May 7th, 2007

krazy koati

Nibbling on sponge cake

One last little surprise came about from going to the class my mother was teaching. This turned out to be the first time I ever saw my mother lecturing in any circumstance, and it was a slightly shocking event: I have exactly the same teaching moves that my mother has. That is, we share the way we put beats in sentences, the way we vary statements and questions, the way we toss out easy questions so students will respond in some way, the way we wander into the midst of the student seats mid-sentence, the way we honestly admit when something is a point the course's scope requires we cover even though it isn't actually important. I don't know how I could have inherited her teaching style: I've never seen it in action, and she never taught me much substantially at home -- not in a lecturing mode, anyway -- once I learned to read and to ask for a ride to the library. Over the time she's given me various points of advice about ways to make lectures more useful and what specifically to teach so as to transfer expertise -- she actually studies this; over in mathematics we're just assumed to know by divine inspiration, which may be part of why so many people find their mathematics instructors impossible to understand -- but that doesn't seem like an adequate explanation.

And the Kentucky Derby is over! Hooray! We can go back to not pretending we care about horse racing for the rest of the year. Except they're going to try suggesting that $Name, who won this year, might make the first Triple Crown in thirty years, speculation that will last until $Name loses whatever the next race is.

It's harder to find a Mexican restaurant that's open for lunch around noon on the 5th of May than you might imagine, but apparently that's because we were just about two hours too early for their big celebration of Mexican culture by way of chimi-humunga-chungas and green tea margaritas. When you do find one that's open they may have the whole parking lot roped off and have security guards out front advising you there's a shuttle bus service from a parking lot a mile away you could use, if you don't want to just park in the lot of the restaurant next door and selfishly clog up their lot for your convenience. Just an observation.

Trivia: A precursor to Big Bang theories of cosmology developed by astrophysicist and theologian Abbé Georges Henri Lemaître speculated that the universe originally began as a ``primeval atom'' about thirty times the modern size of the Sun. Source: Measuring the Universe, Kitty Ferguson.

Currently Reading: The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, John M Barry. Apparently there's fair evidence that the Spanish Influenza began in the United States, and was spread to Europe by Our Soldiers going Over There, where the disease killed far more people than the war ever did. This serves as support for the theory of history as a sick, sick joke.