April 24, 2006

General update

I haven't been feeling very bloggy lately, but I've actually been doing a few things worth writing about. Saturday I was in Indianapolis for part of a dance competition, where I didn't do very well, but really liked the downtown area. Vibrant and very well-integrated, you could tell it was active from the crack of dawn until past midnight, unlike say downtown Chicago or downtown Galesburg. It's big enough to have a decent nightlife (at least, so it appeared in one evening there) but small enough that the nightlife hasn't divorced itself from the business district, which is nice. Also, the architecture is great, at least in the half-mile square right around the city centre.

Then I had to rush back to Galesburg to practice for the chorus performance on Sunday. We did a Civil War-themed concert, with each song preceded by narration and readings (of the voiceover-on-A&E-specials variety) that really made the concert feel more like a play. (Or a revue, but that term makes it sound kitschy, which it wasn't.) Everybody was on, at least to the outside observer. The soloist that had woken up with no voice and the soloist and reader suffering from severe back spasms didn't let on, and you'd certainly never know. The world-premiere piece that we did really came together, and we actually finally liked it (after a couple of months of banging our heads on it—it's modern, so you need a while for it to grow on you). I can't wait to see the DVD.

And then I had to turn around and write a midterm exam for CS 142. Which, for some reason, was way harder than usual. I was having a devil of a time writing questions of the appropriate size. Although I prefer writing more smaller problems, so that blowing "part 1" doesn't screw you for part 2, I just kept devising these monolithic problems that I couldn't tease apart into pieces. It's also a very boring exam, largely due to the order I've had to follow in teaching things, which hasn't really let me devise any of my fun problems. (Maybe that's just as well? But I have heard students comment that they enjoy my exam problems.) And I couldn't use problems from last year's CS 142 midterm, because I haven't covered any of that material yet, although I'm close in a few cases.

Now I need to tidy up some loose ends and do laundry, and tomorrow I'm doing a fast round-trip to Chicago for an eye appointment and to get my car fixed. Fun fun fun....

"Giving 51% of the people 100% of the power is immoral. It's rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic to debate whether the 51% should be chosen randomly or by careful scheming." --Paul Hebble

Posted by blahedo at 11:12pm on 24 Apr 2006
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