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4 kittens

Make a Prediction - That's Your Hypothesis.

Posted on 2017.03.05 at 21:36
Pokey currently is the earliest riser. He usually wakes up by 5:30 am and crawls in bed with us. Ace is still the night owl - we hear her singing songs and talking to herself until 9 or 10 pm. Sometimes she tries on all her dresses and we find them in a big pile in the morning. Sometimes she takes out all the stuffed animals.


My week was dominated by preparing for our annual high school B/ulldog C/alculus S/howdown, which was yesterday. "That sounds both terrible and awesome," said my friend last night, which is accurate.

This was my favorite year ever. In fact, I didn't even loathe it. It was thoroughly not terrible. Here are the major differences:
1. I'm only teaching three courses right now. I got a course release for teaching an overload last semester. Usually they just pay you an extra couple hundred bucks for the extra credits you've taught, but this is much better. It's amazing. So I had time to properly prepare without becoming overwhelmed.

2. Our new administrative assistant. I love her. She kept track of all the details and generally made me feel like someone was double-checking my work. She'd say things like, "I looked up the invoice for the catering last year, in case you wanted to know what you ordered and which budget it came out of" and "I think this summer, I'll make a three ring binder with a detailed step-by-step plan of every thing we did, when we did it, and what forms or extras we needed."

In contrast, my strategy for the past seven years has always been to have ten partially overlapping lists, scattered in different locations, each which are only partially up-to-date, and then to rederive the whole thing from scratch each year from these notes. Her methods are superior.

3. Our undergrads this year were very competent. Some years they are, some years they aren't.

It poured during the scavenger hunt. We gave the high school students plastic grocery bags to protect their calculators from the rain, and told them that we'd bring them in if there was lightning. Their maps fell apart. All part of the fun.

The podium had this kitschy 50s logo on it. I am the emcee of the event.

Afterwards, when I went to drive home, my foot cramped up severely. I think it was from standing in one spot, in converse sneakers, on carpeted cement, for five hours.  Standing still is weird and awful, and not something I ever do for hours on end. That night my legs were extra twitchy.

I let Pokey take some photos:

I let Hawaii take some photos:

Sort of a slow week. Jammies is out sick today. Or in sick.

I've been compulsively singing The Scientific Method chant from Ready Jet Go this past week:
  One: ask a question, based on observations!
  Two: make a prediction - that's your hypothesis!
  Three: Experiment and gather information!
  Four: Draw conclusions - what did you discover?
  Five: Share your findings! Get the word to others!

I've sang it enough that if I chant "One!" at the right pace, Pokey rolls his eyes. I think it's funny to invoke it when they're squabbling or being darling pains in the ass and moving at the speed of mud. Oh, is there a problem? I know how to solve it, in chant-song!

(I just looked up the actual lyrics, and there's a lot more going on than I remembered:

One - ask a question, based on observations!
Observe! Ask! Look around! Accept no imitations!

Two - make a prediction, an idea you can test!
That's your hypothesis, it's a kind of careful guess.

Three - experiment! Never let it rest!
See if your hypothesis can pass the test!

Four - observe what happens, and gather information.
Look for any data that could give an explanation.
Accurately measure with the tools you have around.
Get a pencil! Make a list! Don't forget to write it down!

Five - draw conclusions about the things you saw.
See if a solution makes you say a-ha!

Six - you got results! What did you discover?
Share your findings, and get the word to others!

That's much too long and boring and rhymey. I like my clunky version. It's snappy.)


Spring Break is next week. I was shocked to realize this. Good thing we our Spring Break vacation is an science, complete with spreadsheets for packing lists and preferable rest stops with parks - Lake Charles, I'm looking at you - and recently discovered relatives to house us along the way.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-03-06 12:51 (UTC) (Link)

The Scientific Method

I want that song to be our new national anthem.

Our spring break is still two weeks away. My kid, who has eight weeks of high school left, is about to mutiny.
heebie_geebie at 2017-03-13 03:06 (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Scientific Method


I can't believe the kid is about to graduate. I know she's in high school, but I also still think of her as being even younger than that. What's she doing next year?
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-03-20 04:53 (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Scientific Method

She's off to the university up the hill from us -- the flagship U.

She might transfer from there to a university in Portland (her dream home) after her sophomore year, tho.
(Anonymous) at 2017-03-06 22:48 (UTC) (Link)
Hawaii has quite the photographer's eye! "Rascal's Tongue" and "Jammies' Ear" are so well-composed.

I like that both kids needed to capture the purple diaper monkey.

And is Ace dressed like a ballerina?! Is she often in costume? She strikes me as a dresser-upper.
heebie_geebie at 2017-03-13 03:09 (UTC) (Link)
I thought so, too! That Hawaii had a rather artistic touch to her compositions.

Ace is a big time dresser-upper, yes. She frequently spends all day in Hawaii's old dance recital costumes, or being batgirl, or whatever. It's great. (Hawaii was pointedly not a dresser-upper, to the point where I idly wondered if dress up clothes were the type of toy that classically goes unused by all kids.)
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