Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Well. I'm not teaching this term. As it turns out, my class did not make minimum enrollment, and therefore, the class was cancelled.

Yes, I'm disappointed - I picked up some really neat tips on Active Learning whilst attending faculty development workshops at UNC Chapel Hill, and I was very keen to implement some of that knowledge with my class this semester.

I guess I'll just have to wait until the next term. On tap would be a Forensic Science course that I'll be team-teaching with the usual faculty members. I already have a few ideas cooking for that one ... a re-design of the thin-layer chromatography experiment for one, plus possibly incorporating an experiment in which the students would be dusting for fingerprints and analysing them, and possibly an experiment having to do with ethanol and its effects on the body. I'm still thinking of possibilities here. I realise that in this day and age, a lot of what forensic chemists do in the field involve the use of analytical instrumentation, but I'm sure I can still think of activities the students can do that will allow them to appreciate what chemists in the Forensics field do.

Naturally, the best thing we did for the students was planning a couple of field trips to area forensic labs as this gave them a chance to interact with those in the field and get a taste of how their day-to-day routines go. I certainly hope we have the opportunity to do that for the next group of students who come along.


John C. Fowler said...

I'm sure it will be quite a popular class if word gets out that you'll be experimenting to see how ethyl alcohol affects the human body! What? Not that kind of experimenting? Oh, never mind, then.

Sorry you didn't get enough interest in a class next term. Maybe you should advertise. We just finished up the August primary here, and I'm sure all the political advertising agencies are looking for something to do 'til November. "You've heard the promises of General Chemistry at other universities, but what they DON'T tell you, is...."

Lyn F. said...

But of course not! We're not in the business of getting our students drunk! Add to the mix the Lead Instructor being a member of the Cary (NC) Police Department ... at least I can get some good tips from him as far as how DWI cases are handled on the field ...

As for the interest - we are a relatively new programme, so I expect there to be some lulls ... but hopefully once we land a new program the Director is cooking up and trying to sell to The Powers That Be, things will be picking up.

I'm optimistic.