Friday, July 27, 2007


Because I'll be going on maternity leave halfway through the fall semester, my department and I hatched this plan wherein I am filming all the course "lectures" through our distance ed office this summer, and then we're creating a distance learning version of the course for the fall. You know, with moderated discussion boards, and online quizzes and all that. And for the first half of the semester I'll be around for the students to come to office hours and such.

Don't ask me too many questions about how that's going to go, because I'm really not sure myself.

Anyway. Filming the classes is a very weird experience, because my normal teaching style is pretty interactive, but this series is just me, a tablet pc, a videocamera for my face, and an empty room. It's kind of unnerving, so I decided I needed a role model to keep in mind while doing this, so that I don't freeze up or fall apart.

I chose Alton Brown. He's nerdy, like me, but informative, and also entertaining to watch, so that it doesn't turn into a complete snooze-fest.

But today, I was going over some material in the middle of the lecture, and as I drew something on the pc I made a little noise, following along with the pen.

And then it occured to me, that really the class is way more like THIS than like Alton Brown (except, the homework is slightly more complex):

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Signs you spend too much time working.

  1. You repeatedly try to open your front door at home with your office key.
  2. You try to open your office door with your USB stick.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Among my fears.

What if I send out a manuscript, and the reviewers HATE it and talk about how stupid I am behind my back? Generally, reviewers in my field are really helpful, I think, and so this is probably a mostly irrational worry. All of the reviews I've ever gotten back on my own work have been really constructive, even if they're critical, and even if the first response is "reject." But still, are they saying things I don't see?

I'm an underling editor for one of the main journals in my discipline, so these days I get to see a lot more of the review process. Today I recieved a review from one person, who wrote some constructive (albeit terse) comments in the part of the review form the authors get to see, and then also added a comment in the part that only the editors get to see. It said,

This manuscript demonstrates profound ineptitude on the part of the authors.


But that answers the question. Yes, they very well may think I'm an idiot without explicitly saying so to me. (I should add that none of my papers thus far have ever not gotten published, even if it took a few revisions or a few different journals. So objectively I should believe I am not viewed as a complete moron.)