At last the time is upon us: Finals. Sort of. They're so close I can almost taste them. (Which, though, I might add, isn't something one should do with one's finals.) I long for the hour close at hand when I might say
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting...
Things I have to do before winter break (written a few days ago):
- One more radio show -- "A Christmas Carol"
- Perform a scene from Chekov's "Ivanov" for class
- Finish the SPSS Project for Statistics
- Finish an application for Sound Designer for next semester's musical, "Urinetown" (CMT -- Clark Musical Theatre)
- See the play "Anything" by Clark student playwright Alex Kump
- Attend one more meeting for CCN (Clark Cable Network)
- Attend one more meeting for ROCU (Radio of Clark University)
- Finish acting in student filmmaker Sam Harnish's short "Pool Shark"
- Submit journal and final homework assignment for Astronomy
- Submit final homework assignment for Statistics
- Submit written assignment for Actor as Thinker
- Take final exam for Astronomy
- Take final exam for Statisics in the same room as the Astronomy exam, but some hours later
- Attend about a week's worth of final classes
- See friends (?)
- Eat 28 more times.
Now that list may look imposing and impossible to complete, but I'm pretty sure I can do everything if I just eat every other day and sleep in the library.
What's new in Statistics: SPSS project.
This is a major assignment that the class has been steadily learning how to complete by using the computer program IBM SPSS Statistics in our discussion sections. We were given a table of values for various conditions regarding 1450 newborn children, such as whether their mothers smoked or drank, and such, and were given the assignment to analyze such hypotheses as "there is a correlation between mother's drinking and premature birth."
What's new in Astronomy: How to use a Geiger counter
So, back in the day, there was a certain type of Fiesta dinnerware that was colored the most striking orange. One might even say, a radioactive orange. Because the dinnerware's glaze was made with uranium. The company was forced to discontinue use of this color by the U.S. government in 1944. Because the uranium is contained in the glaze, it's pretty harmless, but it's still not a great idea to, you know, eat with it regularly, or, as Prof. Les Blatt said, "keep it under your pillow every night."
But, to Geiger counters. Prof. Blatt brought out a mug of this Fiestaware and examined it with a Geiger counter. There were some serious beta particles coming off of that thing. Which is how Geiger counters work: every click one hears is a beta particle shooting out of a decaying atom. Prof. Blatt referring to the counter lying far away from the mug: "Every once in a while you'll hear a click -- that has nothing to do with the radioactive source [inside the counter for calibration] -- that's just the cosmic rays that're hitting us all the time." It's nice to know that there's nowhere to hide from the constant bombardment of space radiation that's all around us.
Expect one more blog post from this guy before the semester is up.