Thursday, January 24, 2008

Guess Where I'm Writing From!

Give up?

My Lab!



I'm currently in room 8-229 of UNBC, and I'm teaching the second experiment out of eight in the Physics 101 lab curriculum. I began writing at approximately 12:30, and won't be out of here until just before 2:30.

What am I teaching? Standing waves in a tube. Basically, we just put a speaker at the end of a long tube, connect it to a function generator to control the frequency and amplitude, and run a microphone down the tube in order to determine (a) the resonance frequencies at which standing waves form, and (b) the nodes and anti-nodes of said waves. Measuring the speed of sound fits in there as well. None of this really matters. The important thing is that you can make cool videogame and old-timey radio sounds with the speaker/function generator apparatus.

Two students just came up to me to get their data tables signed. It's a new anti-plagiarism measure. I told them that they have to re-write their data in pen before I would sign it. They were not happy, and I don't blame them.

It's cool that Christine set up a computer right at the desk. If she didn't, this blog entry would never be. I also checked my UNBC email before writing this entry, which reminded me why I so so so so so so so hate to use UNBC email.


If someone raised their hand right now I wouldn't even know it. That's a cool feeling.

More students came to get their forms signed. Here comes one now! Alright!

These labs really are exhausting. I only really "work" for half an hour during the actual period, in which I give the pre-lab lecture. This is actually the worst part of it. I've gotten a bit better at these lectures, in that I don't feel quite as horrible doing it as I used to, yet I still get the distinct impression that my students consider me a horrible horrible tool. And their right.

They're right.


A couple of students have left. Fine by me, as long as they got all their data. I figure if they really want to crap out and leave early, that's fine. If it turns out to be a mistake for them to leave, they'll pay for it in their marks. If not, why be a douche and make them stay?


I missed a seminar being given today by Dr. Shegelski, my grad supervisor. He was talking about research in molecular tunneling in which I was involved. "Involved" meaning that I was standing in the same general place that awesome research by Jeff and Hal was being done and getting paid for it all the same.

I missed it because I had to come here and do stupid prep for the stupid lab. That's the other exhausting thing about these labs. I usually come into the lab room about an hour and a half in advance to make sure that I'm really truly prepped for the experiment at hand. And even then, my preparation is still often grossly incomplete.

They're really piling on to me now. I just signed four data tables, and two are on the way.

12:55. I'm glad I had deluxe breakfast at A&W. There are many reasons for this, one involving the drive in teller girl at McDonalds. Ask my mom about that sometime.

Two students seem to be absolutely captivated by a poster of spectra for various elements. Leni just left. She thought I didn't know her, just because I acted like I didn't know her. I get nervous in these labs! Sue me.

I'm just realizing how abstract my blog labels are becoming. For this post, I've already attached labels like "Just Another Fist," "No One Can Hear You Scream,"-- two more data tables signed-- and "There Can Be Only One." Maybe I'll make up another tag of two. I'll have to give it some thought though. There's abstract and then there's just dumb.

1:03. I have no labs next week. For that, I'll attach the "Circular Celebrations" label.

I came to the lab rooms earlier in the week. The rooms that I teach in are on the second floor of the Teaching Lab building, with big windows that face toward the east. The mountains are blocked by haze today, as they often are, but when I came earlier in the week, on one of those days when it turned to biting cold, the sky was so clear that I could see the Rockys fifty or a hundred kilometers away. There weren't any students when I came in that time. If there were, I would have begun the lecture by just showing them the view, letting them soak it in for a minute or two, because they would likely never see that kind of view again.

Created new label-- "The View From Where I Am."

I've got the stupid live action Sailor Moon theme stuck in my head. I thought it might be a good idea for one of the hosts of a late night show going without writers, like Conan O'Brien or Colbert, to digitally insert themselves into episodes of the series, reciting actual dialogue from the show in really pathetic Japanese. Just imagine Conan as Mamoru-- I don't care if you don't know what I'm talking about!-- in a really big ugly Beatles wig hair cut that seems to be all the rage in Japan. Hilarious. And the best part: it's all legit! (it's Writers Guild of AMERICA. Suck it, union lawyers!)

If I started playing an episode of Sailor Moon right now, would anyone in the lab watch? Probably not.

Added label "Miyuu Sawai."

And with that, I bid you adieu.

UPDATE: Added label "Wow".

1 comment:

Naomi said...

You were...really bored.

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