Tag Archives: teaching

for L_, who I trust and respect

I didn’t go to his funeral. Even if I could have, I would not have gone. Funerals are for the living, Continue reading

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Filed under poem, prose

what I wanted to say…

…in my Friday and weekend emails and “chats” to the 10% of my colleagues who cause 90% of the problems because they either ignore the grade submission deadline, discover they don’t know how to use the system until after the deadline and expect help on the weekend, or are just too bloody ODD to do anything properly and on time without having to be asked five times and then argue about it:  

 

I’m the parent that’s less fun

(the one that makes you brush your teeth)

I’m the teacher that’s more mean

(the one that won’t let you in the lab barefoot)

I’m the director that sends the angry emails

(the one that makes sure marks come in)

 

Or here’s another way of looking at it,

I’m the one that:

keeps the kids healthy,

the students safe,

and makes sure the system works.

 

Did you ever think that maybe I get tired of

     being the grown up?

     being the responsible one?

     being the bad guy?

and would like to not give a shit about

dental costs,

legal liability and

graduations,

either?

 

Did you ever stop to think that if you

JUST

DO

YOUR

FUCKING

JOB

then I won’t have to be the bad guy?

 

Let’s do the experiment and see what happens.

 

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Filed under poem, rants

home teaching/learning

For the dVerse Monday haibun, “back to school“:

It’s Tuesday morning of the semester break, and I’m in the bedroom working on my online lectures and tutes: particle and rigid body kinematics and kinetics. In the background my husband is yelling at the kids – “supporting their online schooling” in the kitchen. Continue reading

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Filed under musings, poem

acros(s)tic

Tuesday’s dVerse prompt was to write an acrostic or a poem inspired by puzzles. I’ve never gotten into crosswords personally…

Crosswords are, apparently,
Recommended for the brain
Or some other mental activity
So our sanity’s maintained.
Some enjoy them, that is true,
Well, they’re fine, but not me.
Other puzzles bring me pleasure –
Round here we’re much more mathsy!
Division and times-tables,
Some algebra and graphing –

Numeracy’s enabled, and
Our puzzles keep us laughing.

But this prompt did make me smile, because on the weekend I spent a couple of hours creating puzzle-clues for my kids to do treasure hunts. The kids were bored with being in quarantine so I found some chocolate tucked away and sent them on an out-of-season Easter hunt. Some of the clues were word puzzles, including one combined crossword + jumble, but many were maths-based because the little one is learning long division and times-tables, and the twins are doing algebra and graphs in online schooling.  

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cog, oil, spanner?

Are you happy to be
a brick in the wall?
That would be dull, but,
at worst you could fall.
Or would you rather be,
a cog in the machine,
going round and round.
A repeating scene.
Or what about
the oil that’s flowing,
between the cogs,
to keep it all going?
Or the fuel being burnt,
down in the furnace,
sure that your sacrifice
serves a great purpose?

What other choices
does the machine proffer?

A sabot or a spanner,
are still there on offer.

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c’est la fucking vie

Yesterday morning, in the middle of a two hour face-to-face tutorial, my students told me Canberra was going into lockdown at 1700.  So, after tute, I checked in with my team, reset a bunch of stuff on my course site to 2020 version, emailed all my students, then looked around my office to decide what to take home… instant curries from the filing cabinet, a couple of textbooks, the fruit sitting on my desk… and, oh yes, my “little box of fucks” (for when you have none left to give – thank you B_ for that thoughtful gift)…  Grabbed my stuff, collected kids from school, and got home just in time to run my 1600 to 1800 tute online.  (sigh). 

Hence this, in mirrored refrain form for the Thursday dVerse prompt

C’est la fucking vie,
Here we go again…
and we retreat into our homes,
as another lockdown descends.

We bunker down inside, while
outside the virus roams,
as another lockdown descends
and we retreat into our homes. Continue reading

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friction does not oppose motion – seriously, it doesn’t.

with apologies to Gordon Sumner….: 

Every move you make,
Every step you take,
Every game you play,
Unless still you stay,
Friction’s moving you.

Oh can’t you see,
That your free bodeeeee…
Diagram is wro-oong,
That’s why I sing this so-oooong…. Continue reading

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FBD, chant with me!

I use the odd rhyme and other mnemonics in my teaching, including online last year asking my class to turn on their microphones and all repeat after me:

“I solemnly swear, to draw the forces, all the forces, and nothing but the forces, on my free  body diagrams. So help me John”. (John is my co-lecturer – and it sounded better than “so help me Kate”). 

But after pondering the dVerse prompt to meet the bar with  a chant, I now have something bigger and… maybe…better… for this year’s cohort:

Now I know ’cause Kate told me

Now I know ‘cause Kate told me

I must master free body

I must master free body

Diagrams that show each force

Diagrams that show each force

If I want to pass this course

If I want to pass this course Continue reading

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integrity (extended version)

This is an extended version of Integrity, based even more closely on Macavity (Eliot, 1939).  

Integrity’s the missing value: I’m told it is assumed
that it’s a value we all share, or so it is presumed.
So it’s a bafflement when Turnitin raises flags in red,
and when we check for plagiarism – Integrity is dead! Continue reading

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0800 biochemistry lectures

This is for the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt “smudge”. A quadrille is 44 words exactly, and must include the prompt word.

I have tried,
I have tried so hard!
I have drunk coffee,
wiggled my toes
sat in the front row
holding my eyes open…
Only to find myself,
again
woken at the lecture’s end
with drool and
a smudge of ink on my cheek.

A lot of my poetry is at least semi-autobiographical. This is definitely autobiographical. Despite quite enjoying biochemistry at uni, I did sleep though almost every 8am lecture, no matter how hard I tried to stay awake. And I woke up more than once with my face stuck to my smudged notes. I don’t know what the poor lecturer thought of me sleeping in the front row with my eyes propped open.  

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