The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022




I am still playing a bit of "catch-up" from during the time when I had the damnable ear infection and even a bit from the recovery from the damnable paper wasp sting to the forehead that had my whole face swell enormously.  

What the effects were on work from those two events can be summarized as follows:

1.  I put off SOME writing things I had scheduled to finish.... because I basically felt like crap.

2.  I put off SOME grading I normally would have already accomplished.... again because I basically felt like crap.  

But, perhaps the most stressful aspect was....

3.  Because I felt like crap.... especially my head in both cases.... even though I was here and present each and every damn day..... WHEN I WAS TEACHING (lecturing).... I inevitably went a bit slower in my presentations than I usually would have when filled with vim and vitality.  

SO.... #3 above became a PROBLEM, now.... as the first exams of the semester are rapidly approaching... and have been at the print office at the U for quite a while (they need an incredibly long turn-around time to make photocopies of exams).  And, because of my slower than typical lecture speed for a while, I am finding I have to do extra work to get all the lecturing in that I need to before these exams.  

What I have been doing is going through my remaining lecture slides ahead of time and inserting a very tiny red dot (like a period) in the upper right corner on those slides that have a mandatory point that I need to make... because I have an exam question based on it on the upcoming test!  Slides that do not receive a red dot are therefore ones I know are NOT going to comprise information for a specific question on the exams.  What this does is allow me the luxury of talking LESS elaborately about certain slides than how I would usually talk..... TO MAKE UP SOME OF THAT LOST TIME. 

I did this for TWO of my classes today that have exams next week.  Happily and luckily, I WAS able to sufficiently compress less essential slides enough to fit in everything I needed in both classes remaining lecture time.  

I have two more classes tomorrow where I have the same plan.  I hope it works tomorrow too.

I do not like to have to do this, as I much prefer a more free-flowing dynamic in my lectures.  I like to spin tales, I like to offer elaborate analogies, I like to espouse on interesting, related corollaries. Out of necessity, I had scant amounts of any of those things today.  

What did I talk about today?  Several different items:

A.  In one class I presented a full lecture about the electrical, signal conducting architecture in the mammalian (and of course human) heart. Highlights included an examination of the role of the Purkinje Fibers and their regulatory effect within the ventricles, a review of the origins and history of the electrocardiogram, lessons on how to read and interpret electrocardiogram data, and a discussion of a variety of conditions that develop either congenitally or through lifestyle choices that negatively effect the hearts neurocircuitry.      

B.  In the other class I presented an extensive look at principles of body tissue organization, both developmentally and in the adult.   I also focused on functional uses of various epithelial and connective tissues in the body, with an especially deep look at the role of serous membranes in the body and their use in decreasing wear-and-tear between adjacent organs.  

On the docket for tomorrow I will need to:

C.  Conclude a discussion of the various hierarchical types of stem cells that are found in the body at different times of development.  And, I will need to provide a variety of examples of how factors of cell-to-cell communication impact, drive and shape how an embryo will have its tissues and organs develop.


D.  I will need to describe the important endocrinological concept of the embryonic position effect whereby in animals that carry more than one offspring simultaneously, that the neighboring siblings exert a profound hormonal effect that impacts whole body development, but especially shapes differentiation of sexually dimorphic brain morphology.  

* * *

  • Ran only 12.4 miles (~20 km) today.  I had hoped to accomplish more (got up a bit late and did not hit the trail until 5:15am).     
  • My MIL went to a social party at the assisted living building yesterday.  She seemed to have a nice time from what she was able to recall.  I am hoping this is a sign she is beginning to like the place more, and I believe it is also an indication that being there is HELPFUL for her because it seems like her memory has stabilized, and potentially become a little bit better compared to when she was at home.
  • PCS = somewhere between a 6 and a 7.... so I guess I should say.... 6.5.  I vacillate a bit throughout the day... some moments I do feel that deep, strong yearning for a pipe, but other times I simply am feeling a pipe would be just very, very pleasant.  I have been at this 6-or-above level it seems for a VERY LONG time this time.  I now wouldn't mind having some undulations back to perhaps 3-4 for at least a while.  It seems a very long time since I have felt that lighter level of desire.  Perhaps I should never have griped about the up-and-down undulations of my PCS.  I did not mean for them to stick as they have... at least not at these higher extreme levels.  

* * * 

The photo I top this entry with is an "old-timey" photo of an illicit still from the prohibition era.  I cannot tell the liquor, but it is either bootleg gin or bootleg moonshine I guess, because the elixer is clear.  Whiskey would be brown in color.  Initially I used "still" in the title of this entry to signify I am still playing catchup.  But, as my mind is often apt to do, while I was typing, my mind also drifted on its own merry path and started thinking about a) how a nice still drink or two would be really pleasant now (and of course a pipe to go with it), and b) how an "old-timey" Prohibition Era image of an illegal still is often really interesting to look at look when I have previously perused old photos.  I tend to really enjoy looking at old photographs of folks "doing things".  I like the fellows' various hat styles from that era.  I have several similar hats myself.  And, I like the mustached fellow's bulldog style pipe he is gripping with his chompers as well.   



Blogger Anvilcloud said...

i like those caps, and I don’t personally find exactly the same style although, as you know, I do have caps — and hats too. I have a picture of the workers of a construction site that my grandfather worked on. If there were 30 men, all but one were wearing caps.

Wednesday, 21 September, 2022  
Blogger Margaret said...

I like the hats too although I'm not a hat wearer. Your lectures sound complex and WAY over my head. I did well in science in high school but didn't pursue it much in college. I took my required 20 credits though and enjoyed my classes in that department, especially astronomy and oceanography.

Wednesday, 21 September, 2022  
Blogger DMP said...

Whiskey gets its brown coloring from aging in wooden casks, not something done in the moonshine process.

Thursday, 22 September, 2022  
Blogger PipeTobacco said...

Thank you. I did not know how the brown color arose…. Just that it is tasty.🙂

On a related note, could a typical still of that era create a liquor that is clear, but at least somewhat whisky flavored with that right ingredients…. or does the flavor mainly arise from the barrel and the rest is just the alcohol?

Thursday, 22 September, 2022  
Blogger DMP said...

The still basically makes grain alcohol, with some impurities from what is used in the fermentation. So tho there may be some small components to the taste at that point, for traditional whiskies the majority of the flavor comes from the aging barrel characteristics ( wood used, charring, etc.). Think of it this way: you really can't get a vodka to taste like a whiskey.

Thursday, 22 September, 2022  

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