April 23, 2014

Chicago reviews: Edzo's & David Burke's Primehouse

Two places from this past weekend's visit to Chicago merit reviews: Edzo's (burgers) and David Burke's Primehouse (steaks).

First, though, a quick recap of what we did...with precious few photos.
  • Friday
    • Megabus departure from Music Hall at 8am - easy trip, front seats upstairs
    • Arrived in Chicago ~1:30pm, slightly but not significantly late
    • Walked ~15 min to Hotel Blake - got upgrade to corner room when I mentioned our anniversary, great view of Willis Tower
    • late lunch at Xoco (marvelous, as always)
    • walked around Millennium Park (under construction using geofoam, fascinating)
    • dinner at Sofi (pasta, helping The Girl stay meatless on Good Friday)
Sofi's dining room (not my pic) - we sat in the center there against the wall
The view from our hotel room at night

April 21, 2014

C'mon get happy!

Today's artists might, at some point, have had a reason to hide what they have in common. Thankfully, that commonality - their non-heterosexuality - is far more accepted today than it might've been back in the day.

April 19, 2014

Welcome back to the Windy City, ChemGuy

April 18, 2014

Reflections about teaching #2

#2 What is the hardest/easiest part of teaching?

The hardest part for me - and for a lot of teachers, I think - is the paperwork: grading papers, tracking data, filling out referrals, calling home, writing SLOs, sending feedback for IEPs, and every other form that's given to us by our central office or mandated by the state.

Keeping up with the paperwork is endless, daunting, worse with every passing year, and it makes for lots of long, long evenings and weeks when I spend the entire time trying to catch up. Every quiz, every lab report, every test has to be graded and returned quickly because there is invariably another assignment coming just a couple of days later that has to be graded, as well. It's daunting and never-ending.

The easiest is the joy of interacting with my students. The things that happen within the classroom, that I can't possibly predict - those are the easiest and most enjoyable parts of teaching for me. When I say 'get into groups and draw these reactions' or 'explain these reaction types to each other' and give my students a chance to talk to each other, to show me what they know, and to give a little of their personality - that's easy and enjoyable and fun.

Summer break isn't bad, either.

April 16, 2014

Awesome chemistry posters

Simon Page put together some posters for the 2011 'International Year of Chemistry'. Three of the prints are for sale on his online store, but they're prohibitively expensive (£55).

The rest of his posters are pretty gorgeous, too, with nice colors and geometric designs.

The other awesome chemistry posters I want to mention today are from Compound Interest and are way more informative than Page's. They aren't quite as pretty, but they're ones I would certainly post on the walls of my new classroom next year.

I want lots of them, and they're at least way cheaper ($12.81 per poster) though not quite as large (23" x 16").

Anybody wanna get me some gifts?