This Academic Life
  Top four and bottom six
Because I like stalling and procrastinating a bit, here are a few things I really abhor about summer teaching and a few things that are not so bad, sort of:

Six Worst Things About Summer Teaching

  1. six weeks to cover fifteen weeks' worth of material
  2. two class sessions a week, each of which is three hours long: too long to lecture, too long for a single discussion
  3. no time for students to digest material between classes -- no time to let them live with thorny problems and wrestle with them outside of the classroom
  4. perpetual class prep, since the sessions come one right after another
  5. perpetual grading, sometimes with overlapping assignments that need to be graded right now
  6. students who are mainly interested in getting credit for a requirement, and bring a somewhat lackadaisical attitude to their assignments and class participation
Four and-I-use-this-word-loosely "Best" Things About Summer Teaching
  1. ability to afford replacement furnace, since the heating element on our old one cracked
  2. ability to afford therapeutic summer camp for autistic son
  3. forced opportunity to update lecture slides, some of which will be re-used in Fall courses
  4. opportunity to marvel at the fact that, even though the conditions are considerably less than ideal, a couple of students still get it while going through the courses, and come to question fundamental assumptions that they formerly held to be true
On balance, I'd still greatly prefer not to have to do summer teaching. One day, perhaps.

Now, back to grading. Sigh.

[Posted with ecto]

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"Academia als Beruf," or, an occasional record of the various aspects of my life as an academic. Written by "21stCWeber," an arrogant handle I know…but I must confess that I do want to be Weber when and if I grow up :-)



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