13 July 2006
Katie slept fine last night – hooray! But everyone seems a little tired. (Or it may just be me – four days of fours hour a day teaching plus grading plus normal work plus three kids in a foreign country makes me a little worn out by Thursday night.) Jenny is whining more and complaining that she just can't make it until Mommy gets here. Matt is trying to help her think of plans by which she can sleep until Mommy arrives.
No one got up for breakfast with me this morning, so I went straight off to Sainsbury after breakfast for Honey Nut Cheerios, milk, and such. CS1316 got off to a very slow start – my machine died and had to be restarted, and all but one student was late. But we did finish trees and started heading toward recursive traversals (with sounds) today. Richard and I split Computational Freakonomics class today – he taught the theory and practice of correlations then (at break) headed off for a train to York, and I finished up with computational correlations. It was fun, but intense – I'd implemented a different correlation function than what Richard covered, so I re-implemented it, live, in front of the class. Fortunately, it actually worked.
The kids had three challenges today – their last ones. I don't usually do challenges on Friday's when I'm at home with them, and Mommy will be here Saturday so they won't be alone while I teach. (But if Mommy needs to find some time, too, we may reinstitute them for some days.)
- Jenny got a letter personally addressed to her yesterday! It was from the library telling her that the book she wanted by Louis Sachar was available. Her challenge was to take her letter and collect her book (with big brother helping), which she did.
- Katie's challenge was a little harder, "What's the oldest college in Oxford?" Turns out that there are three colleges claiming that, but I let her pick which one she believed. She picked Merton.
- I gave Matt what I thought was a hard challenge, but the kid is too darn good with Google. Took him two searches. "What college did Mr. Bean (the actor) attend?" Rowen Atkinson attended University College (which happens to be one of the other two colleges claiming to be the oldest one, with the third being Balliol).
I had two students at office hours today 1-2 pm, then the kids did their challenges. I had a conference call with Deepak Kumar, my co-PI for curriculum in the new Institute for Personal Robotics in Education that's been getting all the press yesterday. We had a good discussion. Our schools are so different. For example, he can have each student demo their latest project before class. I have 150 students in a lecture. But it turns out that we have very similar approaches to course design, so I think we might be able to pull this off.
The kids still weren't back at 3:30, so I napped until they got back. I wanted to take a walk, but Matt and Jenny were too tired. So Katie and I strolled through Jericho, and found the Radcliffe Arms which the accomodations manager here at Worcester (the one who kindly sent Katie a new mattress and an extra duvet) recommended as her favorite pub that was also kid friendly. Now we know where it's at, so we can take Mommy there.
When we got back, it was about time for dinner with the students. More than half of the students are already off for Amsterdam, Edinborough, and elsewhere, so we were easily able to get in. But dinner was salmon (which really was delicious!), so I ended up having to cook for Jenny and Katie anyways: Sausages, fresh from the open market yesterday.
After dinner: Soccer! I decided to shake off my tiredness by playing me against the kids for the first 20-30 minutes. We ended that 2-2, so I was pretty proud that I'd held my own against Matt and Katie (and Jenny, of course). We then played Matt against everybody for awhile until, right on schedule, someone got hurt (Katie today) right at 45 minutes. That's usually the sign to go in...and let me get some much needed ibuprofen!
Everyone was ready for their challenge-earned ice cream (though Katie is now spoiled by G&D's and says that she has never liked ice cream bars). We got back and put Jenny to bed, with Katie soon to follow. Jenny asked if it would be okay if she followed Matt's plan and slept all day until Mommy got in. I said, no, but she could sleep as late as she wanted tomorrow. We'll see how that all plays out.