Posts tagged teaching

Started teaching again, scheduler was way ahead of me


Last day of my summer vacation

I had taught two classes in the two of the days of this week. I teach on MWF mornings. I have 40 students total in my two composition classes, they are good kids. Lots of football players from all over the U.S. and some baseball players and then the girl soccer players.  Oh yes, there are volleyball players too.  What was funny the first day of class on Wednesday was that I had asked the registrar on Monday to have one of my classes moved, since they are back to back, together in one classroom. I was hoping for the same room, even the same building would be better than walking across campus in the 10 minute interlude between classes. This is what happens when you let computers take over the master schedule for the whole campus.

As it turned out I got the floor above (in the same building). I thought that I would go to the original classroom on Wednesday, during our first class,  to tell them where our NEW classroom was for Friday’s class.  I realized quickly that something wasn’t right when less than half were in the original room with my missing about 12 students.  So, I went to the NEW location while I gave the first group an assignment to write down for me what their semester schedule looked like.

When I got to the newly assigned classroom, I asked if it was Comp I class to the filled up classroom (well about 13 students were there).  I asked who their comp teacher was and they said my name.  I told them *I* was their teacher and that I had to figure out what to do.  I thought quickly. I saw there were MORE people in the second room even though I had my ppt presentation all set up in the other building.  I told THEM to work on their schedule for the semester while I went back to the first room to retrieve the 8 students.

After this 15 minute snafu, things were normalized and the students were NOT ready to leave because we had had such a short time together.  Today, I had my own problems with technology where I had a hard time with the projector to work with my laptop.  I got through it but that is the advantage of being in the same classroom when they are back to back…no need to fix all the technology again.

Anyway, I am glad we are off to a good start.  I have some very respectful students, most of them are. They e-mail me and call me Dr. or Professor. I told them they could call me by my first name, the one I sign off on when I e-mail the whole class.  In any case, I hope that we all have a good time together because I realize some do NOT like to write long, formal papers.  I told them today that this is NOT high school anymore, we are in university now.

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“To Catch Him in His Words”: Gotcha!!!

G.K. Chesterton is well known for his pithy sayings, he was also king of the “Gotcha!” type fictional detective stories about Father Brown.  This summer I want to read Chesterton’s book Orthodoxy, as well as some of his other writings.  The following are quotes that I like as a teacher of English in a foreign land such as Kazakhstan.  Chesterton was British and lived in a different century but his written words ring true today in Kazakhstan.


A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.


Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.


Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.


Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.


I’ve searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.


If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.


In matters of truth the fact that you don’t want to publish something is, nine times out of ten, a proof that you ought to publish it.


No man who worships education has got the best out of education… Without a gentle contempt for education no man’s education is complete.


The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.


The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.


There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.


Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.


Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.


You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.


Jesus started a revolution with His words two millennium ago.  In Mark 12:13, it is recorded in writing that the Pharisees tried to trap him in his verbal response, so much was He hated.  He discerned His enemies’ hypocrisy and was able to speak words of truth and wisdom about taxes to His enemies.  Pay to Caesar what is his and to God what is rightfully His.  Today, April 15 is TAX day in the U.S.  Good to be reminded what Jesus thoughts were on this delicate subject.  If it had not been written down by Saint Mark, we would not know what Jesus said on this subject.  I’m also glad that Chesterton wrote down his thoughts on various subjects.  What a GREAT advertisement to writing students in Kazakhstan, write down what you know about your nation so others can benefit!!!

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