Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Killer midterm

My students bombed my midterm exam last week. They all complained it was hard, which I wouldn't have thought much of but then Kevin looked at it and thought it was very detailed for nonmajors, too. It's become hard for me to gauge which question is hard because they're all the same to me, although I do have a tiny idea, especially on my more tricky questions. When I'm choosing between two questions that cover the same concept, I inevitably choose the harder one. I have to curb that tendency.

My average was a 25 out of 50, so they got a very generous curve. I remember getting a 30/100 on a physics final once. I felt that I had gotten nothing right on the test, that I had failed the class. Turns out the 30 was a C grade. I was relieved, of course, but I also wondered what was the point of that physics class. The teacher had made it so hard that students like me either knew nothing but passed anyway or knew something but thought I knew nothing. I definitely don't want to be like that guy.

Only the final exam is left now. I always go easier on the final because the students have to deal with their other finals and also all the information from the beginning of the semester. Speaking of the semester, boy does it drag on. I think I prefer the quarter system. Here's a sampling of my tough questions:

1. What is the final electron acceptor of the noncyclic electron flow in photosynthesis?
a. H2O
b. NADP+
c. O2
d. ATP

2. In snapdragons, red flower is incompletely dominant with white. Straight leaf is dominant over curly leaf. If a pink plant with curly leaves is crossed with a white plant with homozygous straight leaves, what are the chances of producing a white, straight-leafed plant?
a. 1 out of 2
b. 3 out of 16
c. 3 out of 4
d. 1 out of 4

Did you get it right?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Blogger's Block

Here I am, sitting all by myself, with a free minute while the kids are playing nicely by themselves in their bedroom. It's eerily quiet, and I am fighting to suppress that urge to get up and check on them because I know once I do, I will discover that the two little ones have pooed in their diapers, that it's leaked all over their pants, and that they're beating up on each other. Every morning lately, they go take care of their "babies," their menagerie of stuffed animals. They line them up in the crib, feed them, and play mommy & daddy or something. Until daddy starts chasing and wrestling them. Then they all come running out screaming.

So I thought I should take this rare opportunity to catch up on my blog, because I must admit I have been very remiss in my blogging. I started this thing hoping to let interested people see what we're up to, but lately it's been nothing but other people's birthdays. Actually, you should be thankful that there were all these birthdays, because otherwise I probably wouldn't have blogged at all. I've been feeling...blah for awhile now. I used to be capable of decently humorous conversation but not anymore. These days, I sound and feel like the most boring person on the planet. This is what it must feel like to go senile.

Well, after two paragraphs, I still have nothing really to say, except that I'm still here, the kids are good, and life is busy. Ah, I just heard the first cry signalling the end of peacetime. And...here they come and so I must go. Till the next birthday, which is in May.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Poor Me

This past week when they were hanging out, my uncle told my parents that it was a shame that I had so many kids, that I was to be pitied. I get that reaction a lot from my relatives. Another uncle asks me every time he sees me why in the world I got my master's degree. The general concensus is that I am wasting my education (and therefore my entire life) by staying at home and changing poopy diapers.

I guess they think being a stay-at-home mother is the lowest of the low, something no one would do unless they had to, like if they had no education, no other opportunities, no birth control. One or two kids would have been acceptable for me so that I could get on with my career, if you call what I had before the kids a career.

Of course I get offended because my education is very valuable to me. Not necessarily in bringing in the dough (although it does a little bit) but in shaping who I am today. I've learned so many things from my college education I don't know where to begin. The best lessons I've learned are the non-book stuff. Like thanks to my master's research, I now have the good sense to doubt all those crazy research findings that seem to pop up every week. Plus, I met most of my best friends and husband in college. And I had fun growing into myself. I don't know how anyone can consider all that a waste.

As for raising kids, it's the best investment any way you look at it. Hopefully, by the end of these 18 years, I will have raised 3 productive adults who will not only benefit other people but whom I can mooch off of till I die (not just for money but also for rides and cantankerous demands). In the process, I get to learn worthwhile things for myself like how to be patient, how to be humble, and how to appreciate little things more.

But I won't be telling my uncles all this. I'll just accept their pity, misplaced though it is. Their pity means more sympathy and leniency with me which translates to more freebies, more food, more exceptions for me at family functions. Somehow I can live with that.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Sick again

Somethin's going around again. My baby girl's been running a temperature for the last two days. A regular cold or a small cut doesn't really phase me anymore, but a fever makes me worry like nothing else. Maybe it's because it can cause brain damage, as it did for my cousin a long time ago. Or maybe because nothing debilitates kids faster. They turn into lethargic little zombies within minutes and just slump there with ooze coming out of the eyes and nose. I know it must be really bad if they're not running around being mischievous.

My angel is okay for the next 3 hours thanks to medication but after it wears off, it'll start all over again. Even with the medication, though, she can't eat normal things because the fever's caused her to vomit and diarrhea. Poor baby. In the meantime, we are all spoiling her something awful. Even her brother knows not to mess with her. I just hope it goes away soon. And that it doesn't spread to the other two. That would be the worst.