It was twenty years ago that I wrote my first university course. I’ve created several courses since then, but I don’t remember any that were as all-consuming as the revision of my plant diversity course has been this semester. For the lecture I gave this morning, I began writing over the weekend. It was a largely easy lecture to compose on the structure and diversity of flowers, a topic that I know well since it has been a major theme in my research. In a couple of stretches on Saturday and Sunday, I composed the text for the Powerpoint slides. It was on Monday morning that I began scavenging images from the Web and sorting through books and papers for additional images that I wanted to scan, but this work was tucked around several meetings and visits by students during the day. When I looked out to the dark and snow at 4.30 in the afternoon, the lecture was far from completed and various materials still needed to be scanned. I stuffed the papers to scan and my laptop in my bag to head for home, where a scanner was more convenient. I scanned at home, ran images through Photoshop, while also continuing to search the Web for things to use, and then pieced these pictures into the story on the Powerpoint slides. By 10.00 p.m., I was worn for the day and went to bed without a finished lecture. Fortunately, with only another couple of hours of work this morning, everything was in place for the lecture before class.
Tomorrow morning I’ll start the lecture for Thursday’s class. It’s my final lecture for the semester. The pleasure of completing that final lecture is going to be wonderful!
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The photograph above was taken on campus several weeks ago--it looks far different from the snow-covered, all-white version of campus today.