Thursday, May 8, 2008

Walking taller?

Yesterday was a sad day in television programming history. It was the end of another great TV program at the end of only one season. Yes, yesterday I filmed the last show for "Deja Vu, It's Algebra 2!" for our school districts local cable television network. Granted we intended the show to come to an end since I have, through 33 brilliantly written and even more brilliantly edited 30-minute programs, covered the entire sequence and scope (perhaps even deeper) of the high school Algebra II curriculum, it was still a bitter sweet day.

For the last episode, which premieres this Monday at 6:30 and runs through the week, I extend the elementary algebra of secondary schools and give viewers (if I can be so bold as to use the plural) a taste of the higher, more abstract, realms of modern algebra and algebraic structures. If you are interested but you happen to miss the show, don't have cable, or just don't want to tune in to see a goofy guy in a bow-tie and fake glass ranting for 30 minutes, you can check out the script in my previous blog.

Now that filming the series is complete, I will enjoy recapturing the 4 hours per week that it took me to write and film the show. Perhaps I'll spend the time reacquainting myself to my children or helping with the daily chores around the house, or perhaps I'll just idle them away lost in a book or on the web. Considering I wrote each of the 33 episodes (as I did for each of the 31 "That Geometry Show" episodes) in the wee hours of Saturday mornings, I'll likely spend the time sleeping in (at least until 6:30am) or just sipping my coffee with the morning paper more slowly and enjoyably. And Wednesday afternoons, when I normally filmed the show, can now be spent running an extra 6 miles, or taking my kids to the park, or . . . . Guitar Hero!

The conclusion of the show's season AND the conclusion of the AP calculus test (on the same day) are tremendous weights off my shoulders (and off my chin--I shaved my characteristic goatee immediately after filming ended.) I will now recuperate and rebuild my strength so that I am ready to do it all again next year (we are prospectively going to do a "Professor Precal" show next year, and although my calculus enrollment numbers for next year are at an all-time low, there still are 45 signed up.) In the meantime, I'll focus my energies on getting the precalculus students ready for next year, doing some interesting math problems with my calculus students, writing less in parentheticals (I really cannot help myself), and jumping through the legion of hoops always required at the end of the academic year.


Brenda said...

I write in parentheticals often too. I like it.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of using the extra time to help with chores around the house. Don't forget that you owe me a clean bathroom this weekend!
-The beautiful wife

Anonymous said...

Even though I wasn't able to watch as many of these episodes as I did the previous year's Geometry Show, I still feel saddened to see the show come to an end. Hopefully, I'll be able to view some of these in reruns. Now, doing a calculus or pre-cal show next year means I'll be TOTALLY lost even from day one, since I never advanced that far in my math courses. Will I continue to watch whenever I can?? But, of course--that's what proud parents do!! Enjoy your short few months of extra time. Love, Mom