Busy Week


I'm glad it's Saturday morning. It's been a busy week. It looks like there's a couple more to plough through but hopefully then I can catch my breath over spring break.

Why so busy? It's the same old story - you've got all those projects that you're waiting on and everything comes in at the same time.

To start off, it's college decision season. The high school seniors all know their options and are deciding where to go. While we're still considering some applications to my Daedalus honors CS program, most of the offers have gone out or will go out within a couple of days.

I started the week with an info session about the program. eBay was nice enough to host. I've held this session there now for the past three years. First time, I had about 20 attendees and am not sure if it made a difference in any high school senior's decision. Last year we had about 40 in the room but this year we reached capacity at 65. Each senior was allowed to brign a +1. Some didn't, many brought a parent but a few brought a friend. At the end of the session, most of the friends sought me out and asked if it was too late to apply. I told them where to fill everything out but unfortunately I didn't know if I would be allowed to consider them or not.

I also had about 10 of my current students at the event. This was the first time I was able to have that many. First time, I only had a handful in the program and last year we first had to reschedule due to weather and most of my students had class on the rain date. Having a bunch of current students there to mix and talk with the applicants was proabably the most important part of the evening.

At the end, the high schoolers had left and the students and I were BSing along with Paul, our host when Paul offered a tour and then went into an impromptu tech talk with the kids. I really wanted to get home to bed but the kids were loving it so I let it ride.

All in all it was a great night for my current students and I'm hoping also for the high schoolers but it was a draining way to start the week.

We also had a big CUNY2X event last week on Thursday evening. Around 50 students interviewing with fifteen or so companies for summer internships. We've had this event three semesters in a row now. It's a long evening but at the end of the day lots of students get both interviewing experience as well as offers.

Things also started to move this past week on our CS Education programs but not in a good way. Rather than approving our programs they came back with a bunch of questions. It's rather frustrating since we cover everything they want and then some but they don't seem to be seeing it. For example, we've got a big chunk of our topics course where we'll essentially cover full stack development light and we cover way in excess of anything in NY's forthcoming standards on networks and systems not to mention things like cybersecurity, accessibility, UX and more in that unit but the state said they don't see any evidence to that effect. So I had too start to take our syllabi and bloat them with excruciating detail. Something I'll be doing over the weekend and into next week.

To add to the week I had to pack. I've been pushing for an office move for about two years. When I came to Hunter they placed me physically in the Ed school. It made sense - I'm officially appointed there but I've done most of my work so far with CS. Even when my CSED programs start, many of the students will be grad students or working teachers so they won't be on campus much except for when they teach. On the other hand the CS undergrads are around all the time. Well, Monday I'm moving to a new office right by the all the CS action.

It's also been a busy semester for my course planning. I'm teaching data structures at Hunter for the first time. I've taught it many times before but that was to a known audience with a different toolset - Java instead of C++. To be honest, I'm not particularly happy with how I've been doing. I don't think I've been terrible but I've left plenty of classes feeling I've missed my marks. I know that it's something I'll have figured out and next time around I'll be back up to speed but it's made planning and reflection more of a time sink and it always bothers me when I don't feel my students are getting my best.

So, it's been a busy week in a busy semester. For the most part, good things happening but I'm really looking forward to spring break.