Category Archives: Teaching

Technology in the Classroom

I don’t let students use their cell phones or laptops in class. My main reason has been the distraction it provides for other students, particularly when someone is using their laptop for non-academic purposes (where “non-academic” is a euphemism for … Continue reading

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Saving the Liberal Arts, part I

The Associated Press recently ran a very good article about liberal arts colleges that featured my very own workspace, Adrian College. It discusses the challenges of liberal arts colleges in an age when most students (and their parents) want pre-professional … Continue reading

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“Thanks for Teaching Me Methods”

A former student just made my week, maybe my month. I hadn’t seen him since he graduated, with a double-major in political science and communications, two or three years ago, but he walked into my office unannounced and said, “I … Continue reading

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The Value and Purpose of Discussion

On my prior post I mentioned that I’m going to experiment with having my American Government students write posts for, and participate in discussion on, a class blog. In response, Pinky asked a good question: I would like to see … Continue reading

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Best Term Paper Line Yet (this year)

President Obama’s federal budget consists of lots of cute in areas such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.” I’m sure it does.

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Textbook Inflation

I have in mind an American Government website that replaces textbooks.  It would be free to access, and instead of 40-50 page chapters, it would have briefer, but more focused, readings.  For example, instead of a long chapter covering all … Continue reading

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Bodies and Disciplines

So a biologist walks into a faculty meeting and asks, “Can you help me move a body?” Sorry, there’s no punchline. That’s just what happened to me half an hour ago. So you’re a biologist walking into a faculty meeting … Continue reading

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Hello Professorial

Ah the joys of auto correct. I just received an email a student sent using his cell phone, and the greeting was “Hello Professorial.” I like it. Just as “Reverend” is an adjective, rather than a noun, attached to ministers’ … Continue reading

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Minor Irritations

For various boring reasons I chose to teach a once-a-week evening section of American Government this term. I avoided Wednesday or Thursday because we have some other once-a-week classes those nights, and I avoided Tuesday, because last year that was … Continue reading

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I Feel Better

I found out today that of that 21% of American Government students who failed, all but one is on academic suspension.  You don’t get that for failing just one class, so clearly these students were blowing off more than just … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | 15 Comments