Friday, December 05, 2008

i call it the "finishing disease."

some hours ago i gave my last lecture for this year, 2008.

i'm glad of it, but the last few classes leave a bad taste in my mouth. i have never understood the purpose of review classes; there are of course some topics with which most students have difficulties, but is it really purposeful that students sit passively in class, watching yet another example and copy down the details?

my opinion is that the students are better served when their role is active, not passive, and when they take their own initiative and work out examples of their own, decide for themselves how the steps should go. if i could have replaced these three review classes (three of them!!!) with three office hours, then i would have.

regardless of opinion, the teaching is done. that should count for something.

the end of a semester fills me with malaise. i think of what i wanted to do and what remains, what i did not do. more strange feelings:

i feel the urge to do something, now that my lectures are over. now i have time to read and write and think ..

.. but then again, it's been a long, first semester as a postdoc. i'm tired. my holidays are full of worry. when i try to sit down and think, nothing comes.

i will call this the "finishing disease."

oddly enough, i have some positive things to say, too. more, in another post.


Leonid said...

Three review classes? Very strange. Are you given a rigid day-by-day schedule? If there is some flexibility, the time could be better spent in other ways. Say, on mini-quizzes of some sort given throughout the semester.

janus said...

the more i think about it, the more quizzes seem like a good idea. if anything, it forces students to practice math more often.

(for the record, we had a suggested day-by-day schedule.)