Thursday, March 5, 2009

Of CSAPs and Physics

Today was the first day of CSAPs for Zack. CSAPs are the standardized tests given to all kids in grades 3 – 9 in Colorado.
CSAPs are Colorado Student Assessment Program tests. These tests are mandated by Colorado state law for any school receiving federal or state funds. The purpose of the tests is to assess the child’s progress against a series of specified benchmarks in math, writing and reading. In addition to assessing each child, the tests are also used to determine how well each school and school district is performing. For those schools that consistently perform at sub par levels, remediation plans are supposed to be put in place to correct the problems. If the problems persist over time, the schools can actually be closed or turned into charter schools.
Zack started the first of 9 days of these test today. Yes – you read that right 9 days! The first 3 days are dedicated to writing, the second 3 days are dedicated to reading and the last 3 days are dedicated to math. By the end of these nine days Zack and all the other children will be going NUTS! Zack thought he did pretty well on this first day of testing. We’ll see if he keeps it up tomorrow and throughout this long period of testing.
After school today, Zack had Sylvan. He goes to Sylvan 4 hours a week – 2 hours on Monday and 2 hours on Wednesday. He appears to be making some progress with his writing for which I am very happy. On a day like today he was not happy going to Sylvan as he just wanted to stay at home and play. I really feel bad when he has these busy days, but unfortunately it is the way it is. His program at Sylvan should last through early June. I am hoping he completes it in that time as I want him to have a free summer.
For me the day was filled with an ungodly number of conference calls. My work schedule seems to have exploded in recent weeks such that on most days I have 6 – 8 hours worth of conference calls. It is just a tab bit insane right now.
I managed to get a bit of walking on the Highline Canal done late this afternoon before the sun went down. I have now walked/hiked the majority of the trail. The only areas that I have left to walk are those areas that are in some pretty out of the way places. For example this evening I was walking on the Canal off of Route 85 near Highlands Ranch. This is definitely a remote, lightly traveled part of the trail. But it is neat to fill in sections of the trail on my topo map.
After my walk I made dinner for the Zack and Nancy. Tonight was the second night this week that I have grilled. We had grilled steak, baked potatoes and vegies. I am giving serious consideration to buying a new grill this summer as my current grill seems to be on its last legs. I have had this grill for over 10 years and I think the time has come for it to go the way of the doo-doo bird.
After dinner Zack and I sat down and watched an episode of the show on the history channel called “The Universe”. The show we watched today had Zack’s mind in over drive. The show was about parallel universes, string theory and membrane theory. It is a very freaky subject. What is wild is that most physicists now believe that our universe is actually just one of many universes. They have come up with a new term to describe it called the multi-verse.
Even more amazing is that physicists expect to use the Large Haldron Collider that just came on line in Europe to prove that multiple universes exist. Wow – what is that going to do to many religious beliefs when the physicists prove that there multiple universes exists. I personally think that is more of a blockbuster discovery than if the spacecraft on Mars discover simple one celled life forms.
Zack will get to put his knowledge of multi-verses and all this physics information on display at his science club in 2 weeks. On March 17th he is going to be doing a presentation with Dr. Science (Gary Berkowitz) on astronomy and black holes. He is definitely looking forward to that.
Thanks and peace to all!

1 comment:

tcsTenor said...

In Genesis (Bible) it states that God made the "Heavens" (plural) and the earth. It does not say one universe. "Heavens" to me means many - not singular. Many galaxies, many universes. It certainly doesn't blow my religion out of the water.