Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sent off a paper yesterday and so am feeling nice and relaxed now. It's a long weekend over here, today (Ching Ming festival) plus the easter holidays. Right this minute our place is nice and quiet. B is out with the boys and henpecked on a shopping spree (at an outdoor supplies shop), and I've tidied my drawers, played tennis, ran, trimmed my hair and had a nice long shower. Burned a 'best of' belle and sebastian compilation for Pete in New York, who had very kindly took me out for a nice meal when I was there last year (to see Belle and Sebastian play), let me crashed at their pad, and whose lovely wife had given me two much needed sleeping pills in my direst hour of jet lag.

Yesterday I had lunch with another nine of my advisees, all girls. It was, again, surprisingly pleasant. They were all very chatty and relaxed and cheerful and.... well I don't know why I should be so surprised by their nice-ness and normal-ness. I mean, why shouldn't they be nice and normal and pleasant? Really says more about me than them.

Anyways, heard what they thought about several of my colleagues and it was all a bit of a revelation (I had to try hard not to look shocked). Also heard what they really think about certain courses and the way seminars are run. I'm pretty convinced now that the old model of getting students to do presentations in sminars is a waste of time, because they rarely do a good job, and the rest of the class mostly have no idea what is going on.

Next term I'm going to have to do something different. I'm going to try to get them to do different things every class. Since most of them admit they rarely ever read any of the assigned readings (unless they absolutely must have to read them for their presentation), I could get them to read short pieces in class, and then discuss afterwards. Or I could get them to write short discussion pieces, then share them at the end of the class. Or show a short video and get them to discuss.

Wow. This pinot noir is really helping those creative juices flow.

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