Thursday, May 3
Physics: I give the kids 5 minutes at the start of class to study for the quiz. This gives them a chance to discuss the material, gives Late Larrys a chance to show up, and sometimes leads to interesting conversations when they have questions. Todays question was, “Ms. Monticue, do you think we’re living in a computer simulation?” No, I don’t, but they wanted to discuss it, so we did. I also found this article that talks about the computational complexity of it and tried to explain it to the kids a bit, but they kept saying, “But what about more advanced technology?” I don’t have an answer to that. I still don’t think we’re living in a simulation, though.
After the quiz, we did the radioactivity lab that the other teacher and I set up yesterday. It’s mostly a research lab rather than a “take data” lab. We do take enough data to make a histogram of decay rates, but that’s as a class. The rest is looking stuff up and writing about it. Here is the histogram of our uranium salts decay, thirty counts of ten seconds each. Also with 9 sheets of the card stock over it. I think I used too much card stock, but it still gave reasonable results in terms of not slowing down as time went on. Not quite a normal distribution (which is why I think I used too much card stock). I’ll take it, anyway.
Honors Physics: They continued working on the lab from yesterday. I’ll be grading those tomorrow and am very interested to see how they turn out.
AP Physics: Finishing up with the E&M Free Response practice for the first half. One of my students has literally written absolutely nothing on any of his practice exams, even though it was all in-class work. Just sat there and stared at it for the entire time. I tried talking to him about it, but he just shrugs and says, “I couldn’t do any of it.” I tried being stern about it. He just huffed a laugh and shrugged. I’ve tried talking to his advisor about it, still no dice. It’s really hard admitting defeat. Doesn’t want to meet one on one. There’s only so much leading to water a teacher can do, but it really, really, really sucks. The whole administration has been focusing on trying to help this kid for months now, and nothing has worked. He’s not a bad kid at all. No behavior problems or social problems, just 0% motivated to do anything.