Friday, June 10, 2011

Abundant adventures in Ann Arbor

Hey y'all! I've been back in Ann Arbor for three weeks now, which has proved to be enough time to make me feel completely at home - ie, I went through the crazy motions of seeing everyone I needed to the first week, and have been able to rofl about and do nothing for the last two weeks. This is only partially true, however, as I have been doing some manner of things...

Two weekends ago I went down to Chicago to visit two friends of mine at UChicago, which was a blast. I will add my testimony to the beauty of its campus to that of countless others - it's gorgeous, although I'm told it's only this pretty in the spring/summer. Ah well. We went out for food on that Friday, where I had the most delicious thing called tartare, which y'all have probably heard of, but I hadn't. I totally didn't know that raw beef was a thing, but it's delicious.

In my time at home, I spent a good week or so watching Doctor Who almost continuously. For the first couple of days I took breaks every now and then, and for the last couple of days, I gave up on the breaks idea and just watched episodes. So now I am all caught up and madly in love with the series. I also feel that Doctor Who has re-awakened the part of me that loves little-kid things - I spent last night re-reading all the kid lit in my small bookshelf in my room (The Secret Garden is one of the best books ever). Oh, and whenever I watch an episode I'm able to shift my speech patterns slightly British which drives my sister crazy and makes my mother look at me somewhat askance. Fun stuff.

I have also spent a good amount of time wandering around the UMich campus. When I say that three weeks has been enough time for me to feel at home again, I really mean that I finally have time to hang out on campus again (I kind of grew up on campus, so...). It's made difficult by the filming crews that are not supposed to be everywhere, but have been everywhere I've tried to go... they're filming some rom-com involving Jason Segel and Emily Blunt around here. When I saw the fake snow lying around I was confused, and when I saw the Psychology Building sign moved to the front of the graduate library I was perturbed. Also, there's always a bunch of people watching the film crew, which is a little bit like running into a band of tourists in the Infinite in that I really want to tell them to get out of the way but really shouldn't do that... so I don't. Thankfully they haven't invaded the math department, so I have consumed an inordinate number of bubble teas in the Math Common Area, which is my favorite place to get work done.

Because yes, I have work. Specifically, I've been trying to prepare for Germany. We were told not to do too much preparation until the schools got back to us and okay'ed our proposed modules, but the schools just got back to us last week. So now I am going to develop 5 modules in the next week. But that'll be fine. :) I have had several skype-meetings with my Germany team, which are usually pretty long because we get distracted. For example, the other day we started talking about aliens, and then aliens who speak Chinese...

Anyway... can anyone help me think of ways to make my modules fun? I'm teaching RLC circuits, Gyroscopic motion with applications, basics of relativity (like Lorentz transformations), aerospace applications of mechanics, and genetics. Personally I always have fun taking notes with an enthusiastic lecturer, but I'm under the impression that my students this summer will want something more interactive... any suggestions would be welcome.

Adrienne told me I had to be the first one to post twice, which I have now accomplished. In other news, I will be back in Boston on Tuesday, and I will fly out from Boston on Thursday. I'm very excited to see the summer residents, which I believe will be Shaun, Juan, Ben, Sophie, Daniel, and Anna at that point in time. :) Things I need to do before then include finishing my packing, cleaning my room (it got messy again), finding my passport, and playing tennis.


  1. I hope you find your passport. It is an important document.

    and yay for Germany.

  2. Genetics can be super-fun because you can use roleplaying games. Like...give them cards with certain traits and have them "mate" by shaking hands or something and pass down their traits.