Sunday, September 6, 2009

Class Starts on Wednesday

I'm getting ready to start teaching again; class starts on Wed, so far there are around 30 students registered. While in the past, I've had up to 6 drop out for various reasons, that hasn't been the case with this particular course (Intro to Physical Anthro). This course seems to average 1-2 drops, so I have a big class.

I have to tweak the syllabus a bit, in part to compensate for an anticipated H1N1 outbreak (easy on the attendance, have a backup plan, etc. At least the uni has a plan to deal with it, at least initially), and in part to change up a bit how I'm lecturing. Although there is some technical stuff that they have to get (meiosis, mitosis, and the mechanics of natural selection), I'm going to try moving a little away from the text, and make them more responsible for the content. It should make things more interesting, encourage attendance, and make it easier to keep on schedule.

I think I'll also move the essay due date earlier in the semester, so I don' t have a giant stack of papers to grade right at the end.

Beloit College has a "Mindset" list for incoming students. It gives a glimpse of how different the world of my students is from my own. For example, the Class of 2013 has never used a card catalog to find a book. The KGB has never officially existed. And women have always outnumbered men in college. I've also discovered that they don't edit or compose on paper, but do everything on the screen.

I do enjoy the teaching, and I'm looking forward to it. Unfortunately, personal shit is hitting the fan, and that will likely take a lot of my energy.

3 comments:

Ink said...

Sorry about the personal stuff. Take care!

And good luck with week one. Hope you get a class full of eager, bright good listeners and thinkers.

Digger said...

Thanks, Ink!

Bavardess said...

The card catalogue! I've just had a terrible flashback to trying to decipher the almost illegible handwriting of some long-defunct librarian. I still do all my outlines and first drafts with pen and paper. Hope the class goes well.