Day 134 & 135: Need Better Tweeters

Friday, May 4, and Monday, May 7

Physics: Friday I was ahead of the syllabus, so we were able to take some time to talk about the topics a little deeper, watch a few videos that approached them in a different way, and generally relax a bit. I didn’t feel like it would be terribly productive to get any further ahead on the syllabus or to ask them to learn new ideas last period on Friday. It’s really a lousy time to have any kind of useful class. Close to the end of class, a student asked me about my opinion on Avengers vs Justice League, and I let that conversation happen. It was a pretty good one, although I did threaten to fail a student for liking Justice League better and told another to shut his mouth for saying there was no need to watch Super Girl. I have layers. Like an onion.

Monday, it was time to talk about radio-dating. Insert hilarious joke about dating a radio station here. Ha! We talked about looking at ratios over time and a few other things. Mostly I let them ask questions and did my best to answer them, which seems to be a frequent teaching method I use in this class and seems to be working really well. Tomorrow we’ll be moving on fission and fusion, so I’ll need to be doing a lot more talking to get ahead of the confusion rather than letting them read about it and then answer their questions.

Honors Physics: Friday was the last day of nuclear and atomic physics. We did a quick topic review, and then they spent their time organizing their notes and building a class set of resources that they could use to study for the final exam.

Monday, we started sound. Like, for realsies, my favorite topic. We reviewed the basics of sound and discovered that the projector speakers have a better low range than my laptop, but they both cut off around 12k Hz. I need to get some good speakers with a badass tweeter. They had a difficult time conceptually switching from light moving without a medium to now specifically talking about waves moving through matter made of particles. I’m pretty comfortable with the nonsense of wave-particle duality, but they are not and it gave them a bit of pause. I’ll pay attention and see how learning optics affects the learning of sound, because those are normally taught in the other order.

AP Physics: Friday was grading and review of the practice test. One class worked entirely independently, and the other one wanted me to go through questions, so I let the first class do it’s thing and showed solutions for the multiple choice on the board since explanations were not included.

Monday they started the actual real final exam, Mechanics Multiple Choice. The student who has shown up between 10-19 minutes late (just barely ahead of the absent limit) practically every class including this one complained about having to take a final and also answered fewer than half the questions, filling all of the rest out as C. I had hoped it being a final grade would help motivate a little bit for him to show up and put forth effort, and maybe that’s as much effort as he can possibly put out at this time. I don’t know, but the whole situation makes me sick to my stomach at how much I am failing this student.

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