Monday, September 26, 2011

And so it begins...


Today is the first day of classes.

I think my dread for the start of term is more out of a habit formed over 20 years of classes during the term and "freedom" over the summers. This year, I'm actually finding that the greater part of me is looking forward to the start of term. I've have a few terms off teaching (in exchange for more doubling up on other terms) and I've been finding that teaching actually helps keep me organized. I'm actually more productive when I have to schedule my day around the needs of students, their classes, their exams, and regularly orgainized department seminars. Huh, who knew? Not what I would have told you I would react to teaching a few years ago.

In the meanwhile, here's my current open letter to my students:

Dear all,

Just so you know, I don't actually care why you want me to sign your drop card on the first day of classes. You don't have to shuffle your feet, or look down, or come up with a reason. I don't know you. You don't know me. You don't want to take my class. Great. Have a great undergrad career.

I don't actually care if you want to audit my class. If you show up to class regularly, you are one more shining face I can beam at early in the mornings. If you choose not to show up in my class, then I don't know why you are auditing it. If you want your homeworks graded, talk to the grader, and see what he wants to do with you.

If you want to sit in on this class, but you don't have the prerequisites, you don't need to ask my permission. If you follow what's going on, great. If you don't, it's your funeral. It's not going to affect your grade, or my work load, do as you please.

In short, the only form for the registrars' office I want an explanation attached to is a course conflict form. And when form is for a conflict with the course that my class is a prereq. for... well, I'm just confused.

Yours truly,
Your Instructor

And on that note, 5 points of extra credit if you know what science fiction series is referenced in the title of this post.

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