Well, a lot happened since the last time I put up a post and I'm a little tired and overwhelmed at trying to catch up to the present in the wayback machine, so I'm going to start writing about today when it happens. In addition, I didn't take many notes today, so I have to get it written before it evaporates from my mind. When I post a retrospective I'll make sure to still title it with when I'm talking about so I can set the stage, but a blog is supposed to be about now anyways and I never caught up even though I tried.
This morning was mostly spent on prep work, a quiz for Friday and some stuff for next week. The big conversation, one of which I have with Mr. CT nearly every morning, was about the AP test and whether it was getting easier. Mr. CT made it seem like the test is normed every year, but looking at the links from Wikipedia just made me more confused about what goes into grading the tests. His point was that the vast expansion of the test with a set percentage getting 5s led to making the tests easier. I argued that that there wasn't any intrinsic relationship in throwing more people into the test, with the vast expansion of the AP test in the schools, and making the test easier. I still think that, but it's looking like what we were talking about didn't even reflect the actual situation of the AP test. The College Board makes a big deal about how they want a certain score to consistently show a certain level of knowledge. One thing I did learn was that scores are computed first, then a cutoff is decided on for that year, rather than the other way around. Mr. CT did try to rifle through his collection of old AP tests to show a particular question that did get dumbed down, but couldn't find it. It wouldn't matter anyway, unless we could get access to the weighting and scoring from those particular years to compare the two.
Today was a lab day, the pet gold colloid lab that Mr. CT has. The idea is that you make a gold colloid, which appears red, and pass it through a special, 20 nm pore-sized filter and it comes right through, then you add salt and the colloid flocculates, resulting in a blue fluid that filters clear, and the filter is then cut open revealing the thin layer of gold on the filter, which is the standard gold color. The lab didn't even come close to working right, apparently it was the worst results Ms. Bio ever saw. All the groups were synthesizing particles that were catching on the first pass through the filter, which would incidentally turn black because of this. The whole thing was one big hectic mess.
Two things turned up out of it. It appears that some of the Chem 1 students have discovered Mark Wahlberg's first line of work, as the front man of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and they were all abuzz about it, for some reason. Second, rumors about me continue to swirl, with Adam asking me if I knew how to tap dance. I really don't know where this stuff comes from, I dance around a little bit just as kind of an idle motion, but tap? I did tell him I knew how to swing dance, and I told a different student in Chem 2 that I've been married a year and a half and I met my wife in a social club in college, so we'll see how those two facts swirl around and recombine with whatever else is out there to form the next thing the students ask me about.
Chem 2 was about finishing up the lab from yesterday, so it wasn't particularly exciting either. I remembered to bring my book of H. P. Lovecraft's stories for a student's English project, so that was pretty nice. This particular lab, which tests a simulated urine for different things, seems to inspire a lot of broken glassware. Three or four different groups smashed the tubes they were using to carry around their "urine." Also there were a lot of bad puns going around, mostly from Mr. CT.
After school Mr. CT headed out after he did his bus-watching duty, while I stayed and let Theresa make up her Exam and lab from last week. I was otherwise occupied last week, so it was my first time doing the lab, as well. It went alright but was BOOOOOORRRRRRIING. Watching water heat from frozen to boiling while she takes temperature every 30 seconds is not my idea of a good time. So I told stories of the most boring labs I ever did in college: The hour-long reflux from organic lab and the bomb calorimetry from Pchem 1 lab.
Eventually I really need to get caught up on grading and do some stuff for my class at Midwest U.