The new calendar year starts, and the academic year continues

So here we are, a week into the New Year. Christmas is over, and some semblance of normal life returns. At my university, our students have exams during the next two weeks, testing their knowledge and understanding of the first semester modules. I have 4 exams to look forward (?) to marking, covering General Chemistry (2 papers), Solid State Chemistry, and Forensic Science (Arson and Ballistics). Fortunately the papers are relatively spread over the two weeks, so the marking won’t all arrive at the same time.

The second semester starts on 24 January, and brings new challenges, including trying to deliver the important parts of statistical thermodynamics and quantum chemistry seamlessly to our second year students in 7 lectures. Previously I had 3 lectures on each topic separated by an excursion into Group Theory, but my challenge is to bring them both together and show how they are related. Doubtless I’ll be posting on this separately.

In other news, today is my birthday. Having reached the age of 54, birthdays are no longer significant events, but as with Christmas, they can lead to thoughts of the past. But I find it best not to dwell on such things. Time to move forward; onwards and (hopefully) upwards!

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