26 June 2006
Woke up way too early this morning – not used to British time yet. Jenny woke up in time to go to breakfast with me, and afterwards, we fed the coots and ducks with toast from breakfast.
When we got back, Matt and Katie were up. I left them their first "challenge" today – "What is the Domesday book? Take a picture of two of you by a building in the Domesday Book." Here's what they brought back.
They figured it out on the Internet and went to take the picture. I told them that they could have an ice cream as a reward for meeting the challenge, but it was too cold (mid 60's) and rainy today, so they took an item from the local patisserie (baker) instead. I'm hoping to keep doing these to keep them busy while I teach.
CS1316 with only three students is quite unusual. Sarah is an International Affairs major who can usually use this class to meet a requirement. Dan (an EE major, who already took Java (CS1322)!) and Katie (Psych) seem to be in there to fill their credit hours at Oxford.
The girls were very kind and made me a ham-and-cheese sandwich for lunch, but I didn't have time to eat any of it until after 1. I was too busy running between classes.
Computational Freakonomics was sad-funny. The looks on the students' faces when I handed out the course notes – they were apalled! I heard people say things like, "Python!" and "Is this a CS class?" I guess it didn't quite sink in that the "computational" part implied programming, and it's really dismaying that "programming" is so abhorrent to so many students! Class was only about an hour today, but should be longer (and more fun, I hope) tomorrow.
After class, I had the kids read 1-2 pm, but then they didn't want to stop then to go have some adventures! So we finally left the house at 3. We got Katie some sudafed (an elixir that she only takes 5 ml of, which she says tastes AWFUL but seems to work), and then went to the visitor's center for some Oxford maps. Then we headed off to the Library where they got a huge stack of books.
We made it back for the 5 pm family orientation. It was mostly about changes in how they run the support staff at Worcester (e.g., they don't change linens and towels anymore – they give us two sets, and we're on our own for cleaning and changing. That's fine.) Kids went to dinner, then I went to the faculty meeting 6:30-8. The faculty meetings are great fun – lots of jokes and stories, tips on how to do things at Oxford, a great meal (usually different from what's being served in the hall that night), and Carole's wine selection for the evening.
I got back here to Katie and Jenny playing Polly Pockets and Matt doing his bazillion and one things on his computer. I had my first iChat conference call with the Foundations folks (instructors, undergrad support staff, and faculty involved with the UG classes)– 4 pm for them, 9 pm for me. We talked for maybe 20 minutes because I had to get Jenny to bed. I got them to bed late because Katie and Jenny wanted to finish watching "Pirates of the Carribean" on DVD.
I'm exhausted after getting up at 5 am and am heading to bed soon.
A cool bird on the lake near our house