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Apr. 29th, 2012

One of the things I needed to have done in class this term was to get an actual peer, another professor, there to sit in on my class and evaluate my teaching style. This dovetailed nicely with the college's desire to get all the classes in one of my subjects freshly evaluated. So after a little negotiation of times that would be convenient, one of the regular math department faculty was going to sit in on my class and see what he thought of it. The appointed day came and ... nothing happened. Nobody there. Just my ordinary class. As one might expect, it was also an excellent performance on my part, with me giving out leading questions on the binomial distribution and students coming up with the answers exactly right. It was a choice lecture.

The explanation was just that there was a family emergency, which I can't fault as a priority, but it's sorry that such a good lecture was just given to students.

We rescheduled for the next week --- this week --- though, and he was present and sitting quietly in the corner, about as should. I wasn't as good as last week, sadly, and even fumbled a little bit in introducing the Poisson distribution. But I recovered, primarily by talking about Simeon Denis Poisson. I think I got everyone back on my side by noting that the next day was the anniversary of Poisson's death, ``so if you were looking for a reason to feel gloomy, there you go''.

Still, I'm scared to check the campus e-mail to see what the evaluation was. I keep thinking of my tied tongue.

Trivia: Ransom E Olds produced 2500 units of his curved-dash Oldsmobile in 1902. Source: Ford: The Men And The Machine, Robert Lacey.

Currently Reading: West Jersey: Under Four Flags, Ralph K Turp. ... and Turp explains (in this 1975 book) that Loyalists in the Revolutionary War who refused to aid in the overthrow of the British government were to a man decent, honest people acting from principled stances, whereas those who refused to serve in the Vietnam War were all and entirely just cowards and bullies. There wasn't even a single solitary Tory who was cowardly or driven by base motives, and not a single Vietnam War objector who acted from conscience?

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