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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

John's reflection

Gosh, it's hard to write these things, especially if I have to follow two folks from the English department... Here goes.

1. What worked? What would you celebrate?
I thought that the process - to plan for this new way of educating students - worked, though it was slow, awkward, and bumpy at times. Even the process had to be different, because no one has tried this before, so I guess I'm not surprised.
I also think the group dynamics was so interesting and unlike anything I've experienced before. I feel we got to where we NEED to be and probably almost as far we we COULD GET, though I know many people, including me, wished that it was more concrete.
2. What is missing or yet to be done in order for the 100-student freshman initiative to be successful?
I wish we knew the specific projects, so that we can start thinking about the possible tasks and approaches that are needed or included, and how these tasks may tie into the courses that are involved. I'm also sure, though, that these would also be very dynamic as the project unfolds. I think it's just the way people (definitely engineers) think about problems or projects, and it's comforting to have a plan, even knowing that the plan will get changed in unknown ways.
3. What are your reflections on our last day's conversation?
That was so interesting! It was slightly comfortable because it was so honest at times, but that was very refreshing. I didn't have much to offer, as usual, but I certainly took in everything. The conversation really helped me to fill in some gaps in my understanding of the project. I also felt I learned a lot (all good) about everyone - really!


  1. After reading your entry, I think we could do the next piece of work around defining the projects and how those might interface with the classes. I think we made good progress the day we identified the way that Basketball could work into classes, maybe it is time to look at real projects.

  2. John, your presence has a reassuring affect on me. It's because I know you're paying attention, you're taking things in, you're watching as someone who knows the inside and out of the conservative disposition, yet not someone totally sold to its imagined efficacy. My experience is that you speak at just the right time. I'm grateful for that.