New Beginnings

campus_1Yes, the new semester and new academic year started yesterday, and today saw my first class of a new course for me to teach – Physics 508b: Advanced Electricity and Magnetism. The bad news is that it is a new course for me and so I have to write new material, plan new things entirely, and generally put in a lot of raw preparation from scratch for some things. The good news is that it seems that I have, overall, a good group of students to teach, based upon the willingness to interact that I saw, with good humour, good questions, interjections, and so forth. Further good news is that I’ve an excellent TA for the course (who also does research with me and so we can go back and forth from teaching matters and research matters) and that I’ve taught Physics 408b for a few years. The latter is an undergraduate advanced E&M course (based on Griffith, in case you’re wondering), and while this 508b course (based on Jackson) is heavier in detail and depth on the same material, I can borrow some of the more challenging material from the undergraduate course and deepen it a bit for use in the graduate course, so I will have a little bit of core stuff I can reach for at times. Excellent.

It is great to be back in the full swing of things on campus with all the students back, the new arrivals here, and everyone is all enthusiastic and fresh, new and optimistic…
There’s a good feeling in the air these first few days of semester, and there’s a lovely type of sunlight in the city in the mornings and evenings that I love at this time of year.

All around the campus, you hear people asking “How was your Summer?” in a way that makes it seem like it is over. It is not over. Summer is still here for a while. the routine of the semester does not kill it. It just makes it a bit different, changing the rhythms of the day, but if you listen there’s still a great Summer song playing. No, really. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


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6 Responses to New Beginnings

  1. Yvette says:

    I am adding you to my list of people to harass when I don’t know what the hell Jackson is trying to say. 😉 Cheers!

  2. Michelle says:

    A picture of all those bikes on Jefferson + Hoover would be fantastic…!

  3. Clifford says:

    Yvette:- Want to take the course online? We can set up a computer with a webcam on it, run ichat, and put a sign on it saying Yvette.


  4. Clifford says:

    Hey Michelle,

    I tried to get a good one of the area you mentioned but was there at the wrong time for maximum effect. I’ll do one later for another post perhaps. I hope the ones I used are ok?



  5. Michelle says:

    I almost got run over by a massive onslaught of bikes on my way to work on Tuesday– I think it was about 9:15. By the time I thought to get out the IPhone, the light had changed and the bikes were gone. I will try and document it next time!

  6. Clifford says:

    Yes… Sooner rather than later something needs to be done to organize the bikes better now that cycling on campus has (happily) taken off so hugely. The cyclists think of themselves as just fast pedestrians, which is not right. They are more akin to cars and should have lanes, enforceable ettiquette, etc, that protects the pedestrians from them, and them from the delivery trucks and so forth that they run afoul of when they run stop signs and so forth.