Saturday, October 03, 2009

Something in the air (oh, and...verdicts!)

Second things first, here are the verdicts:

Section 1: Leibniz, by a vote of 3 to 1.

Section 3: Newton, by a vote of 4 to 1.

The second section could have gone either way, if you ask me; both sides were similarly well-prepared. In the first section, though Newton's team did very well, Nora, as Leibniz's lead attorney, was so on top of things that I think she stole the show. (She told me that she was on the debate team in high school. It showed.) Well done, Nora, if you're reading this!

The Calc I students are now setting out on their personal reflections on the project. As usual, I'm all anxious and atwitter as I wait to see how they've been affected by it.


...there must be something in the air they pump into Rhoades/Robinson. During the past week I've had no fewer than four current students and advisees come to me and profess some sort of passionlessness, dissatisfaction, or ennui with the courses they're currently taking. (For two of the students, it was the same class.)

One of my 280 students is wondering if the math major is the right decision for her. I'm not convinced that it is, and it won't break my heart if it isn't, especially since she's not declared yet and has promised to pursue at least a minor.

One of my advisees is just generally glum about her current courses. I'm a little worried about her.

Two others (a current 280 student and one of my brightest advisees) have diverse concerns about an education class they're both enrolled in right now...and it's not a course I've heard students complain about before. What's up with that?

With the latter advisee I had a long and at times laborious conversation in the wee foggy hours of Thursday morning. For various reasons she's not sure that she wants to stay in the teaching licensure concentration, and I'm not convinced she should, unless she's fair and squarely dedicated to it. For just as many reasons I suspect she'd be better off, from the point of view of personal satisfaction and fulfillment, if she went to graduate school in education (doing something like middle-grades learning or curricular development or educational policy) and became a superintendent or other high-level administrator: I think she wants to be in education, but she could affect so much more meaningful change if she were involved at a higher level.

Or, as I told her, she could go to grad school in math or math ed. She's got the chops to do just about anything she wants to.

We'll see how things go.

I just want her to be happy. I just want her to find something she's passionate about, something to which she'll dedicate enough time to do it well, something at which she can shine.

That's all I want for all of them.

Okay, I've got to be off. My father's visiting from out of town (I see him about once every other year) and the only time I've got to grade is right now.

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