Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And some chocolate

Today started off with a breakfast featuring these fresh-baked cinnamon rolls:

(Yes, I'm having a good baking week. )

And then there were many presents. I received chocolate and books and chocolate and a CD and chocolate and clothes and chocolate and kitchen supplies and chocolate and gift cards and chocolate and a necklace and chocolate. Spent the rest of the day watching basketball, cooking dinner, and having a cozy evening with Greg. Just perfect! I hope you had as wonderful and bountiful a holiday as I did.

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have joy and beauty in your life.

From Astronomy Picture of the Day and The World at Night:

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Today is my 37th birthday. I had a great day. Greg took me out to breakfast and then on a mini-spree at Mysterious Galaxy. In the afternoon, we walked around tide pools exposed by one of the lowest tides of the year. (Thanks to Voidmonster for pointing that out!)

From San Diego - D...

From San Diego - D...

From San Diego - D...

Then there was mexican food for dinner and the opening of presents: books, gift cards, jewelry, gym gear... I'm a spoiled brat! And now, a cozy evening at home wrapped up with LOTR and this cake. Lucky me! Thanks, everyone!

From San Diego - D...

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Well, the first semester at my new college is over. The exams, the grading, the paperwork... all done. Some perspectives from the new job:

  • Teaching in the city sounds very different from teaching in the suburbs. Really. In my office, I hear sirens and construction and traffic all day long.
  • The leaves turn pretty colors here. There weren't any leaves at the previous campus, unless you count cactus spines.
  • The new colleagues are nice.
  • The administration here seems more "student-centered" than "administration-centered" to the point where I've seen deans help students with minor paperwork and the president fetch a piece of needed equipment. Nice change.
  • Community college faculty and staff everywhere seem devoted to helping students get through the semester. Deaths in the family, work schedule changes, losing jobs, children getting sick... students have so much going on in their lives, and there is a whole structure here to support them. There are campus health services, as well as mental health services, provided. The trick is getting the students the help they need.
  • We'll see how the trend emerges in subsequent semesters, but the students at my previous school seemed more scientifically literate than here. And that's a horrifying thought.
  • Love my new students, though.
  • The weather is better. ;)

Now to do my Christmas shopping for Greg! Let's see... what to get him... hmm?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good Job

A few of my astronomy students told me that they've decided that they want me to teach all of their classes. Another astro student says that it was his favorite class ever. And one of my physics students, whom I talked into staying in the class after a disappointing first midterm, earned an A in the course.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in the right job.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Top kicker

Sadly, it isn't often that student athletes show up in physics classes. That's why I'm so excited that one of my best students from last spring was named the nation's top kicker. If I recall correctly, he wrote a paper on the physics of kicking for my class. ;)

Congratulations, Thomas!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Greg's parents kindly take us out for Thanksgiving dinner every year. However, that doesn't allow for leftovers! So, today I made our belated Thanksgiving meal: ham, cranberry sauce, dressing, peas au gratin, scalloped corn, and rolls. Sure, it took a few hours, but I won't have to cook again for days! And, because whole milk was called for in one of the recipes, I had hot cocoa made with whole milk for dessert. Mmm... decadence.

It rained all day Friday, a pleasant change. On Saturday, clouds still filled the sky.

From San Diego - D...

Today, it was all blue and sparkly.

From San Diego - D...

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I woke up to the sound of rain. I shall go to sleep to the sound of rain. It's one of my favorite sounds.

Speaking of sounds, my office is next to the men's restroom, and something (I think it's the door) sounds like a TIE fighter screaming over the Death Star. I hear this all day long. Makes me twitch. Sometimes life is very strange.

I'll concentrate on the soothing rain now.