Yes, it has been very quiet on this blog lately. But, perhaps to your chagrin, I am not gone forever. I've just been completely swamped with my new teaching responsibilities.
I knew that teaching was hard work, but it is amazing how much time I can put into preparing a class and still feel unprepared. I'm behind on grading, I need to be preparing exams, and I'm wondering if I am getting anything through to my students. So, from what I can tell from my colleagues' experiences, I'm having a fairly normal first semester.
I feel for my students, as I've had a few stumbles along the way. One of the topics I covered in the introductory astronomy class went over like a lead balloon (actually, I think a lead balloon would do better). At the end of the unit, I found myself asking, "why did I think this was important?", and I can't give a good answer. So, next time that unit is out, but my current students had to suffer through it.
A couple of weeks ago, I had students measuring angles using their fingers, fists, and hands. We measured the height of a couple of buildings ...