Another Semester Done
By FlightTest (Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 08:21:59 PM EST) (all tags)
Stick a fork in it, it's done.

Had my engineering math final tonight. I emailed my paper for my finite element class to the prof last Sunday (10 Dec). With the possible exception of my last undergrad semester, I don't think I've ever been so glad for a semester to be over. And that's only a "possible" exception, I'm not sure.

It's been a hell of a year. The year started out with me working as an intern for the state, part time. Mrs. FT got diagnosed with breast cancer (was it REALLY only 8.5 months ago?) on the day before our 9th wedding anniversary, also the day before she started a new job. At the end of April FIL had to put his beloved Trigger look-alike down due to a brain tumor. I got hired full time for the state in May. We bought a new car in June. We found out in August that FIL's g/f has been hiding a lump and severe pain in one breast for a long time, and will probably not live to see Christmas 2007. Also in August a cousin died in an industrial accident. We went to the most awesome wedding EVAR in Vegas over labor day. I found a new job in November. We got a new HVAC installed in December.

All that stress and crap has caused a real lack of flying activity this year. Mrs. FT battles daily with hot flashes. My Rodeo has had its A/C and transmission replaced this year.

Okay, I'm sure there's more crap, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head. And, I feel like I've rambled enough. Someone else's turn now.

Another Semester Done | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
congrats on finishing the semester by garlic (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 08:30:29 PM EST
I wrapped up everything my final project just now. Not that it's done well, but with the final already done and this my last class, and the professor only having 2 days to grade it, I'm not worried.

I've wondered sometimes by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 08:47:42 PM EST
Just how much effort profs really put into grading final papers and exams. Usually, the deadline for grades is pretty soon after finals, and you know they're pretty eager to be done with it as well.

[ Parent ]
quite a lot by martingale (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 10:24:20 PM EST
It's quite common for profs to pay _real_money_ to graduate students to performa preliminary grade analysis. Twice as many eyeballs and all that.
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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
To my knowledge by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 10:03:51 PM EST
None of the part-time instructors (both of my profs were part time) hire grad students. I've never seen any postings for grad students to grade papers for the full-time faculty, either. Also, there are around 45 mechanical engineering grad students, most of whom I know since there's not many grad-level classes offered, and we all work full-time.

[ Parent ]
it's not often advertized by martingale (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 10:08:09 PM EST
IYKWIM. Depends on the local departmental rules, but it often happens on big classes if you know who to ask.
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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
"big" classes by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 10:11:41 PM EST
Heh. My "large" class this semester was 14 students, that was the engineering math class. My finite element class was 5.

[ Parent ]
I'm talking by martingale (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 11:43:30 PM EST
Physics 101 for biology students - O(200+) students.
First year Introductory Engineering Maths - O(150) students
etc.

First year compulsory bread and butter courses are an absolute pain, and it's never interesting material.

By contrast, grading a class of O(10) students is so trivial, it's not even worth it to invest time thinking about a standardized marking scheme.
--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

[ Parent ]
When there are no graduate students available, by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 02:17:39 AM EST
though, profs (I'm thinking of myself, here, in my previous job, and many of my English department colleagues) spend as little time as possible grading final exams, projects, etc. Perhaps there are some profs who are able to really spend quality time with 50 or more final papers/projects/exams, but I tried to assign something for the final that I could grade quickly - short-answer exams, short papers about a particular topic, in-class presentations.

When I was a grad student, though, I was required to assign a long (8-10 page) research paper as the final, due the last day of class. It was hell grading all of those, and I didn't read them carefully or offer feedback - just skim and put a grade on it.
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inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye

[ Parent ]
I didn't mean to malign the profs by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 10:10:18 PM EST
But they're human, after all. They want to get on with their holiday as well.

Also, the classes I'm in are small, my engineering math class was "large" at 14 students, my finite element class ended up being 5. The finite element class I expect he will actually read the papers, although his format will allow him to grade them quickly. The math class he's just going to have to slog through them though.

[ Parent ]
I didn't think you were maligning by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 04:39:42 AM EST
profs at all. It's just a little known fact that most profs really hate grading papers, especially right before the holidays. So yeah, when I was teaching, I was quite a slacker, and I really don't think I was all that unusual. Of course, 14 students isn't all that big, for one class. If the prof has three or four other classes, though....
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inspiritation: the effect of irritating someone so much it inspires them to do something about it. --BuggEye
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's so little known. :) by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 08:45:41 AM EST
The prof with 5 of us gets off easy, it was the only class he taught this semester. The math class guy had one other class, around 10 students in that one. Still, both of them work full-time as well, and have children, so I'm sure their enthusiasm for grading isn't terribly high.

[ Parent ]
i am so glad to hear... by clock (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 05:25:04 AM EST
...that things are continuing in an upwardly direction.  i hope it stays that way into the new year.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

I just wish by FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 09:58:53 PM EST
it would seem in reality to be as upwardly as it appears in the diary. Your wedding was easily the highlight of the year, maybe the last 4 years (back to buying the airplane). So the rest of the year even after that pales in comparison. Plus it's been a stress-filled semester since the wedding, and Mrs. FT's hot flashes have really worn on us both. The problem is the general stress levels are so high, even small problems (like for instance, the phone company failing to show up as promised) seems huge, the proverbial straw.

However, there is good news on the hot flash front, somewhat by chance. We saw a different oncologist (same group) this last visit, because Mrs. FT's regular oncologist was busy with a new patient. This oncologist was much better, listened more, was more relaxed, and was more sympathetic to the strain the treatment is putting on us both. She is very concerned with the number of hot flashes Mrs. FT is experiencing and sees getting those under control as being just as important as getting her on the anti-hormonals, whereas we got the feeling from the other oncologist that she would just have to live with them. Needless to say, we're switching oncologists. So hopefully we can turn the corner on Mrs. FT's treatment.

So I'm hopeful the new year will trend upward. I fear next semester will be burdensome, especially towards finals, but we'll have to take it as it comes, as best we can.

[ Parent ]
Another Semester Done | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback