I survived the asteroid! And the first day of classes!

It wasn’t much of a surprise that I emerged from the lab and the Earth was still here. Maybe a little disappointing, but I’ve come to expect that.

My classroom face, sans mask

Class wasn’t that bad, I put on a performance worthy of Sir Lawrence Olivier, or possibly Soupy Sales, and managed to put on a convincing, I think, façade of enthusiasm and optimism that may have fooled the students. It helped that they were an earnest and cheerful bunch, too, but maybe we’re all pretending deep down inside. Now it’s just a matter of repeating the act over and over until I die.

Like tomorrow. And the day after. And endless days stretching into eternity.

Nah, it wasn’t that bad. I’ll probably get through the term without collapsing into a sobbing wreck. I got one day done!


  1. johnhattan says

    I suddenly feel the need to take all the green paper out of my mom’s purse and send it to you. What’s your address?

    (yes, I’m assuming you’re as much of an old fart as I am, and you’ll get that joke)

  2. says

    façade of enthusiasm and optimism that may have fooled the students

    As long as you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made!

    Tomorrow is my first day of two precautionary weeks in Zoom, before I’m allowed to meet with my students in person on January 31. My college district ordered all in-person classes (they call them “on ground” classes, which is an ugly and unnecessary neologism) back online, not that there were that many of them. Most of my online colleagues teach asynchronously, which involves recording video clips or posting links to someone else’s clips. Ugh! Never! When forced to be online, I go synchronous; my students can darned well show up on time and interact live with me.

    Now to tweak the technology and make sure my document camera is ready to send my real-time scratchings over the wire.

  3. says

    I’m going in-person + asynchronous recording. I experimented with the synchronous route over Zoom, and it’s just too kludgy, and the sound recording system is so awful, that I just can’t bear it.At best it would be an hour of me sounding like a grown-up on a Charlie Brown special.

  4. James Fehlinger says

    Hm. Do you also have teaching assistants named White Fang
    and Black Tooth, by any chance?

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Going off on a tangent.
    Speaking of putting up a facade of optimism, now is the 79th anniversary of the Japanese withdrawing the starving fragments remaining of their invasion force of Guadalcanal. They did not call it a retreat, just a “retrograde step”.
    This is apropos school administrators, British leaders and Florida governors who think the solution to problems is “magical thinking”, a fallacy once common in Germany and Japan
    (I could not find any other analogy timed to a January anniversary. The capitol riots had no photogenic wrecked ships or walking skeletons.)
    If you find a better analogy for idiocy as policy, please comment.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    To pay your tuition, tiptoe into your parent’s bedroom as they sleep, and find the funny green pieces of paper with pictures of U.S. Presidents in their pants and pocketbooks. Put them in an envelope and mail them to PZ and he will send you a diploma from Puerto Rico.

    Or, just find him on Patreon.

  7. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    I guess I’ve just been teaching online for so long with a hybrid approach of synchronous and asynchronous recordings because I accommodate students who live in different countries or at least timezones to me, and I wouldn’t dream of forcing them to get up at 3am just to listen to me talk without other options.
    Sure there’s a benefit for having students able to ask questions in the moment, but there’s also benefits to students being able to take in material at their own pace, relisten to it if necessary and be available to them to answer questions afterwards.
    Given the large number of students who also have other obligations which cut into their time, it feels exclusionary to say ‘if you can’t turn up when I dictate this class will be, then you don’t deserve an education’

  8. birgerjohansson says

    The world’s oldest man did not survive today. He was 112 (1909-2022).
    The world’s oldest woman is 119.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    You are approaching the problem from the wrong direction You do not need to be competent to build a career on education.
    Former minister of education, Gavin Williamson has just been knighted for keeping Johnson’s secrets after being the worst, most incompetent person in that position in recorded history.
    If Britain has a wannabe Hannibal Lecter, I will cheer him on as he makes kebab of the Williamson bastard.

  10. davidc1 says

    @6 We are also coming up to the 79th anniversary of the German surrender at Stalingrad..
    The German radio said that
    “The battle of Stalingrad has resulted in a situation not necessary in Germany’s favour”.
    Or something along those lines.
    @11Talking of those tory bastards,one has defected to the Labour party.
    Another tory MP has used the Oliver Cromwell quote to parliament to tell that twat faced twat johnson to
    sod off and resign.