Snowed Under

Ok. It’s official. This week I am snowed under with things. Every day I write half a blog post, and then something comes up and I do not got back to it and I fall into bed later, exhausted, some time in the wee hours, only to get up early the next day to carry on with things.

So in case you were wondering, I am still here. Just snowed under. I gave my final exam for my Physics 151 course (Fundamentals of Physics: Mechanics and Thermodynamics) on Monday (hurrah!) and I’ve spent a huge chunk of today playing with various excel files of various chunks of data from the course, trying to turns a sea of numbers into final grades for the students. It has been slow work, and I’m nowhere near done yet. It’s complicated because I must incorporate multiple components of assessment, from three different exams, laboratory work, online homework and written homework, to in-class responses using individual RF transmitters, and online quizzes of various sorts. (All a bit much, in my view, but, well that’s another story…) Every single bit has its own spreadsheet with data that must be uniformized and then combined to give the whole picture of each student’s performance.

It has made me a bit dizzy just talking about it.

But it’s not that simple. Oh no. Here’s a small part of the extra stuff: I’ve been trying to get the exterior of my house painted, and of course there have been (quite fantastic) rainstorms delaying everything and so I’ve been dealing with painters for longer than planned – with the Christmas holiday closing fast, and I’ve got my mum visiting me (hurrah!) and so I must be a good host and so forth and not just hide in the study crunching numbers (she arrived a day earlier than I expected – my fault! – so I’m a bit off-balance about that too), and… and…

And I had better get to sleep now since I have to make myself camera-ready in the morning and drive up to the Mojave Desert to be involved in a shoot for a show that’ll air on either Discover or National Geographic. I can’t remember which. I’m supposed to do one for each and I’ve lost track right now of which is which. Anyway, I’ve just been told to go to a particular town. No address has come through on email as yet. And so I have just a phone number to call when I’m close. And I don’t know if the mobile phone will work in the desert anyway. And I don’t know if the drive will take 1 hour 45 minutes or 3 hours (since google maps gave me that as the range) and so I’d better expect that latter, especially given the time of day. And I don’t know if the roads will be open since I’ll have to do a mountain pass at some point and temperatures are low and snow (actual snow!) has been seen at low-lying areas and that usually results in closed roads…

I could have just chosen the simple life. But of course I did not. Yay.


(Coming up, I hope: A book review I’ve been planning to write for several months. Just in time for holiday gift ideas!)

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