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Back from “Summer Break”

Well, it wasn’t intentional, but apparently my blog went on vacation this summer. (Well, since February, but lets pretend it was a summer vacation.) I’ve actually had a pretty busy summer, but I’ve been in my office pretty often this summer and gotten a lot accomplished as well. Just not my blog. Sorry about that. (Shhhh, let me at least pretend someone missed my posts.)

To kick off my renewed commitment to blogging, here is a brief breakdown of my summer. Consider this my “What I Did this Summer” essay for the year.

In the spring I taught a large (over 40 students) section of Calculus II. Overall, it wasn’t too bad until I started giving exams. Grading 40+ calculus exams with no multiple choice questions is not a great time. Blah. In the end, it went well, and I don’t dread doing it again next spring. After commencement and the usual end of the semester activities I geared up for a busy summer.

  • At the end of May I flew (with Joy, but not kids) to Santa Barbara for a conference. I gave a talk on the current state of the research I did during my sabbatical at the biennial Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences conference held at Westmost College. It was a good time. The talk went well, and the time alone with Joy was a welcome respite from the craziness that is the norm at home. It was also great to hang out with Messiah College colleagues and an alum or two. The paper I presented will also be included in the proceedings of the conference, so I officially have at least one publication from my sabbatical. (The proceedings are available here, my paper is on pages 151-158.)
  • After arriving back in early June, I had about a week at home before heading to Daytona Beach for the AP Statistics Reading. Essentially, we spent seven days grading exams from 8:00-5:00 with an hour off for lunch and two 15 minute breaks. The grading can be pretty dull and repetitive, of course, but the evenings are a great time to hang out with cool stats teachers and just enjoy being around people who understand the way I think. 🙂
  • July involved lots of crazy running around with the kids, and two weekends spent at Bowman Park Camp with my folks. It was good to hang out with them, and my in-laws were able to come over a couple of times and get to hang out with us and the kids as well.
Baby Wilcock

Baby Wilcock's First Ultrasound Photo

  • The week after the second weekend of camp, we got a most amazing surprise. Joy took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We were shocked and stoked. Pregnancy was something that wasn’t really on our radar at this point, but we were super excited. We managed to keep it a secret for a few weeks until we could make it to the doctor and get confirmation. Turns out we should have checked earlier! We had roughly guessed that we were about 8-9 weeks, and would be due in mid-March. Turns out we were 13 weeks, and our due date is 16 February. Well, that was another surprise. We decided at that point it was time to go public. We told the kids that afternoon, then had dinner out to celebrate, while making calls to our family to inform them. We made it “Facebook official” after putting the kids to bed that night.
  • I’ve spent the rest of August doing my version of nesting, I guess. I’ve been in the office writing exams and quizzes for the fall. This is really strange for me. I’m used to writing exams a day or two before giving them, and have actually given an exam I hadn’t had time to write an answer key for until after the fact. It feels good to be heading into the semester somewhat prepared, even if it doesn’t quite seem real that classes start in less than a week!
  • My other activities these past week or so have involved increasing our departmental presence on Facebook. We now have a Facebook group for current students and alums and a Facebook page for anyone interested in “liking” our department. For those with connections to Messiah College, especially the Mathematical Sciences Department (or now the Information and Mathematical Sciences Department), please feel free to check us out on Facebook and keep connected to us!

Well, that is my summer. Thanks for coming back, loyal reader(s), and I hope to give you reason to come back to visit more often!

– Sam

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