Oct. 29th, 2009

icepixie: (Default)
Woke up to find one of these guys first pecking at and then chilling on one of my living room windowsills. It left before I could get a picture, but was nice to see. (Although the pecking gets annoying after a while. And I'm sure it's not doing the window frames any good...


Oct. 29th, 2009 05:30 pm
icepixie: (Default)
Hooray! I got my 102 course proposal approved without any revision necessary.

Speaking of that course, in spare moments over the last few weeks, I've been composing the syllabus. I've had my schedule for a while (since I needed to figure out what books I'd be ordering), and now I'm copying, pasting, and revising my policies from 101. Currently, my policy on participation is, "If you don't come to class prepared, I will turn into President Roslin and throw you out an airlock."

...I have a feeling I'll have to change that or the department will give me grief, but for now, it amuses me.

Other teaching things: yesterday we did "The American Scholar" and a tiny excerpt from Emile. It went surprisingly well, especially considering how lackluster they've been at discussion lately. Part of it was that these are actually interesting, as opposed to the drivel the textbook contains (and, because it costs an incredible amount of money, I feel obligated to use). I'm starting to think the other part was that they weren't always understanding everything in the earlier readings, but didn't feel comfortable saying so (or just figured I might let them out early if they faked it). These, I went into it figuring half of it would fly over their heads, and so I spent the first half of class asking questions that directed them towards the main points of each piece, then writing them on the board as they were mentioned. Discussion went pretty well after that.

However. In the copy of Emile I put up on Blackboard, I included a sentence saying, "If you're reading this, e-mail your professor the secret code phrase: Garlic is essential to avoiding vampire attacks." I had four people e-mail it to me. It turned out that some of the had read it--because they were able to discuss it--but were confused about whether they should do it or not. Gotta admit, I don't quite see how there's any ambiguity in that statement, but whatever. I was going to use it for a quiz grade, but since the people who talked the most were ones who hadn't e-mailed me, I thought that was unnecessarily cruel. They'll just get quizzes all next week. Sucks to be them!

(Actually, what I'm doing in the next unit is having everyone come in with three written questions about the reading and/or something related to writing, which I will take up and address [they'll be talking about them in groups while I look through the questions]. This will replace the roll book I've been using for that unit, so if they don't have questions, they don't get counted as being present. Other people are doing that now and they say it works really well. We shall see.)

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