Challenge Me! A student at UNC-Chapel Hill is surprised to find that his freshman courses were less rigorous than many high school classes.
Aftab Aslam Accused Of Faking Kidnapping To Avoid Telling Parents About Failing Grades
Laptops in Class... hmm...
An interesting article re: some professors not allowing students to use laptops in class. It's interesting only it that it demonstrates many of the different arguments regarding the validity of using laptops as a note-taking tool. I generally disagree with the author who somehow equates those professors with concerns about laptops as luddites. I'm far-far and away from a luddite. In fact, I'm generally fascinated by the many tools available to students and wished I had had them when I was undertaking coursework. However, I do notice that classes have a tendency to become much less "interactive" in relation to how many laptops are being used. Some students never look at me the entire class and type furiously whether I'm lecturing OR NOT. I'm fairly adept with technology (moreso than most of my students, probably, given my background and higher purchasing power), and I can tell when students are concentrating on me, or their laptops. I have VAST amounts of experience with the "techno stare," since I've been guilty of it so very often, myself.
I haven't yet decided to ban laptops from my classroom, but every semester I teach, I inch ever closer to doing so.
Some interesting quotes from the article:
[If one wants to use a laptop in school, one should] “Drop out of NYU and go enroll in the University of Phoenix.” [There is some wrongness to this quote--no one with a heart should ever tell anyone to enroll at that particular university.]
And… just so the college kids know… professors have been lecturing for millenia. Get over the “I’m bored” rant. Learn to concentrate and glean what you can from these people who know their subject far better than you do. You’re not paying them to entertain you. You’re paying the university for an EDUCATION. If you’d rather be entertained while educated, go home and watch Sesame Street and Magic School Bus.
Roger and Me
I just want to mark the passing of Roger Ebert with belated thanks to him. I have modeled a great deal of my own writing based on his and I learned more GRE words from him than I can count. His writing served as a great example to me of how one can write clearly and concisely; how one could be simultaneously sophisticated yet approachable.
Lastly, a belated "thank you" for making my question to headlilner to his "Movie Answer Man" column on January 13, 2002.
January 13, 2002
A. Take it from me: "Lord of the Rings" isn't the best movie of all time. What's reflected is extreme enthusiasm by a lot of fans, who gave it a "10" on the IMDb poll although many of them, individually, might not rate it the best of all films.
An interesting article written by a student who underwent a Great Books degree. I've always been interested in the idea of Great Books degrees, but I find them often far too Western-centered.
What's of interest to me, however, was the attitude displayed by the author when he realized what it would actually take to benefit from a Great Books curriculum. Obviously, a Great Books curriculum is a about as far from an instrumentalist degree that can be possible. One doesn't learn a vocation, but, in my opinion they lean what many, many of my students haven't--he learned what it means to really learn.
I realized that true education involves surrendering. Instead of fighting the demands of my professors or the structure of the program, I needed to adopt an attitude of prudential humility in the face of the challenges and possibilities before me. Some of the philosophy and literature classes were outside of my comfort zone, but I soon came to appreciate, and ultimately relish the challenges. It was an educational leap of faith, and yet also an exercise that instills ethical and intellectual excellence.
From time-to-time I find interesting articles about the state of universities, the field of history, etc. I'll post them here just in case anyone else is interested.