Saturday, September 9, 2006

First Impressions of the New Semester

The first week of classes at Unknown University (v2.0) is now (as Monty Python would have said) "Now of interest only to historians." Here are some first impressions:
  • In the first class meeting the students were a bit non-responsive, but it's often that way the first day of the fall semester (I call it the "Damn! Summer's over! I'm depressed" effect). Don't worry, my students, your teachers feel it too. I covered the first chapter and all the administrative BS in a 50 minute class, so they might have been in a bit of shock. In the 2nd meeting, I must have called on (or had volunteers from) over 15 out of the 35 students in the class. So, I think the expectations have been set, and things are off to a good start.
  • Our first faculty meeting lasted only 25 minutes, so there seems to be good leadership at least in that area. Since we have a new dean, no one knows how he'll match up in the either areas, but time will tell.

  • The vast majority of the faculty here seems to be pretty easy going. They've decided to do happy hour twice a month on Friday afternoons - another very good sign.
Overall, I'd give it a seven or eight on a ten point scale. Not perfect, but not too shabby.

I still have to finish my syllabus for the second course. Since it meets the first time this coming Monday night, I'll probably get it done sometime around Monday afternoon. At Unknown University (v2.0), we believe in "just in time syllabi". Once that class has met, I can relax a bit and get back to all the research I've been neglecting.

Stay tuned.

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