Thursday, April 12, 2007

the electirc car is coming, again

I was happy to read this article on the website.
GM's latest venture: to make another electric car: the VOLT.
As many of my readers know, GM tried to do this before and failed. In the 1990s, GM produced the EV1. The failure of this car sparked the movie: "Who killed the electric car? ". From my limited understanding, this movie claims that oil companies and the car makers conspired to scrap the car. However as the CBC reports: "The theory is discounted by experts who point to the EV1's well-known problems, including limited range, especially if the heat or air conditioning was turned on and its impracticality in power-sapping cold-weather regions." I have not seen this movie (and I welcome comments from those who has), but it never made sense to me to think that a company would scrap an entire fleet of cars unless the car was really, really poor quality. Furthermore, if people wanted to buy the car it seems that a company in need of cash flow would be willing to sell it - unless it was more trouble than it was worth. Even funnier, the idea that they scraped the EV1 and only to go back to the drawing board and produce a much better electric car does not support the whole theory ... Nevertheless, this debate aside, the Volt is on its way! And GM has said they are working on it everyday. The CBC reported that 300,000 people clicked onto a GM website to say they wanted the car to be built. Which I think is great. In addition to the CBC article, I found this website that gives more of the juicy details and shows a video (and who I credit the above photo).

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Lecture's Finished, exam writing begins

Now, 13 weeks later, I feel a huge sense of relief. All 24 lectures and 2 midterns have been delivered. During the last class I gave a (what I thought was) great review of the material - even though no one asked questions and one student fell a sleep ('Sleepy' only awoke after half the class had left and someone was kind enough to push him over in his chair (laughing aloud). He apologized. I also had to laugh; I have done it myself.)

Today, I will put together the final exam. I have a good idea of what content I need to cover, but little idea on how to test it. Like the two midterms, I will wing-it ( ... well, with another professor's exam in hand). Writing, giving, collecting and then marking the final exam is on my taskbar (yes, taskbar).

I am admittedly looking forward to receiving my student evaluations. I expect a few nice ones, but I am sure most of them will be over critical, cold, and harsh reviews - some would say these are the best kind.

The fun is over. I think it has been a successful adventure. I am sure in the weeks following the final exam, I will be longing to once again stand in front of a class where I can be the most me I can be - a crazy, but creditable, economist - making bad jokes and getting a kick out of modelling.