Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Teaching is keeping me busier than I thought it would. There was a time before the kids were born, I could just walk into class and start rambling with only my overheads for prompts. But since then, the outline (and much of the information) has diffused out of my brain. It doesn't help that having babies kills brain cells. I'm not sure where that happens, maybe somewhere between pregnancy and waking up every two hours as a zombie. The end result is me spending lots of time reviewing old information and replanning my lectures, this time around power point images. This week, I have to talk about photosynthesis and respiration, which is one of the more difficult concepts, especially for nonmajors. It involves a lot of chemistry and memorization. I'm going to take it a little easy on them and not have them know every chemical in the pathway, but still, I'll be impressed if they manage to understand the electron transport system.

Around this time during the semester, my students start dropping like flies. These are the students who did badly the first exam and now realize the material just gets harder. This is why I never turn down students at the beginning, even if my class is jam-packed. I tell them not to worry, that lots of them will drop later on.

Basically, I have 4 types of students: smart & lazy; smart & hard-working; not-so-smart & lazy; and not-so-smart & hard-working (no one is really dumb). The not-so-smart & lazy eventually drop or get deserved F's. The smart ones usually do well, but I have to watch out for the smart & lazy ones because they tend to cheat and argue with me about points. I don't have to worry at all about the smart & hard-working ones. The last group, not-so-smart & hard-working, is probably my favorite group. They're there everytime, jotting down notes, asking me questions afterward, and then they still get low grades. I do anything to help these ones out, and it's very rewarding for both of us to see their grades improve. Usually, though, the improvement is not that drastic, maybe from a C to a B.

Overall, it's been great. I've learned that young people are still wonderful. I'm learning to budget my time better. Most of all, as I go over the details of the cell or DNA (and even photosynthesis & respiration), I can't help but marvel at the intricacy of God's creation. I defy any evolutionist to explain how cAMP came into existence. This, and all of science, is genius, God's pure genius.

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