Class went well yesterday, it seemed to me. I gave them the required speeches and pep talks, had them do something active and surprising, modeled a peer review with them, gave them an assignment, and left with the consciousness of a job well done.
On the way out to my car it struck me that I would have to go back over and over to the same group. It is a long time since I’ve done that. I generally go in, do a nice high energy presentation, and get out. Teaching a class is different. I have to learn their names and stuff. And yet they aren’t clients or customers. I don’t have to make sure that they like me, or that I like them. In fact, students often hate their teachers. And they don’t pay me, either. Really, a completely different relationship.
So I was wandering around the parking lot in search of my car. I found it. I stood looking at it dubiously for a bit, thinking that my car wasn’t that nice a car, till I saw the Sierra Club sticker on the window. I put it there so I could recognize my car. And then I thought that I might have a lot of trouble recognizing my students. Especially because, unlike the last time I had students, they are all from the same country. It is a little bit easier to distinguish Chang from Mohammed than to distinguish Ashley from Ashleigh. In fact, I have 25 young white people in my class. How can I be expected to tell them apart?
I should have instructed them to say interesting things to help me with this.
I went and took an online test for face blindness, because I have sometimes thought that I might have an actual deficiency there, what with my inability to recognize my car and all. I turned out to be above average — 89% rather than the usual 80%. On the other hand, it may be that only people who think they have deficiencies ever go take that test.
In any case, I checked with #1 son about his freshman comp course compared with mine. He thought I gave them too much work. However, he is being taught by a graduate student.
In fact, half his classes are taught by TAs. At the community college where I’m teaching freshman comp, we all have master’s degrees. At the university, where we are paying way more, he has TAs. Something wrong there.
Today I take #2 son back for a dental follow up, go to the gym, meet with a client on her website content, and then have book club. Later in the afternoon I have psalms class, worship meeting, and choir.
I have some computer work to do in there somewhere. I did a whole bunch yesterday, but only half an hour of it was billable. This may be why the computer industry’s pay scales are so high — there’s a whole lot of work you don’t get paid for.
Of course, that’s also true of teaching and the pay scale isn’t that high.
Here’s Toby, deciding which of the pop math books I left on the floor he wants to read next.
I was needing some examples of mathematical writing, so I pulled out some of my faves and they ended up on the floor. They are in fact still on the floor, waiting for me to get back to the project they are for.
They would be just as accessible if I put them back on the shelf, perhaps in some special pop math area.
Not as accessible to Toby, though.