Déconnecté (Friday, 2010 October 15)

October 16, 2010

Connection has been shit over the last 36 hours, for reasons that I am pretty sure are not mine. I haven’t even really been able to get online to check mail or anything. So I’ve had to get creative to keep busy.


Here’s a slide rule I made out of cardboard to demonstrate the relevant principles to my Terminale and possibly my Seconde class. Only class ended at 10 AM today due to some stupid "orientation’ thing. I guess that’s good because it means I only have five tests to grade before Monday (instead of eight), but it’s a little annoying. I think S.O.P. is that the tests get moved to the next free hour that I have in common with the class, and I have to do this for each class. Awesome!

Grading has been as expected. One thing I’ve found eases the burden is to break them into piles of 10. You can grade a pile of 10 papers in about half an hour and it feels like you’ve actually made progress. Whereas you can hack away at a whole class for a couple hours and feel like you’re still overwhelmed.

Another prop has been useful in explaining Boolean algebra. Everything is super-clear when you hold up a blue pen and say "I’m holding a red pen" — there’s really only one useful concept in Boolean algebra, and it has to do with treating rationally the falsehoods that are around you. So I think 3e is going pretty well, actually, and fuck the scheme of work.

Speaking of technical difficulties, there’s been a problem with the power in the computer lab. Not exactly sure what happened; it could be "natural causes" (shitty wiring and an ugly power grid), or it could be a short-circuit in some equipment, or it could be that, despite the computer club’s enthusaism, the building is just not rated for 25 computers. Oh, did I mention we got more computers from the prestataire? Pentium 4 class machines. So I’m less interested in sabotaging him than I was, say, two weeks ago. Anyhow, no practical classes until that’s sorted out.


The secretary and her baby (reaching for the beer). On the left is the grizzly old gym teacher. The secretary is probably the only person in the school besides me who is qualified to operate a computer. Nevertheless, something bizarre happened to her machine this past week (possibly related to the failure in the computer lab?) and now the video output is vastly dimmer than it should be. No idea why, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a problem with the screen itself. Anyhow, this was on National Teacher’s Day.


More teachers than you can shake a stick at!

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