Beth Malmskog

Sorry, shell method, we just weren’t meant to be. Maybe in another time, another calculus class…


How does the end of the semester, so long in the distance, so suddenly rear its head with such an anxiety-inducing roar?  I am not pleased.  There is just not going to be time for everything I want to do.  I’ve been through the stages of grief now:

1) Denial–“I’m totally going to get through everything.  Of course we’ll have time to talk about finding volume by the shell method!  And, even though the days don’t add up at all, I think I’ll plan on doing some fun applications of linear transformations at the end of the semester.”

2) Anger–“I hate you, snow storm!!  You stole my extra time!  Jerk!”

3) Bargaining–“If I prepare LaTex notes for all my classes, then I can talk really fast because my students won’t have to write, then can I get through the material?  If I stay up all night and make precision lesson plans, with minute by minute breakdowns, then will I have time to talk about the cross product?”

4) Depression–“My heart is broken.  I might as well quit teaching right now.  This is it.  Why bother?”

5) Acceptance–“Actually, we’ve gotten through a lot this semester and my students are going to know a ton.  They’re doing really well, and they be able to do the things that are really important for the future.  If we missed something, it’s not the end of the world.  They’ll totally figure it out.”

So, much like the e-collar that I finally accepted as part of my life with Arlo the dog, and the dark and cold that I accepted when the power was out, I have accepted the fact that we sure as hell aren’t going to get to calculating volumes in my Calc I class.  And we are not going to have time to spend on cool visualizations of linear transformations in Vectors and Matrices.  That’s it.  The best I can do is to talk about u-substitution and eigenvectors.  Everything extra is out the window now.  All I can do is give 3 more good lectures.

Other news: Our paper was accepted to the Proceedings of the AMS!  Way to go, team!