Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Electrical Bugaloo 1 & 2

Sunday, we ran out of hot water. Technically, we ran out Saturday night, but I only recognized the problem Sunday. We're old hands at this by now. It's the fuses for the water heater. Even though the fuses display no evidence of blowing, changing them revives the water heater. I guess they're displaying evidence of sucking. Is it hard to replace the fuse box for the water heater with a circuit breaker?

I just went of to start the rusty piece of Odyssey I call my vehicle to do carpool and the battery was dead. It worked fine yesterday and I did not leave the lights on or anything like that. My visiting father has our other minivan this week, but our kind carpool partners covered for me. He's coming over today so he can help me jump start the thing and at least get it up the driveway so both vans can fit.

I haven't been writing yet this week. Yesterday I spent most of the day at Concordia eating lunch with and briefing the new grad students. They seem keen, and younger and more international a group than normal. There are 26 or 27 of them, which is less than I deal because I teach in a lab with only 25 computers, including mine. I hope they can get their laptops online - the wireless that blankets that room is flaky.

As part of yesterday's orientation, three graduating graduate-diploma students talked to the incoming class. One of them went out of her way to praise the stats and numbers teaching I do. That warmed my heart. I teach numbers and statistics to my students who are not skilled at math. These are not unintelligent people, they just have trouble with numbers. If they were good at numbers, they'd be engineers. But I manage to teach concepts without resorting to numbers. It's important that they can read statistical analysis and reports and understand what is going on, understand how to avoid taking numeric conclusions at face value.

The student who praised that part of my course asked the graduate program director for more of that sort of thing. I felt good because this student looked like a sleeping cod in those classes. Lecturers get feedback from anonymous evaluations at the end of every course but rarely learn how the teaching carries through the long term. It's nice to feel appreciated in that way.

God-damned car.


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