(OCTOBER IV) I’m green, I’m a TA all right!

The name of this post has a little bit of a joke in it, but I’ll get to the reason for the post first.

It seems that green has been my color for TA’ing.  It all started during my second year at Northwestern, when during my first quarter, I did TA’ing for General Engineering 205-4, better known as Engineering Analysis 4, or simply EA4.  It is a course of differential equations, using Edwards & Penney, which is the same text that I used in Spring 2005 for Math 221 at UNL.  The course has more focus on numerical methods than what I learnt in undergrad, but that’s one of the interesting things about a math course for engineers.

For EA4, my duties have simply included office hours and grading.  I originally started grading in green, but had several reasons for it.  The first was that I wanted a color to distinguish my own grading from the other TAs, although I suppose that my handwriting is distinctive enough to make that a moot point.  The second was that I thought that red had too much of a negative perception, even though I’m so used to seeing graded papers in red.  The third reason was that the red part of my multi-colored pen was running low, and I rarely used the green side.  Spread the wealth, if you will!

Additionally, green became my TA color in that year because when I worked in the computer lab for lab hours, I always wrote “TA” on the board with a down arrow pointing at the computer where I set up home base, and the marker in the lab was always green.  Eventually, this got me thinking that I should always wear green on lab days.  The one time that there was no green marker in the lab threw that plan aside, but oh well!  I continue to wear green on lab days, and it seems that green comes into my clothing rotation on days when I hold office hours too.  Go figure!

The only other time that I saw green as a color for grading was when I took classes from Ken Bloom at UNL, but although I share the same color of grading, I certainly do not share the same amount of experience.  One of these days, I certainly will, though!

Now, as for the title of this post?  I offer apologies to Eiffel-65.  One common mishearing of the song “Blue” has the lyric “I’m blue, if I was green I would die,” but I instead heard it, “I’m blue, I’m the demon of night.”   Both of those are well wrong, but I figure that I can still play with that mishearing in another way.  It’s fun to do, and I suppose there’s a thing called artistic license.  (This might be somewhat of a leading on to a future topic, where I’m going to dissect a certain song’s lyrics as to how they hold meaning to me.  It is NOT “Blue,” however.)

Today is the fourth day of OCTOBER.

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