I appear to have

May 05, 2003


I appear to have missed two entries. ah well.

Yesterday afternoon, I finished grading, we tidied up the house because the complex is doing work this week, I thought about going to the gym but decided that I was fighting a cold, was tired, and was dizzy when I stood up. This was not a good day to squat for triples.

Dinner was a roast chicken, with garlic in the cavity. As always happens, I mistimed it. I thought it would be a 90 minute bird, we cooked it for 130 minutes. It was yummy though. Gorged on chicken, on egg noodles, on a baked acorn squash, on green beans, on cranberries, and on gravy. The squash was very to my taste, we finished the whole squash between the two of us and I ate most of it.

Trouble getting myself to bed, slept about 12:30 to 6:15

Today, Monday, I finally wrote.

My belly and head are bothering me still. The reflux was ok first thing in the morning, kicked in mid day. I tried chewable antacids, 2 of them, twice. Did nothing, unlike yesterday when they helped. Feel a little dizzy, a little slow, a little mazy.

I wrote a little, mostly spent my work time getting my head back into the chapter. I cut more than I wrote, but that made it cleaner so it was still worthwhile writing time.

Spent the time around lunch having a nap, planning class, picking up the blue car from an oil change, and muddling. finished Pratchett's Maurice and his Educated Rodents while on the can.

Class went ok. I was tired and dizzy - fell asleep on the train and almost missed my station. Spent the first part covering the end of the cold war, Jimmy Carter, and part of Ronald Reagon. Got through the Iranian Revolution then halted for evaluations. After doing evals I asked them for what worked and did not work. Highlights:


  • I need to give more indication of what the workload will be and what my grading standards will be.
  • I need to be better about returning assignments promptly and with useful comments.
  • I promised more discussion than I delivered.
  • The class was very little memorization and facts, you could almost write the papers without having come to class. I did not point out that, on the papers, it was very clear who had been coming to class. It has been, though. They think they are not learning much because it is stories and explanations rather than deadly dull facts ... but let them write without it and they learn.
  • Another student pointed out that, even with massive memorization classes, little sticks past the exam.
  • They think I am not a usual history teacher; most liked the class time, thought that the writing was useful if not expected, and seem to have enjoyed the class.
  • 5 writing assignments was too many, go down to 4.
  • Note, they liked the homework and think I should keep it.
  • They liked the text, when I asked if would like a shorter, less well written, less comprehensive text they decided to stick with this one.
  • They liked the reader, about half of them say they have been reading the articles at the back. They prefer lots of short items to a few big items.

  • They would rather have read the Autobiography of Malcom X. I do intend to use that the next time I teach US 2, and to use Uncle Tom's Cabin for US 1.

We closed by talking about the newspaper assignment. At the end I made my point that they have learned how to think in terms of change over time and in terms of contingencies and consequences. They might well keep thinking that way 5 or 10 years from now. I tried to teach them how to think like historians, along the way they picked up some history.

Home, belly feels worse. Dinner was 2 bowls of yoghurt, 1 with prunes 1 with raisins, and a bagel, half with slime and half with lox spread.

Hope I can sleep.

Posted by Red Ted at May 5, 2003 11:02 AM | TrackBack