22 April 2005

Random Thoughts from Friday

I taught a colleague's biotechnology class this morning. Due to the wild and wacky WASL schedule, his course (which is ordinarily held after lunch) was at bat first thing this morning. He couldn't be here---as he does the stay-at-home dad thing in the morning and only teaches in the afternoon. Anyway, he left me an interesting lesson plan on the genetics associated with "race" and its relation to the movement of modern humans from Africa to everywhere. The kids and I had a nice discussion. When you really look at DNA, it shows you that race is just a skin color. What an arbitrary thing to put on job applications, standardized tests, and so on. Why don't we just pick hair color or eye color or something?

Later in the day, another colleague mentioned to me that cheating may be rampant on the WASL. He is one of the unfortunate few who was forced into proctoring the tests. (I hate the word "proctor." Ugh.) There are 9 groups of kids...54 kids per group...all clustered at 9 tables. They can't help but see what their neighbour is doing. However, kids do work at different rates through the test booklet. And just because you can see your neighbour's answer doesn't mean the answer is right. I wonder how much cheating is going on, though, and how much more will occur in coming years.

The weather here in western Washington is gorgeous today: sunny, blue skies, temps in the low 70's. It was so pretty, that I was in a hurry to leave school this afternoon...and forgot about a meeting I was supposed to attend. Oops.

I don't have "short-timer's syndrome" just yet. There are 38 more days of school. But with each passing day with my sophs, I can't help but think "that's the last time I'll have to do ---." And then I smile to myself. Not because I don't enjoy what I do, but rather I'm very much looking forward to doing something different.

For now, it's time to put my feet up and enjoy the feeling of freedom I always get on Friday evenings. Cheers!


Anonymous said...

A very interesting post, as all of yours are. However, you may want to point out to your readers that it is illegal to ask an applicant's race on a job application.


Have a wonderful weekend

The Science Goddess said...

You're absolutely right.

However, I do keep seeing the question on various applications I make---but it is always pointed out that I am not required to answer. Maybe that's how employers are getting around it these days?

My sophs wanted to know if they were going to have to bubble in the "ethnicity" stuff on their WASL. I told them that they didn't have to if they didn't want to. Maybe that's a poor call on my part.