Day 121: I’m an Uncle Again! Ok, Also Physics.

Wednesday, April 11 (I almost wrote April 47, because I looked at my watch and saw 9:47 and my brain is broken good grief)

My new baby nephew was born on Monday! Please welcome Ali Julian [last name] to the world! This makes seven nephews and zero nieces from my siblings so far. My MIL put in an order for one granddaughter, rush shipping, as soon as G and I got married in 2012, but that one is on back order. I do love me some babies, though. Isn’t he the cutest wrinkly little-old-man baby ever? D’awww.

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Ok, fine, physics and teaching and stuff. This is a short week, so today is the last day of school until next Tuesday.

Physics: Everyone bombed the electricity exam. A large majority of people just can’t process the subtleties of circuits and voltage vs current vs power and series vs parallel in a week and a half. We “covered” all four chapter on electricity in three weeks. I say “covered” because that is not the same as “taught” or “learned”. I’ve been pretty open with the dept head and head of school with how much this curriculum bothers me, and they’re receptive to the idea of change eventually. Since we’re making a large number of systematic changes to the science department over the next two years they asked me to roll with it until those have settled out. I definitely understand solving one problem at a time, so I can deal for the greater good. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to gripe about it on here, though.

Honors Physics: The Great Power Plant Debate! It went SO WELL. The fossil fuel team did a pretty incredible job defending the basically indefensible, and the nuclear team worked incredibly hard to overcome everyone’s bias and fear of nuclear energy. The other teams (hydroelectric, wind, and geothermal) didn’t get bagged on too much, although the nuclear team definitely had some dirt on all the other methods they had meticulously researched. I did have to shut down attempts to equate nuclear energy with nuclear weapons more than once. I started recording a few minutes in, so I don’t have the whole thing, but I did get the last 25 minutes. There were a lot of great moments that I thoroughly enjoyed, and a lot of arguments that I really wanted to jump in and counter, but other than stopping discussions on nuclear proliferation and an attempt to bring in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I worked really hard to stay out of it. I wasn’t 100% successful, but I worked really hard at it. I’d say I was, like 95% successful.

Power Plant Debate!

AP Physics: Reviewing energy and momentum. Brief review on the board with equations and definitions, and then practice problems. I keep forgetting about the center of mass aspect of momentum, which is a big problem. I rationally know it’s a huge part of the topic and a key analysis technique, but for some reason it just slips out of my mind every time. I need to find a set of momentum problems that are all best solved through CoM analysis and just solve through all of them to cement it in my brain.

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