FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011
I am in the Humanities building. There is a big event in class today. I know this because there are scores of undergrads, huddled in groups outside a series of classrooms. Two of them are texting and one of them is sleeping. But about 40 of them (50?) are reciting poems, Shakespeare, Yertle the Turtle. It seems to be self-written, based on a widely-recognized work. They have movements to go with their recitations. They are practicing. They are engaged.
Who is the professor who commands students to make total asses of themselves so successfully? I have no doubt that this is a teaching genius. I am filled with envy. Forget essays. Screw tests. I need them to perform.
Perhaps it appeals to their ego, or their sense of fun. Maybe the fear of messing up in front of an audience prevents them from phoning it in, as they do so often for my assignments. There is a message to be learned in each of their projects. And instead of killing off grandma, skipping class, "losing" their books, my god, MY GOD!! they are learning!!!!
- Academic Monkey