Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Of Brown Diaries and Ink Pens

It has been an interesting week (the one that passed, that is). The elections were interesting - and that's all I want to say about it. Finally, after 43 years of existence, I have found my feet planted somewhat on real ground, but let me not push it and pretend as if I have deep political views! I am on top of all the trending stories, however, though I did manage to escape to the 1940s via a nice little novel about The Channel Islands, for part of the time. 

One of the recent things we have been doing is a Sunday family workout episode. We drop the child off to basketball and proceed to the gym. Due to some new rules they have brought in place there, I go to the aerobics room (which also, conveniently, has weights). So we are all in separate places. The duration of the class is sort of insufficient to have a satisfactory workout, so the best bet is to push oneself. The sweaty car ride on the way back when the child cribs about her team mates, and we both jump in as we are wont to and say "You see in the 1985 when I was playing at XYZ..." are good fun. I carry several towels 'cause I care about how my car smells later. 

Noting down the food, exercise routine, and something of feelings through the day in a diary - albeit from 2011 - has been an interesting experience. The online notings I have done while training for the recent marathons were alright and they are there for future reference, but this one, where I write alternately using blue and black ink pens, is better. I was writing in real small font though today I have decided to increase font size 'cause eyesight. 

The photography workshop that I was a reluctant participant at (because I was the driver and did not relish coming back all the way and going back all the way using googlemaps) talked about shots being framed correctly and the background cleaned of clutter. I went with a 'medium' distance shot above and I think to tell the story correctly I should have followed it up with a real close shot. Maybe of my brown 2011 diary which has my name embossed on it (with incorrect spelling). 

Next time. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

For the love of the art

I made this comic for my class blog. And since my students don't seem to care about it at all, I thought it will be interesting to use it here and talk about why I love teaching. I guess the short version of it is that it allows me to bring up all the (somewhat) repressed tendencies to be dramatic, crazy, and most of all to talk a lot. 

I have been teaching for a long while now. Formally, as Assistant Professor->Associate Professor->Professor etc. for 15 years now. But well before that I was informally teaching little kids whenever the opportunity presented itself (and it did present itself with some frequency). These past decade and half obviously have presented numerous challenging, frustrating, and rewarding experiences! 

I love Chemical Engineering, and especially love Reaction Engineering. In fact a few years ago, when we were working on Underground Coal Gasification, one of the things that most enamoured me to the topic was that we coined the term 'nature's own chemical reactor' and shopped that phrase in many conferences (of course to raised eyebrows and snide giggles). 

But mostly, I love teaching. I study diligently for my classes. I have fresh notes for every class I teach - both online and in a notebook (not necessarily overlapping). Based on a session I attended during my MIT days, I don't hesitate to use the chalkboard, though the convenience of PPTs cannot be always denied. I use my blog space and moodle, and (unsuccessfully) tried to use another platform called TodaysMeet to foster discussions (which did not happen). 

With pixton, the chance presented itself to augment something I had taught them in class with a comic, I jumped at it. And in case you are wondering, the "Doublets"(or word ladder) game was invented by Lewis Carroll and you can find tons of them online. And no, I did not first encounter them in wikipedia but rather in that GIGANTIC GREEN 'Complete works of Lewis Carroll' that we owned in the family (and which my sister and I read sooo much). *

[& no I owe no explanations about surface reaction mechanisms & elementary reaction steps here]