Thursday, January 28, 2016

Comprehensive Exams

I have not posted much lately because I have been working on preparing for my comprehensive exams, and then writing my exams.

This has been so, so challenging for me. I know, of's supposed to be challenging. And truthfully, I am feeling quite well-prepared for this. It's just trying to write while working around all the other parts of my life...sometimes it has me feeling like...

Those of you who know me well might be able to see this. Those who don't perhaps know me as well might be surprised. (Actually, I'm all dark and twisty on the inside...)

Honestly, things are going pretty well for the actual writing, but I there are times that I sort of hit a wall, so I start reading more to get on top of things, or hopefully break through.

The problem with that is, sometimes I find a new article or chapter to read, and all of a sudden, I'm like...

I'm not writing this for any sympathy or words of affirmation or anything like that. I know that I chose this, and the stress is temporary, if even of my own doing. (As my friend, Tom, reminds me, "I'm not life is rich and full!")

But if you could give my wife and kids a little extra encouragement, I think that would be welcome. They have been amazing, actually, throughout this process, and I'm so grateful for them.

Thanks for reading all. You guys are the best.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do You Have the Guts to Ask?

Image by Alan Levine [CC BY 2.0]

After my last post, I tweeted a series of questions, challenging teachers (I suppose) to try asking their students for feedback about their teaching. Here's one:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Satisfaction in Learning

My friend, Erik Ellefsen, recently tweeted this one to me:

Interesting thought, isn't it?

To what degree should we be concerned with student satisfaction? As an instructor in higher education, I am acutely aware of my end-of-term evaluations, and sites like Rate My Professors (I don't look at my reviews there...yikes...) that allow students to sit in the evaluator's seat and give the instructor a "grade." It's a tricky dance; it certainly feels good to have students give you accolades about your teaching...but does that mean catering to what they want, to their whims? Or does that mean challenging them with what they need...even if they don't necessarily want it? What is the mark of satisfaction in learning?