Travelin’ Man

We’re coming into the home stretch for the semester here—this will be the second to the last week of classes, and just as I’m panicking about everything I have to cram into the last few lectures, what do I do? Disappear! Flit about from place to place! It would be a great way to dodge assassins if I weren’t also making my travel plans public.

Tonight and Monday, I’m going to be at a Teaching and Learning Conference at the UMTC. I’m not driving for a change, so this trip shouldn’t be too bad.

Tuesday is Café Scientifique here in Morris, with Tracey Anderson of the biology discipline telling us all about aquatic insects. This is a major concern to all Minnesotans, so if you’re in the area, come on down to the Common Cup Coffeehouse at 6 pm.

Wednesday I fly to Boston for dinner with a bunch of very interesting people.

Thursday I fly home.

Friday I sleep late, then try to get caught up on all the teaching prep I shirked this week.

Then the following Monday is the day I have to get student evaluations of my teaching. I’m really curious to find out whether abandoning my students the week before will have a positive or negative effect on their opinions…


  1. The closet atheist says

    Shouldn’t be bad, as long as you let them know about it first.
    And if it’s an early class, that’s bonus points for you. Trust me. My 8 am lecturer sometimes misses classes… and when he lets us know beforehand, we’re all very very happy.

  2. says

    Why, and my corporeal form will also transiently manifest itself in Boston! Alas, it’s a blitz — I get in in the early evening for dinner, then flit away late the next morning for home.

  3. Thought Provoker says

    Hi PZ – From the for-what-it-is-worth department…
    I have had my head stuck in the pro-ID camp for six months (mostly DI, UD and Telic Thoughts). Not because I agreed with them, I wanted to understand them. I can report you definitely make a big impression there. ;)

    Recently, I have been looking for new blog homes to haunt. These last few posts of yours have made an impression on me. I find it difficult to see how anyone can justify an accusation that you are unethical. How could anyone get a mistaken impression you aren’t stating your honest opinions? I looked at your About description. I liked part about the random quotes…

    Some people find some of them offensive; so do I. I do not agree with every one of them, but just find them thought-provoking, or humorous, or unbelievable…so don’t bother complaining to me.

    I suspect your students really like you. Your passion is boundless. This blog is a job and a half all by itself. My attempts at “Provoking Thought” pales next to yours.

    My hat is off to you, sir.

  4. says

    What you did last week will probably have no effect on your evaluations. It’s what you did in the first few seconds of the first class of semester.

    students arrive at opinions about teachers within seconds of being exposed to these teachers. The students’ impressions are highly correlated with end-of-semester ratings generated by other students who had these same teachers for an entire course


    Frightening, isn’t it?

  5. says

    Egads! PZ in Boston! Will our quaint little town survive this brush with Satan’s Bulldog?

    Shame you can’t stick around longer, there are a bunch of us godless folk in town who would gladly buy you drinks. SWEET TESLA, YOU’RE TURNING DOWN FREE BEER.

  6. Kseniya says

    I think we’ll be ok. Sam Adams wasn’t exactly an evangelist.

    I’m starting to love, not loathe, Mr. D’Souza. He’s a one-man, Onion-headed circus of self-parody.

    And given the premise that there are spiritual beings called angels, my conclusion [which is that an infinite number of angels can dance on the head of a pin] follows inevitably. You see, my atheist friends, it’s a simple matter of logic.

    I can do that, too! “Given the premise that god is a human construct and has never existed in any realm other than the imagination of the believer, my conclusion [that belief in god is a delusion] follows inevitably.”

    Inevitably, I say!

    Here’s another one: “Given the premise that a man’s ego and capacity for nonsense are infinite, my conclusion [that the number of foolish ideas that his head can contain is limitless] follows inevitably.”

    And, like Egnor, he equates abstracts like consciousness and human rights (in which atheists “believe”) with things like the soul and immortality (in which they do not). He equates provisional disbelief based on total lack of evidence with faith, and in doing so conflates that disbelief with a claim of absolute certainly of god’s non-existence.

    (Was it Egnor? They’re all blending into one big DI-nty Moore in my brainpot. Help!)