Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things I shoulda said on Day One of MATH 280...

...and will be sure to say whenever I teach this class in the future:

1. Your days of ten-minute, plug 'n' chug, follow-the-formula homework problems are over: these problems will screw your brain 'til it hurts and haunt you as you lie in bed at night.

2. There's no better reason to start your homework as soon as it's assigned than the fact that those who are likely to complete it in quality fashion will spend 10 to 15 hours on it before they submit their final drafts.

3. Even if you've cruised through your math classes in the past by putting forth minimal effort, you're almost certainly going to have to work, and work hard, to make it through this one.

4. Sure, you may be working your tail off, but please know that ultimately there's no substitute for good, honest struggle: true learning is almost invariably accompanied by trial, error, and hair-pulling frustration.

5. You're not the only one working your tail off.

Related note: I already know what one of the 280 students' final exam questions is going to be...


phillip johnston said...

that is, with out a doubt, the most accurate set of opening statements that could be offered at the beginning of 280. :)
It brought me smiling-flashbacks.
a 280 survivor.

Nighthawk said...

I gotta say, I agree that every bit of that is 100% true, but other than proof by rigorous painstaking experience, which really just seems to be a long drawn out interpretation of proof by example, can you prove all those statements keeping the four C's in mind?

DocTurtle said...

@Nighthawk: Ummmmm...can you give me a hint?