All of My Faults Are Stress Related

Archives for April, 2009

I should have finished designing the new version of my disasters class. I’ve been thinking about it forever. But then I was trying to get a paper written, and then I went to a conference, and then there were senior thesis presentations and end-of-semester grading and a six-year-old’s birthday, and, well… Yes, I am frantically…

It’s that time of year again. The plotter is out of paper and the students have new haircuts and clothes I’ve never seen. It must be time for senior thesis presentations. In about an hour and a half, the senior geology students will be giving 15-minute talks (the same length as at professional geology meetings)…

I got back from a conference Tuesday night, and came home to the craziness of the semester’s end. Part of me wants to blog about how cool undergraduate research is, after we had our big school-wide undergraduate research symposium, but I really should be grading the proposals for next year’s senior thesis projects. (Which will…

I’ve been awakened by an earthquake, but it was only M 4. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be in San Francisco 103 years ago this morning, when a M 8-ish earthquake struck at 5:12 am. Shaking ten times stronger than the Loma Prieta earthquake – I couldn’t stand up in…

I’m brainstorming for my summer class, and I’m thinking about creating an exercise or assignment in which students try to figure out whether a web site (or blog post, or whatever) is reliable. (I’m going to be teaching in a computer classroom, so I’ve got a choice of having students do a homework assignment or…

Signs of spring (?)

Last night, we were having another one of those incredible dust storms that have been blowing in this spring (and which may be decimating the spring snowpack). This morning, I woke up to this: I was happy to see it – it will melt by the end of the day, and will keep the soil…

The cores of mountain belts formed by continental collisions often contain metamorphic rocks, formed when sediments were buried in the collision and transformed by heat and pressure. But the heat and pressure don’t happen simultaneously – rocks can be buried (and increase in pressure) much faster than they can heat up. When the rocks are…

My reviewers commenters on yesterday’s post on chocolate chip cookie deformation had some great points. (Some of them also seem to have been very hungry. For those who want me to experiment more, and to get to analyze the results: looks like I’ve got something that I can promise once the Donors Choose challenge rolls…

I probably shouldn’t have baked chocolate chip cookies yesterday, what with today being one of the two biggest chocolate-buzz holidays on the American calendar. But I did. I’ve had a lot of trouble figuring out the best recipe adjustments for high elevation. My cookies have a tendency to puff up big, and then collapse into…

Advising and registration for summer and fall semesters has just finished, so I’ve been spending a lot of time talking and thinking about general education requirements. In particular, I’ve been thinking about one question: why? What’s the point of general education requirements? What are they good for? What should students get out of them? In…