So, summer is over.
Okay, I know summer isn’t technically over for another few weeks (and not until, oh, 2017 if you live in the Southern Hemisphere). But it is the first day of September. And so I’m taking some time to think back over my summer, and the choices I made during it, and what I learned from them.
Apologies that I only posted a few times in May. I spent a lot of evenings and weekends working on research deadlines this past month and so had somewhat less time for other activities like blogging. In other words, you could say that I was scheduled up.
Anyway…It’s time for a May update! Super exciting!
My high school had kind of an unusual schedule—or at least I think it was unusual, but maybe you can tell me. There was no such thing as a lunch period or study hall. Instead, each class only met four days per week instead of five: for example, maybe your French class didn’t meet on Tuesdays, your Geometry class didn’t meet on Thursdays, your Biology and P.E. classes didn’t meet on Fridays, and so on. This meant that you usually had one or two free periods—or “X periods”, as they were called—built into your schedule each day, and during these periods you were allowed to do whatever you wanted. You could eat lunch, work on your homework, wander the halls, check your email at the email station (I went to high school in the late 90s, guys), or simply walk out through the front doors of the school and go off-campus.
As I mentioned last week, I’m starting a new job in a couple weeks. And this means that I have a lot more clarity on certain topics than I did a month ago. I know where I’m going to be working, I know what my salary will be, and I know when and where I’m supposed to show up on my first day.
But there are a lot of details that I don’t know yet, and I’m feeling very impatient about finding them out. If you could put a magical microphone up to my brain and listen in on my thoughts for a few moments, they would sound something like this (imagine me talking reallyreallyfast):
This past semester I taught a very content-heavy course in which the students’ grades were based mostly on their performance on three long, involved exams. I know from experience, both as a student and as an instructor, that it can be surprisingly easy to accidentally miss a question, or even a whole page, on an exam. So in an attempt to prevent this, I emphasized to the students each time that it was their responsibility to check their exams over carefully before turning them in, to make sure they hadn’t missed any questions.