Sunday, August 25, 2013

First week's done

First week of the semester is in the can (as movie lingo goes). Mostly good, it seems a critical mass of my incoming freshmen this fall had The Fear Of God put in them somewhere along the line, so they have been polite. (As in: during a slack time in lab, a young woman puts up her hand. I go over to see what's up and she whispers, "Is it okay if I leave to use the restroom?" Yes, it is, of course.) I had a young man ask me, "Are we going to need the textbook every day?" And I chuckled and said no, I'd give page numbers for stuff they needed to refer to, because the textbooks are awfully heavy (seriously, they must be 10 pounds) and I'd rather they not have to carry them around with them.

I actually would rather answer the respectful-scared questions in a reassuring way (I am always reassuring to scared freshpeople) than have people assume stuff...I once had a student walk into my class AS I WAS GOING OVER THE SYLLABUS ON THE FIRST DAY, stop me cold, and demand to know where a certain room was. Okay, number one: you don't just waltz into a class and stop the prof. Number two, you don't interrupt. (And I will observe: on some campuses, walking in to a classroom uninvited when you are clearly not part of the class may well get you tackled, pinned down, and searched for weapons, these days)

Once they left, I looked out at the class and they all had "What the Hell just happened" expressions, too.

But this semester's crop, I'm hopeful about. (I'm always hopeful). I also have a mostly-three-day-a-week schedule. (Three days of lecture plus lab, and Thursday I just have one lab, Tuesday I don't have any classes, which gives me a good break to work on longer-term stuff like research or revamping class material).

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