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, June 07, 2023



My day yesterday was as packed and busy as the bowl of the pipe in the above image that is packed with delightful crumbles of pipe tobacco:

  • 9 hours of "big voice" professoring in my classes.
  • I was out of bed and hoofing on the trail as early as I could force myself out of bed... to no avail.... I only ran 7.0 miles (~11 km) yesterday.
  • During the run..... amazingly.... I saw ANOTHER pipe smoker!!!  It is damn rare these days.  This fellow was about my age, and he was driving a fully-loaded bright red, brand-damn-new full size Ford pickup.  He had on a snap brim hat like I typically wear as well.  He had a few bales of hay in the bed of the pickup.  I suspect he was a farmer from the outskirts of town.  I only caught a brief glimpse of the fellow as he drove across the trail (the trail I run on crosses a few streets as you travel outword from the central core).  Even though he was relatively far away, I could tell he was gripping a full bent, traditional briar pipe with his teeth.  It is truly unusual to see a pipe smoking fellow out and about anymore. 
  • Went through and completed all ~150 modules of a mandatory certification program for research.  I had to complete the non-human animal modules for my animal model research and for the Institutional Animal Board... and I had to complete the human modules for the human research studies I also work on (I am not the principle investigator on these human studies, but I do engage in some human research.) and for our Institutional Review Board.  These modules are tedious and exhausting.  And, even though nothing really ever changes in them, you receive certification for only three years.  It feels like this is the zillionth time I have had to redo these modules.  You are supposed to read a whole plethora of information for all the modules and it could take days to complete.  But.... I have done this SO MANY TIMES..... I skipped looking at any of the reading matter on any of the ~150 modules.... and just took the quizzes (usually 5-10 questions each).  After having done this so many times.... I knew the answers instantly.  So.... it only took a few hours in total.  I am now compliant through 2026 ! 
  • Today, I awoke at 4:30am, not because I wanted to, but because we had a repair person coming to our house, so I had to be done with my run so I would be back to "greet" the fellow.  So, I hoofed out 13.1 miles (~21km) and arrived back home ~15 minutes before he arrived. 
  • Finished up two exams and got them to my secretary to run through our Graphics Office for printing.  
  • Picked up a scientific meeting poster I had printed for one of my research students who is presenting at a meeting this weekend.  
  • I am part of a U "think tank" about the AI situation.  The group begins meeting this Fall, but there is a book that was purchased for our group to read.  I went to the Academic Affairs Office and picked it up today.  
  • I worked with my nematodes and my rats some today.
  • I prepared for some Drosophila work tomorrow.
  • I did a sh*tl**d of boring paperwork.   
  • Hoping to swim with my wife.
  • Hoping to go watch and listen to some live jazz tonight at a small festival near us.
That is about it.


Blogger Unknown said...

Professor, if you're going to be in a room full of professors panicking that students will start having AI write their research papers, perhaps you'll want to start by reading this article.. I like how the scientifically minded fellow recognizes that this isn't a debate about consciousness or even intelligence; he aptly describes the new AI bots as "applied statistics."

Sure, we may be moving past the day when student learning can be assessed adequately by their submission of a research paper, unless that paper involves reporting the results and meanings of their own personal laboratory or field work. But students can still take in-class exams, or can give oral reports (in class, or one-on-one to a professor). AI isn't going to mean the end of teaching or learning.

All of which is a nice topic to contemplate while enjoying a pipe or two. I hope your day was "packed" with as much enjoyment and satisfaction as that other kind of "packing" would have given you if you were indulging.

Wednesday, 07 June, 2023  
Blogger Margaret said...

I hope you got to do at least one of your "hoping fors" or perhaps even both. The rest of your day sounds packed. You do more in 1 day than I do in a week or more.

Wednesday, 07 June, 2023  
Blogger Liz Hinds said...

Such a busy day! I do hope you managed to swim. Drosophila - that's a name I haven't heard since university days.

Friday, 09 June, 2023  
Blogger peppylady (Dora) said...

Generally smoking down. I recall one of my grandpa smoke a pipe and us grandchildren want to blow out the match.
Coffee is on, and stay safe.

Friday, 09 June, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Hey Frump. You asked about surgery. Yeah, I had it and came home that day.

Monday, 12 June, 2023  
Blogger GaP said...

Your schedule is something that would break me, Professor. No lie.

Wednesday, 14 June, 2023  

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