The bell tolls

It just struck once, with a sound of ominous doom. I have completed the syllabus for one of my Fall courses, Cell Biology. It’s coming. It looms before me. I cannot escape it.

Although, some good news: I’m postponing the second knell for a day. I’ll finish up the syllabus for Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development on Thursday, because tomorrow I am meeting my granddaughter at the Science Museum of Minnesota so she can lead me through the exhibits and explain them all to me. See? I’m not in a panic yet. I’m storing up the panic for next week.


  1. robro says

    It’s good to postpone panic until the last minute, so you can get the full force of it. Plus, doing something enjoyable before the panic deepens one’s experience of the panic.

    My wife was a journalist. She says she could never start a story until the deadline was starring her in the face. As a “technical communicator” (fancy name for the person who writes the documentation that no one reads), I would do much the same although my reasoning was different: why spend a lot of time writing about features that were bound to change. I had a colleague who once said he didn’t write anything until he could see the whites of “their eyes”, meaning engineering and marketing.

  2. Bruce says

    Presumably, UMM let’s you require students to wear shirts and shoes to class. And underwear or pants or a skirt or something down there. And a mask.
    And presumably, UMM requires students to have a MMR and a tdap vaccination to be on campus. Chicken pox? Polio? Others?
    Is there a theory that the spider population would be different on the grass above the dead Indian kids burials at UMM? Maybe you can start the semester with a field exercise in biology, looking at spider populations in test squares above possible sites of UMM having collaborated in the deaths of its students?
    How about an opening day lecture in what everyone is interested in: plagues ancient and modern, and steps taken against them? Maybe by October, you can get your surviving students to be vaccinated?

  3. flange says

    My only reason for getting a masters degree was I thought, naively, that I might want to teach some day. I did try it. The only thing more terrifying than writing the syllabus was standing in front of 20 younger people trying to convince myself that I knew something important to them. I was not a good teacher. I admire people who are.

  4. hemidactylus says

    Have you ever had a dream you were late to a class where you were to give a test. Or had forgotten for weeks a class you were to teach over the semester and show up on the day of a scheduled test?

  5. fishy says

    I visited the SMoM a few years back now and it was a good visit. I suppose the best parts for me as an adult were the paleontology and native American exhibits because there were fewer children and they were a bit more staid and not so much hands-on and active.
    Don’t forget to watch something at the omni-theater.

  6. says

    “The only thing more terrifying than writing the syllabus was standing in front of 20 younger people trying to convince myself that I knew something important to them.” I spent 25 years trying to teach convicts the skills needed to stay out of prison. We all know that feeling. I hope I did some good.