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Quick Update [Jul. 24th, 2009|11:53 pm]

Today was pretty uneventful, for the most part.

I went down to campus to meet with a student - had some fun questions, and I even got to do a little proof, which is always fun.  Then, after a little more work, I came home - I think it was about 12 or 1.


Once home, I spend some time reading, and updating the lecture that I'm trying to finish covering.  I even *sigh* converted the part I need to catch up on to Powerpoint...  Generally, I try to avoid Powerpoint, as I find that I'm a significantly worse teacher when I use it.  Or, at least I FEEL like a significantly worse teacher when I use it - and that feeling alone is enough to decrease the quality of my teaching.  On the other hand, the discipline of Powerpoint does keep me on task (though getting "off task" is often a strength, my students say), and that speeds lectures up significantly.  Anyway, since I'm almost a full lecture behind, I decided to convert that lecture to PPT so I can get caught up.

As far as my reading goes...  I'm currently reading 4 books actively  (there are 2 more "in the wings" that I've started, but am not making much progress on).  Here they are:


Ron Paul's "The Revolution:  A Manifesto".  Thus far, I've just read the chapters on Foreign Policy and the Constitution.  My impression is that the book was primarily written to convince conservatives that "neoconservatism" is nonsense - and not even "traditional conservatism".  (Which raises an odd question...  How can something that isn't traditional still be called "conservative"?  Remember:  words mean things - though I think that is becoming less true over time.)

Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman:  A Game Of You" - Volume 5 in the series.  It's pretty good thus far.  Definitely satisfies my desire for odd, but enjoyable graphic novel storytelling.

Daniel Willingham's "Why Don't Students Like School?" - a very good book that is highly recommended for anyone in education.  Clearly, it's intended for those teaching at the below-college level, but the principles still apply at the college level.  Mostly, that's from the fact that the book is written by a cognitive scientist, so it's mostly about thinking and how to apply the insights of cog. sci. to the classroom.  Very interesting stuff.

The Works of John Wesley, Volume 8 - Addresses.  Right now, I'm reading the "Farther Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion".  I think the most interesting thing to me is Wesley's method of argument.  (Especially regarding the validity and applicability of various bits of English religious law, like the Acts of Toleration.)  Also, it was interesting to learn that Wesley was originally ordained to the Church of England's "College of the Divines" - whose job it was to hunt down and argue against heresy.  I'm moving through this a bit more slowly than his sermons, but that's alright - I do have other things on my plate, too, after all.

Alright, that's it for tonight, have a good one, y'all.