Friday, April 29, 2011

"so you can teach: ok. can you do research?"

I guess i'm a good teacher: everyone says so, faculty and students alike. there are certainly worse things to be told.

every time i'm told that my teaching is good, though, right away i think about how pleasant it would be if someone would compliment my research (genuinely).
this is not to say that i disrespect teaching. i like teaching to students who are engaged in the material, and over the years i find that i like explaining concepts to newcomers [1].

make no mistake about it;
teaching may be easy, but teaching well is hard.
maybe it's that i spend much more time researching than teaching (including preparations), and i would rather the response be proportional to this time allotment.

maybe i suffer more in getting good ideas, making them rigorous, and polishing them, so that i value critical responses of that end more than another. so instead of a proportionality of time, i weigh it as a proportionality of pain. \-:

maybe i just want to be good at everything, that i just want it all! q-:

[1] part of it, i suppose, lies in the challenge. can i explain measμre theory to someone who took calc ii? can i convince someone who doesn't know any math why there are infinitely many primes? can i motivate why baηach-alaοglu [2] is so cool?

[2] admittedly, it's probably my favorite theorem of the moment. baηach-alaοglu is like a get-out-of-jail-free card .. if you have the right "lawyer" (in the form of a reflexive space!)

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