Showing posts from November, 2012

Old School

It came to me recently that the party is really over.  Teaching and learning in the way people have done it since they were shaping spear points around a campfire has just about run its course.  It's only  a matter of time before we professors are replaced by robots.  Hell, they've already done it in Japan (see above).

I say this half-seriously with an emphasis on the serious side. 

Yesterday in my first-year seminar, for example, I used an ice-breaker to mix up the class for a pair and share exercise.  I asked the students to line up by birth date from oldest to youngest without talking or writing anything down.  The surprise came for me when I checked their dates:  2/3/94,  3/18/94, 5/12/94... 

Nineteen-freakin'-ninety four! 

That's three years after I began this job.  I've said it before, but teaching is a little like King Lear's unwiped hand.  Before proffering it to Cordelia in Act V, he says, "It stinks of mortality."  I mean, let's face…