Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 23: The Part That's Awesome!

This is the latest I've yet waited to start a blog post for the thirty-day challenge.  I wrote yesterday's blog at a little after 12 in the morning, so since it's now a little after 10 at night the next day, I'm really stretching this whole "one a day" rule to the limit.  This is indicative of one thing and one thing only, WOW I'm busy! 

When I started this blog challenge 23 days ago I was bemoaning my restlessness.  I was wanting something good to happen.  I was seeking change.  Well baby, I'm about to get all the change I can handle; it's already started.  Pretty soon you're sure to hear me complaining about having too much change; I'll be longing for a time when things were quieter and more settled.  But, men are all bundles of contradiction (full disclosure, I think I stole that line from Stephen Fry).

Most pressingly, it's looking more and more like making a home purchase is going to happen.  All the last minute minutiae has been taken care of (I think; it seems the people who are in charge of this whole proceeding keep discovering things we really super bad need right now, and it seems all these things are the kind of thing that we could have easily handled WAY BACK before it was the last freakin' minute!) in anticipation of closing on our new home tomorrow. 

Here's what I know about what's going to happen tomorrow, I'm going to sign my name... A LOT!  Heeding the warnings of many a person I'm already limbering up that signing hand.  My plan is to carbo-load and drink lots of water.  Then I'm going to set a competitive but not insane pace so I can save a burst of energy for the key moment as we approach the finish line.  The other dozen or so (it seems) people who are going to be in the room with me will be absolutely amazed (seriously, how big IS this table in the lawyer's office?).  I'm also planning on wearing those five-fingered shoes that everyone's always talking about and that I keep seeing the all-to-cool looking students wearing around.  I hear they give you a more "natural" feel (like, you feel every shard of glass in the road, I guess).

(As an aside, add the Beats by Dre headphones, the "ironic" child's cartoon character backpack, the $200 blindingly colored Rayban sunglasses and the MacBook Pro and you'll have the very picture of your average college student with too much "free" credit and too little sense.  You show me one of these and in ten years I'll show you a debt slave; and boy you do not have to look very hard to find them).

Wait!  Maybe all that is a plan recommended for people who are going to ACTUALLY run a marathon, not enter into a marathon signature writing session.  Crap.  Well, I'm sure most of it applies.

Then, THEN, oh then comes the issue of actually PACKING and MOVING.  Oh, the devil is truly in the details here.  You thought finding and buying a house was hard.  What is THIS... why do we have THIS... WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH THIS!  It's enough "change" to choke on.  It's already begun.  It's clear... we have too much stuff, and all of it we didn't know we needed until we saw it for the first time IN YEARS.  Now, we can't get rid of THAT, it's so ... USEFUL... theoretically.  Again, crap.

But, the saving grace is this.  Next week is exams.  Summer is getting ready to start.  I love exams, people think I would hate them, loathe them even.  People are surprised that I love them as much as I do.  Granted, many of my colleagues in different fields do hate them (literature professors, history professors, psychology professors, etc.).  These are people who teach in fields where they have to read (I'd imagine) loooong, and booooring, and repetitive and often mind-numbing papers such that it all begins to merge into one terrible paper across the many years of one's career.  My hat is off to them; not me baby.  I'm happy about exams, because my work is DONE.  I've done my darndest to impart knowledge (droppin' knowledge bombs left and RIGHT) and I've corrected errors in homeworks numbering in the hundreds and graded many exams and I've lectured and explained until blue in the face all semester long and my work is DONE.  The burden is entirely on the students now.  Sure, I have to grade a bunch of answers, but what's great about math and science related fields is, either you get it, or you don't.  No room for equivocation here, baby.  Yes!

And the pending end of the semester, of course, means more change is coming.

Remember how before I made mention of the most awful part of being a professor.  Well the best part is, having the freedom to decide what you're going to explore, and being able to take the time to do it.  It's a great adventure, and I'm about to be on my way.

SPIRIT Lego Robotics camp curriculum - let's do it!

Preparing to teach Computer Architecture in the fall, a class I've never taught before - bang on!

Going over a book that tells you how to program robots that use the Kinect to see - oh yeah!

Learning about electronics from the ground up - I think so!

Working on creating a YouTube site about all things Computer Science - yep!

Preparing to teach an awesome Honors Course next year; bringing computers to smart kids from other disciplines - you know it!

Nobody tells me what I have to do, and when they do tell me I have to do something, they let ME figure out how to do it.  It's scary, but I wouldn't have it ANY OTHER WAY!