scream and run away

But, if you're teaching, you can't. If you're just walking down to your flunkie duties, you can't. Screaming and running away aren't two things you can often do. Or, if you do them, they are usually not done for fun. Some of yous might do them if you see an invertebrate, others might do it when you see your President. So today, just for PTSD's amusement, scream and then run away. For no particular reason.

Why do I put this up here today, dear PTSD readers, instead of writing about the ethnographic event at AnotherBigNameConference? Well, because my new theme for the month of October is the many ways I can turn Mr. Gaiman's works (and views on life) into something that ties in with whatever I am doing at that time*. Everyone needs a bit of amusement, right? Well, that's mine for the moment. I'm not saying it will be a successful enterprise or even if it's advisable and E may well nix the plan in the bud by pointing out (quite possibly through email) that I'm going mental. We'll see.

Getting back to academia: today's class on Scientific research style went fairly well. I'm working on the presumption that if I repeat a thing numerous times, then it will start to sink in and make sense. So, we went through hypothesis construction, testing, cause-effect relations, and ended with a session of some of the major issues that crop up when actually trying to do these things. The kids are smart (though still reluctant to talk, especially after my sermon**) and can easily figure out how some of the major features of the scientific style just might not work as they are supposed to.

I was asked how I managed to remain excited about "such a boring thing". I don't know. I told them that, for me, the entire world was a huge puzzle waiting to be played with (and, gave the example of Mr. Gaiman's comics) and research methods are a way to do that. I'm not sure they bought it but I can only hope they'll think on it.

And not scream and run away.

* Today's contribution: The Gothic Archies. As explained on the web site, The Archies are a band from whom "any glimmer of hope is absolutely extinguished." Oh joy. The title of the post refers to their latest song, from the CD which accompanies the last book of The Series of Unfortunate Events.

** It was a sermon on responsibility. In it, I told the students they were grown-ups and should accept responsibility for their actions, such as submitting the bloody paper on time. I felt such a direct approach was needed because I'm still receiving emails about how some of the students weren't able to send their assignments to me on Friday due to emails "not working". I still wish I had the power to turn a couple of them into goats if they submit their assignments late or at least can't come up with a better excuse than the extremely lame "your email wasn't working" or "I can't use Blackboard". I am, however, considering giving the benefit of the doubt to whoever has the most creative excuse for not handing in their works in time.


At 10/03/2006 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: missed/late submissions the excuse that required a lot of restraint on my part in terms of a reaction was (paraphrasing here): "I just hadn't taken this class seriously since I'm a senior and so didn't get to it". There's a whole slew of other project-related issues that have cropped up with this student but this bit in response to a specific assignment that was due just took the cake. I appreciate the fact that the student in question did not feel the need to concoct an excuse that might seem more legitimate but am I really expected to allow her to make up work that was never submitted?!

At 10/04/2006 12:25 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

This is one of those rhetorical questions, right?

At 10/04/2006 11:50 AM, Blogger Genealogy Spice said...

The wait for the ethnographic event post is excruciating!


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