Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time passes

It is a cool evening in Kigali. The sky is a dark blue/gray and I hear students talking over in the science building, crickets and crows chirp, and the evening call to prayer just finished echoing through the neighborhood to the south.

It has been a slow day -- one of those days where relatively minor inconveniences annoy me more than they should. The book creeps closer to completion. The first proofs were submitted on Monday. I am now working on the index and will do one final proofread. I get the proofs back from the publisher in a week and a half. Then I enter final changes and it's over. I don't know how extensive the final changes will be. Any changes will be about formatting or spacing. The copy-editing phase is done.

Classes went ok this week. Things move along. Next week will be light in terms of teaching. Tuesday, when I normally teach my mathematical physics class, is a holiday so class will not meet. We will make up the class in a few weeks. The following week I will give midterms in both of my classes.

A week from Monday I think I need to have my regular and supplemental exams written for both of my classes. The tests aren't administered until mid-June, but the exams need to go to an external reviewer for approval. So I need to write the exam with about half of the class not having been taught yet. I don't like this system at all. It means that I write the exam guessing at what I will cover. I much prefer for a class to unfold organically, especially the first time I teach it. But that's not the way it is here. So I'll guess at what I'm going to get through. It is hard to avoid "teaching to the test" with this system. But it is what it is.

The next two weeks or so will be busy with exam writing and book work. I think I may spend the weekend away from Kigali. A change of scenery might be rejuvenating and energizing. And I'll need a lot of energy to push through the next few weeks.

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