Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm Going Back to School

Summer is winding down here in the Northern Hemisphere and that means that it's back to school time. For the first time in 26 years I will be part of that. There will be the usual excitement of meeting new students/professors /staff, finding my way around a campus that I am unfamiliar with, new books and supplies and making sure I am in the right classroom at the right time.

That last item is easily the most important, as if I'm not in the right room at the right time, there will be no class. This year, I'm returning to the classroom not to sit in one of the seats, but to stand at the front and speak - I'm taking at position as an adjunct professor at Augsburg College.

You may not have heard of this school, but you should have. Peter Agre, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry received his B.A. in Chemistry there. Knowing that, I'm going to be constantly wondering if I am looking at a future Nobelist as well.

As you can imagine, the next few weeks will be pretty busy getting ready to this new adventure, so posts may not be as numerous or as lengthy, but they will continue. And once the school year starts, I'm sure that I will have plenty more material to blog about. I can't imagine that the students won't be an endless font of new ideas and items to discuss.

Previous Years

August 13, 2014 - A No-Brainer Approach to Turning Biowaste in Thermoplastics

August 13, 2013 - Limits to Innovation in F1 Racing

August 13, 2012 - A New Perspective on the Great Garbage Patch

August 13, 2010 - More Aspen Research Video Available

August 13, 2009 - More fun from the New England Journal of Medicine

August 13, 2008 - My only political comment and it's not political at all


Patrick said...

Hurrah! Super chuffed, been reading your blog for years and using anecdotes from it on my own students. You'll be magnificent.

JR said...

Thank goodness, now you can make the course material "come to life" like professor May did.

John said...


Thanks for the support. I'm not (overly) worried (if I wasn't worried at all, then that would be worrisome), but plenty confident. I've been collecting a lifetime of stories and learnings in anticipation of this day, and even based on one-on-one-discussions that I've had with student technicians/interns/tech-aides/call-them-what-you-will working for me, I think I will do fine.

But I know full well that the teacher is graded by the test as well as the students (i.e., you see how much/little they actually learned from your magnificent lectures).


Yes, I wrote my Dr. May memorial post while this position was being under review and he was heavily on my mind. It's not the first time that I've had a double meaning in my posts. This is however, the first time it's been called out. Congratulations!

Feeling like hot stuff? See if you can tell me where my son works. However, you are restricted to just searching my blog. The clues are out there, as much as in the DeVinci Code. And of course, you need to show your work.

JR said...

If nothing has changed within the last few years, your son makes video games down in Irvine CA (unless he is still having fun in Las Vegas or other company sponsored trips).

I remember you talking about it on occasion.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the position!

Anonymous said...

A credentialed chemical engineer teaching in a chemistry department was an unusual combination at one time. I was also surprised recently to learn that an acquaintance with a Ph.D. in Chem. Eng. was teaching JUCO chemistry fulltime, and her undergrad degree was Physics. I imagine your students will benefit.