Wednesday, August 16, 2006

minor frustrations

My son's list of school supplies included a "geometer". Not only did the manager of my local Staples not know what that was, but a web search turned up only that a geometer is a mathematician who specializes in geometry. I sent an email and it turns out that what they had in mind is more properly called a geometry template and they sell the right one at the school bookstore. Last year I was immensely frustrated by the lists they sent out of what students need--they aren't much better this year but I know most of the secrets.

I'm looking forward to the race I am doing this Sunday, but it will be the first time I have done a triathlon with a pool swim. That might sound easy because a pool is where I do almost all of my swim practicing. But the swim instructions say:
Participants will navigate the course in a zig-zag pattern. This is an eight-lane 50-meter pool. All participants will begin in the lane closest to the diving well. Participants will then swim down this lane and under the lane rope into lane 2 and proceed to swim down lane 2 until hitting the wall. Then under the lane rope into lane 3. This procedure is continued until the participant has reached lane 8. A SIMPLE RULE OF THUMB HERE: EACH TIME YOU HIT A WALL YOU SHOULD GO UNDER THE LANE ROPE INTO THE NEXT LANE.
I tried that for the first time yesterday, and doing a flip turn that takes you under the lane rope is not easy. The other part of the swim that will be new is a 50 meter pool--I don't remember when I have ever swum laps in a 50 meter (or yard) pool.

I sent our four new faculty members the link to the university's rules for syllabi. No one else had given them that information. There isn't anything terribly crucial there, but I am someone who feels safer if I know I am following the rules so it seems to me such an important thing for new people to have.

I got the evaluations from my online students and I am fairly pleased. A good number were unhappy with having to do a semester's worth of work in five weeks. Guess what--that is what you have to do to get a semester's worth of credit. One student wrote: "I'm not sure I have ever read 3 books in a month in my life."

1 comment:

Isis said...

That last student comment is great--made my day. Good luck with the race this weekend. Sometimes in 50m pools (when I am used to swimming 25y) I start to wonder, where in the world is the wall? About that time I look up and see I am halfway. If you try to mentally adjust for that ahead of time, it might help. Those flip turns sound hard; I suppose at least you don't have to swim corkscrew. ;) But I hope you have a great race!