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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Faculty collaboration - The only hope

We, the faculty teaching in SUSTAIN, have been meeting for almost a year each week for two hours. Right now the meetings are on Friday from 9 to 11. So here we are. Roger reminded us that we did this because we wanted to confront and consider how to live sustainably. We are now inside of this thing we call SUSTAIN and are confronted in a direct way with the ways we are, the system is, unsustainable.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When students are given a choice, they take it

We, the faculty, have been talking with the students about treating them as co-learners. We have been talking about treating them as people, with values, interests, motivations of their own.

Among the first thing that we discovered is that they want to exercise their human rights:  During the times that they don't have assigned classes, they asked if they have to "be there."

The ways we oppress each other

I am teaching the Physics for the liberal arts and business students. This course is a conceptual course that includes some math, but is more of a survey than a focus on proficiency of analysis.

Last Thursday, it was announced that there were two different sets of physics students. One of the very motivated students in my class took me aside and wanted to know if they were really going to be learning physics because it sounded, from what the other instructor said, that they would not be learning real physics.

In the room, one of the students called my class "baby physics."  It is really kind of a horrible thing we do to each other, creating an imagined separation between the "tough ones" (i.e, men) and the "soft ones (i.e., sissies or women) and all the misogynistic value judgments that are embedded into that separation.

Day 6-Down for the count already

My colleague Liz just dropped me off at home out of mercy for me. I'm so sick that I'm rather a menace to society. I was supposed to be 2-hours in studio time today with SUSTAIN.

It feels like we are in a delightful whirlwind of creativity, but these whirlwinds are someone personal vortices, colliding with others in the 60 seconds after a meeting in which we are all running in different directions.

Today, they are MINE!

Today, I get to spend two hours with my sustain students. I have so much to say, so much to talk about, and so much to simply observe. I believe I bring creativity into the classroom (delusional, perhaps, but that's my mental model of my teaching.) My biggest criticism from students, poor execution of that creativity, especially by students who have a lack luster attitude about learning. Maybe, this will be a little different. Now, I just need to figure out what to say . . . oh, the choices available to me!