 5 on the E&M AP, but I had a different, absolutely fantastic teacher for that one. It’s hard not to be ashamed of doing poorly on the AP test for the class I am teaching, literally the lowest score of any AP exam I took, but them’s the facts. And, yes, it is nice to look back at the questions I barely knew how to approach as a high school junior and know immediately how to do them correctly as a teacher of almost ten years, which feels like a SUPER DUPER LOW BAR, but, hey, I clear it!

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