Some semesters end in a bang, others end in a whimper, some just end. This one seems to be whimpering a bit and it would a kindness to put it out of its misery. The students really seem tired, physically, intellectually, emotionally. It's kind of sad. But it comes mostly from having made bad decisions earlier and now things become impossible because there is just too much to do in too little time. One fellow is probably not going to graduate, and it is a bit unfair, but not totally. Becoming a senior slacker your last semester is not a good strategy; minimal effort, absenteeism, they don't impress. Ah, but then you're hit with an unexpected illness and bam! You're in trouble because there's just too much to make up; it would have been bad enough if you were right on top of things, but you were slacking. These things do not make the Phactor happy, but part of my job is to ensure that when a transcript says you've taken a course, you actually have taken the course and mastered the material at some level of proficiency; it isn't just grabbing some credits. Since most of the class did take the course and do all the work, my job is to protect their efforts from debasement too. Others, some really outstanding folks, end on an upbeat, finishing up research projects, busting the curve on exams, and generally taking no prisoners. You know they'll do well. And it was a hard semester for yours truly as well, and not entirely satisfying because a couple of things could have gone better, but they were instructional experiments. Still have a pile of papers to read and an exam to write, and a blog to post. Very important that.
The future of nuclear energy: Let a thousand flowers bloom
3 hours ago in The Curious Wavefunction