Content from 2011-04

My First Magnetism Lesson
posted on 2011-04-24 22:51:30
So, I'm taking a class on science and math education this semester because I think they're important things for people to know, because so much of our modern world depends on them, and they often run so counter to our intuition.  Even as someone who has been taking physics courses for the last six years, I often find myself not completely sure of how things work, or at least unable to explain them to people when the chance arises.  For this class, I've been visiting a local high school and sitting in on their physics class.  I get to help out a little, and I'm slowly learning a bit about the craft of teaching.  While the part I'm most afraid of is classroom management (Not necessarily the best and handling conflict) I can only learn that from experience, and to get experience I have to plan some lessons...

Rochester Symposium
posted on 2011-04-24 22:15:24

I'm already two weeks late on this (and less late on other things) but two weeks ago I got the chance to present my senior research at the University of Rochester.  For those who haven't already read about it, I've been working on quantum optics with professor Kiko Galvez at Colgate.  I got to start working on this back in September, and being only a senior in college, I can say with little doubt this is the subject I know the most about in physics.  Since then, I've become attached to the subject, and was really excited to get to talk about it in front of an audience.  Furthermore, since the conference was titled the Rochester Symposium for Physics (Astronomy & Optics) Students (emphasis mine), I figured I'd probably be talking to an audience that knew something about what I was talking about.

Leaving facebook
posted on 2011-04-06 01:33:19
Last Monday, I took a step I'd been meaning to take for about 4 years, pretty much since I joined.  I left facebook!  There were certainly enough reasons, all of the information leak scares, knowing how much people rely on it for day to day information about people they don't really know, and the increasing feeling that I was just a pawn in someone else's money-machine.

It's been pretty interesting being out, since most people are know are still in it.  I get lots of conversations that start with "What do you think about... oh wait, you're not on facebook, so you probably haven't seen..."  Apparently a friend of mine was awarded a Fulbright recently, and I just found out today because she announced it on facebook.  It's the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether I made a right choice.  I know how much time I wasted refreshing the page and only getting news about people from high school I don't care about, who post far more than anyone I do care about.  I like to think that was a failure of facebook in interpreting and selecting information, but now I'm still out of the loop on a lot of things.  There are some people I don't have e-mail addresses for, and might not be able to easily contact at the moment, but hopefully I'll collect information from mutual friends and be able to get in touch with people when the need arises.

In what I like to think has become a reflexive exercise for me, I find myself thinking, what was it that I didn't like about facebook, and can I find something that is better.  I don't really know anyone who uses microblogging software, indenti.ca being the notable FOSS option there, so there seems no reason to start.  Maybe I just need to send out this blog to more people, and hope they'll check in on me from time to time, or add me to an RSS aggregator.

Reflecting in a different way, this is yet another way I've willingly limited my interactions with other people.  I don't eat meat with them, I don't go on facebook with them, etc.  I hope it makes other interactions more meaningful, instead of just cutting people off.

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