Goodbye Spring Break, hello Spring

It’s officially the first day of Spring. I looked outside to see if flowers had suddenly erupted, but it’s too early and too dark to see.

It’s also the end of our Spring Break, and I have to get back to work, although it’s not as if I took it easy this last week. I’m actually prepared! This is my agenda for the week:

  • Genetics: We’ve been working through chromosomal changes, and I’ve been a little concerned about some of the students not quite understanding what’s going on, so we’re going to spend the first half of class with me leading them through some visualization exercises. I’m going to give them some word problems and have them draw the answers — it should also be a gentle warm-up to the class. Then it’s all sex and mapping for a while.

  • Genetics lab: Our mapping experiment is done, we just have to collate the results and do the calculations. Simultaneously, we’re starting a new experiment, a complementation assay.

  • Ecological Development: Endocrine disruptors! That’s always a fun way to start your week. Even more fun: an exam! An oral exam! The last half of this week and the first half of next week are going to be dedicated to meeting one-on-one with students to grill them on general concepts.

  • Biological Communications: I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m also teaching a course in science writing — this semester it’s more of an independent study sort of thing, where they’re supposed to be putting together a substantial term paper on a subject of their choice. So far, it’s been little stuff — come up with a topic, do the preliminary research, give me short writing samples to demonstrate that you’re actually working on it — but their first full rough draft is due this week, so I’m getting stacks of papers to grade over the coming weekend.

  • We also have a guest seminar this week from an immunologist, Amy Weinmann, who is going to talk to us about epigenetics and development, which will fit in just fine with my eco-devo course.

I’m actually all planned out for the next two or three weeks. I just have to do the actual work. At least I think I know what I’m doing.


  1. jrkrideau says

    At least I think I know what I’m doing.

    As I believe Don Rumsfeld (or whoever) put it “It’s what you don’t know you don’t know that’s the problem”.

    Good luck with the rest of the term. You do sound organized.

  2. marcoli says

    Good luck on your complementation test. That subject was challenging for students to comprehend when I used to teach genetics. It took me a couple semesters to figure out how to get the ‘light bulb’ to turn on.

  3. says

    Yeah, that’s why I’m dedicating the last half of the lab to it — it’s also helpful for understanding multiple alleles and gene interactions.

  4. Derek Vandivere says

    #1: For as much as Rumsfeld got mocked for the ‘unknown unknowns’ bit, he was absolutely right. It bugs me every time I reuse it…

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Good to hear you have plans for a few weeks in place. I felt I could relax once I had enough lecture notes for the rest of the quarter, and finals blocked out in my mind.

    Here I Chiwaukee, after our “St. Patrick’s Day Snowstorm” which actually occurred at the beginning of last week, and not the end, finally melted, I saw a lone tulip up about one inch. Yeah Spring.

  6. Le Chifforobe says

    Your Genetics course is all sex and napping? Sign me up!!!

    Oh, oops…never mind.