Day 78-82: Not Hell, But Murder

Monday, January 14 to Sunday, January 21

Last full day off: Jan 6

This week of teaching was so much less hell than last week. Delightfully so. Monday was still brutal because I was exhausted from the weekend and also on evening duty, but I made it through, and Monday night I actually got 8 hours of sleep. IN A ROW. Luxury. I wrote the three recs I needed to write, planned out some of the things I’m doing in class this week, and generally actually had a reasonable human existence.

I caught up on all my grading on Thursday, other than what Ss did on Friday, so that’s a huge load off. I still have to write 6 week comments, but I can get those busted out with lots of coffee and sheer determination. The power was out Wednesday night and all day Thursday. It made teaching on Thursday impossible because my room is super duper dark. You couldn’t see the board, you couldn’t see papers in front of you easily, just shenanigans all around. So, Thursday was a “study day” and the closest thing I have ever been to the stereotype of “overpaid baby-sitter”. Days are much better when I can teach.

Physics: Thermo! We started with the calorimetry lab and are heading on in to phase change and heat transfer and all my favorite things about heat and energy.

Honors Physics: Still on ray optics. We’ll finish that this week and begin physical optics next week. We’ve covered all the different ray tracing possibilities for lenses and mirrors with objects in various locations and practiced using the equation. Lab this week was cancelled because of now power, so I only saw them one period instead of a double. They finished up some work and studied for a Ray Optics quiz.

AP Physics: Gauss! I love Gauss’s Law so much. It was one of those things that I was scared of for a long time. We followed up Gauss with Potential Energy and Potential, and then Thursday was no power. Friday we did a quiz on force/field/gauss and finished the week out strong. Last year Gauss’s Law was a bit of a sticking point, so I made a huge deal of how amazing and wonderful it is (because truth) and that it’s beautiful and powerful and everyone will love it once their brain reaches the, “Why didn’t someone tell me that’s all it was?” point, which I hope will be sooner for them than it was for me.

Robotics: Monday and Tuesday were super productive (if exhausting) as we finished up most of the design and were able to get cut-lists. I also spent $3k on parts Monday night and another $1k on t-shirts and hats for the team on Tuesday. My credit card is IN PAIN. I got in the parts reimbursement. Still waiting on one more shirt confirmation before I can get in the other reimbursement request.

Wednesday and Thursday? It’s kinda hard to build a robot with no access to power. On Wednesday we quested around campus looking for a place where all of us could sit and be productive. One building on campus had power and internet through a generator, but most of the rooms had already been invaded or at least called dibs. We got booted out of four different rooms, some of them twice, before we settled in a foyer with sketchball internet and power over super long extension cables. It was not the best. Thursday I worked in the trailer with a handful of kids on things we could do without power (assemble wheels and gearboxes, sort parts, label cut pieces, etc.) and left the rest with the other teacher to do with whatever she wished. I didn’t have the capacity to manage two teams all the way across campus from one another.

Friday some more of the packages had come in, but not the ones we wanted. So, we spent 3.5 hours working on the drive train, setting up the CNC mill, organizing parts that had come in, and generally getting things sorted so that on Saturday we could hit the ground running with the whole team and make things happen. When I finally got home that night, it marked 16 extra hours I had worked over and above the scheduled meetings with the kids Monday through Friday.

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