Weekly eMail Essays

Every week, you must send me a short eMail note summarizing what we have discussed that week. I must receive it before 1:00 on Fridays (and 1:00 on ThuRsday, June 3, our last week) for it to count for that week. No matter how eloquent, if it comes in after the deadline, it will not count. This is important. There is no need to wait on these eMail notes. Send me a note early in the week.

This means your first assignment is to obtain your own eMail account.

Even tho' this is a four-week Intersession, there are five eMail assignments. By 2:00 this Wednesday, May 12, I need an eMail msg from you with your eMail address. Don't wait until Wednesday morning to start getting your eMail account; do it now! Your first assignment is to send to me an eMail msg with your eMail address by 2:00 this Wednesday, May 12.

Each week, you must send me a short eMail note of two or three sentences telling me what you have learned or what we are discussing. Obviously, this is a mild attempt to keep you current with the class discussion. It does not need to be long or eloquent. Please do not make it long. Almost anything will satisfy this. If your "eMail essay" makes no sense or is entirely wrong, I will send it back to you and you will receive a zero for that week. There is no way to make up such a loss.

If we are studying straight-line motion, as we will be this first week, you might say something like,

"Straight-line motion involves an origin, position, velocity, and acceleration. Velocity is the time rate of change of position and acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity."

That's enough. More is not necessary. I just want you to keep current with the class discussion.

Later, when we discuss energy, you might write me,

"Energy is a conserved quantity. That means the final energy is the same as the initial energy. Total energy usually means the sum of kinetic energy and potential energy. Kinetic energy is energy due to motion."

That's enough. More is not necessary. However, if you have not come to class that week and write me, saying,

"Momentum happens when two objects run into each other,"

I will send the eMail note back to you and say "no, that was not this week's topic; we were discussing energy" and record a zero for you.

There are two reasons for these Weekly eMail Essays. First, it is obviously a meager attempt to keep you current with the material. But this is also a course in Scientific Awareness. You need to know how to use eMail. Not being comfortable with eMail will soon be as limiting as not knowing how to use a telephone.

I must receive your eMail essays for them to count. Please do not tell that you sent the eMail notes but they came back or that you tried to send the eMail notes but didn't know what to do. That's part of the assignment. You must become profecient enough with eMail that I receive your eMail essays. Please include your name. An eMail essay sent from someone else's account -- as from one of the "public" lab computers -- without your name cannot be matched up with you!

Send your weekly eMail essays to me at excphys@www.eiu.edu or, better yet, just click on the "mail box" icon on the Excursions Calendar web page.

I will not look at eMail sent to the account above daily; I will probably read all the eMail essays only once a week. If you have questions about the course or about what we are discussing, post those questions on the Excursions Bulletin Board. There is a link there from the Excursions Calendar web page and we will discuss this in class. Your questions will be posted for other students to see and respond to. I will also respond to them. This is intended to be somewhat like a classroom discussion.



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