Monday, April 27, 2009

It's a book!!!!!!

I interrupt my usual academic blathering to squeak over the fact that I have held in my hands a copy of Greg's first novel, Norse Code (publication date 5/19/09). Pictures available here. Eee!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Not too good by half

Greg and I were in a used bookstore last week and overheard the following conversation:

Customer: How much is this book?

Proprietor: All books are half priced.

Customer: So how much is this book?

Proprietor: All books are half of the original price.

Customer (looking at the book): The original price on this book is $9.99. How much would this book be?

Proprietor: Well, the price of the book would be half of $10.

Customer: So how much would that be?

Proprietor (more than a little curtly): You take $10 and divide by two, so $5.

Customer: Oh.

I wonder how often the proprietor has that conversation. I do appreciate he tried to make it a teaching moment, with the whole "divide by two" instruction. That reminds me of a conversation a colleague had with a student this week, which went something like:

Student: How big is Mars?

Professor: It's about half the diameter of the Earth.

Student: What do you mean?

Professor: Mars is about half of the diameter of the Earth.

Student: I don't understand you.

Professor: You take the Earth's diameter and you multiply it by 0.5.

Student: Why didn't you just say so?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Glad that the students talk to me, too

Dear Counselor,

I know things are rough financially on our students right now. I appreciate that you take their finances into account when helping them schedule their classes. However, would you please refrain from telling students to not consider entire MAJORS because it would cost extra time and money? Telling a student that he/she should not be a science major because they'd have to spend an extra year catching up on math and it would cost them some extra money (and at a California community college, we're talking an extra $60 in fees for the math classes in question) is fiscally irresponsible for that student in the long run. It's like punishing the student for going to a crappy high school or having bad counselors in their past. I do sympathize with your intent and acknowledgment of the poor economy, but dampening the goals of the students with deficient backgrounds who want to go into high-tech/high-wage-potential majors does a disservice for all of us in the future.

Thank you for your time,

Science Professor (who is seeing dwindling numbers of science majors)

Friday, April 10, 2009


Greg gets all ranty every time he sees a commercial for the new Wolverine movie. I'm thinking that sitting on the couch watching the commercials with him is likely way more entertaining than the movie will be. ;)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

View from here

It was a pretty day:

From Spring2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Went to the beach...

... and so did everyone else:

At first, I was irritated by the sheer number of people. However, since I can walk to the beach from my apartment in a mere twenty minutes, I decided to allow them to share my beach for today.