Day 119: Battle of the Power Plants BEGINS

Monday, April 9

Faculty meeting this morning was pretty fantastic. I’ve never said those words before in my life. First we heard from one of the language teachers who went on an exchange trip to Japan. She teaches Spanish, so it was a very different cultural experience for her and sounded incredible.

Then the dean stood up and talked about how next year we will have a Dean of Equity and Inclusion specifically working with students on campus who are from marginalized backgrounds. This just made my heart soar. I’m so relieved that issues of marginalization are being addressed head on, and even though we all work hard to be a welcoming campus it is recognized that not everyone has the same experiences and it’s important to acknowledge inequity in order to fix it.

THEN, we were given time to work on self-reflection regarding how this year went and what our goals were next year in an authentic way that is not attached to retainment, salary, or evaluation. It’s just encouragement to genuinely work on ourselves and our craft to improve. Turns out getting booted from my last school is literally the best thing to ever happen to me both personally and professionally. I wish everyone there the best and miss my kiddos, but I think everyone is happier with me here instead of there.

Physics: Exam! I don’t like having exams the week of a big break, since lots of teachers try to have exams here as a “natural break” in the semester. However, that’s how the syllabus fell, so that’s what’s gonna happen. Harrumph.

Honors Physics: Power Plants! I gave them the basics of how a turbine power plant works, and then they started asking questions about the different ways to do that. AH HA! You played right into my hands! Bwahahaha! So now they’re researching a variety of types of power plans. They’re picking one and arguing it in favor of the others, so they have to know the pros of the one they picked and the cons of the others. They’ll have today and tomorrow in class to prepare as well as they can, and then everyone is required to participate in the debate on different methods of producing electricity on Wednesday. That’s the last day before we’re off for Spring Long Weekend, so I wanted to make this week chill but also full of good information, and most importantly low on homework since most of the other teachers try to cram a week of classes into three days or have exams ahead of the break.

You basically swap in the control rods (for nuclear power plants) for any other method of heating water, and that gets you through all of geothermal and fossil fuel power plants. Make water hot. Use steam to make a thing turn. Cool steam back into water. Repeat. Making the water hot is the hell of it.

Schematic-of-a-PWR-nuclear-power-plant_s-operation

AP Physics: Beginning mechanics review with kinematics. It’s almost funny how easy kinematics is for them at this point in the year compared to how confusing and horrible it was for them at the beginning. I’m really glad that is the case, though.

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