class(y) thoughts

Saw this quote at the beginning of Any Given Sunday:


This is exactly the position I would like to be found in after each of my classes. For the time being, I am resigned to sitting on the floor, knees bent, my back to the walls. It is not because the floor of the office is dirty. I mean it is dirty. But it is not like the nice cleaning lady (the hardest working member of the college) has not offered to take care of it; it is due to procrastination on my part.

The real reason I don’t lie on the floor of my office is that most days seem to be LSEDs (low self-esteem days) precipitated by a mistake or two I did when delivering lectures; the parts of the lecture that were so bad that I wanted to get out of myself, give myself a good slap and get back inside; all the times when i thought i had my torso covered only to get kicked in the crotch; the thought of all the stupid things I said and did…

Hope springs eternal; I still look forward to the day when I will finally be able to lie on the floor, roll on that mofo…

And oh! Here is a way of inspiring confidence in your students -confidence about your ability to make stuff clear… entangle the hell out of your laptop’s power cord 🙂 or you can dismantle the socket adaptor thingie, like you knew what you were doing, take a (clueless) look inside for a second and go looking for a healthier adaptor. And this adaptor, by the way, is made in PRC -People’s Republic of China. They are making everything nowadays that they had to use an alias so that we won’t get bored.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. getere
    May 29, 2011 @ 12:55:11

    You’ll feel embarrassed if you bump your head on a glass door. Everyone else who turned around to have a look will forget the situation soon after..but you’ll remind yourself about it for weeks to come. It happens to everyone. If I find myself recalling my mistakes (or awkward situations I’ve been) too frequently then I’ll write down the situation and analyse the hell of it. What happened? Why am I feeling embarrassed? Did I make a mistake? Should I apologize? What can I do to improve things?… Give it a shot! Emphasis on putting it down on paper. I’ve wanted to blog about this actually.

    I think your teaching skills will keep on improving. I also think people can learn to be a good teacher. To me, when I’m trying to read a book or attending a presentation, a major put off is people don’t explain the problem. It’s as if someone stops you on the street and they start talking continuously. Science is a set of possible answers to our questions. What does computer memory do? What would happen if you take out the memory? Would the computer run? Why? Asking these questions engages the mind. Reading an article about computer memory will then be a focused mission where the reader tries to extract the information she needs rather than the book forcing itself into the mind of the reader (which is unlikely to happen and if it does, it is doomed to be forgotten soon). Engage them through questions and dialogues.

    Another put off is too much information. Sometimes I solve a problem that has already been solved (maybe someone even won a prize for it back in 1978). I think this happens to everyone. The thing is we are all smart. What we need is simply a good introduction. But how books are written and lectures are thought is to pump as much information as possible. I think it is more valuable to explain the problems, give good backgrounds, and explore a few simple solutions or topics very clearly. I go even further to say too much information hinders the learner from thinking.


    • tibebe
      May 30, 2011 @ 10:44:25

      yeah, i guess the points you have mentioned work for my case. what i want is for my lectures to be streamlined like a torpedo: state the problem/general idea first and then discuss the germane points with a sprinkle of interesting facts here and there. but more often than not, the lectures end up being diffuse like the appendages of the sentinels on the matrix.

      i hope you are right about people learning to teach. and i confess, there are some improvements. it is the rate at which they are improving that is killing me 👿 . I don’t know how long i am going to live.


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