Ashley Donovan

Day 2: Laurel to Baltimore

Blog Post created by Ashley Donovan on Aug 8, 2016

Today's ~23 mile run started in Laurel, MD and ended next to Camden Yards in Baltimore. There were some tough running stretches along Route 1 (many miles were without sidewalks/shoulders), but thanks to my experience running across America I knew how to keep my chin up and keep going.

About 17 miles into the run, I landed on the UMBC campus outside of Baltimore. I downed some chocolate milk before heading to the chemistry department, where I met with Prof. Tara Carpenter and incoming senior Gaby, the president of the UMBC ACS Student Chapter. Prof. Carpenter told me about her general chemistry class: she uses a 'flipped classroom' for her classes of hundreds of students. By keeping a very structured syllabus, working with the Faculty Development Center, using online homework and readings, and starting classes with 'clicker questions' (where students use a handheld clicker to answer multiple choice questions that rank high on the Bloom's taxonomy scale), Prof. Carpenter has made many of her 'good students' into 'great students'. In place of the traditional lecture recitation, general chemistry students work in small groups at the Discovery Center. It was interesting to engage in this discussion only days after hearing about similar 'active learning' classroom strategies at the New Faculty Workshop! Prof. Carpenter will be presenting a poster in Philadelphia and I look forward to meeting up with her and her students.

I had hoped to make it to CCBC-Catonsville but decided to finish the run into Baltimore while I had good energy, as I predicted a thought-provoking final few miles going into town. Running through the economically challenged areas of any city always forces me to acknowledge how incredibly lucky and privileged I am. While I felt safe running and encountered many friendly people in west Baltimore, I knew how fortunate I was to be able to look forward to a clean hotel room and hot meal without wondering whether I would have to sacrifice something else.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to visiting Johns Hopkins and Towson, and am expecting some company along the way. Stay tuned!