Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A bit more Student Humor...

Having gone into the old archives, having been reminded of how long I've been doing this, I offer another snippet of student art; this was from the very first class I taught, period. I was working as a laboratory assistant at my alma mater with a newly minted BA in Geology (this was 1981), and I hadn't really decided what I was going to do next. Another nearby college, which did not have a dedicated science department or majors, still needed to teach some basic science courses, and they wanted to know if anyone at my school wanted to moonlight for a semester. None of the professors was available, but the school twisted some regulations to allow me to be the teacher of an Introduction to Geology course. I had 8 or 9 thoroughly disinterested students in a night class that I thought lasted from 7 to 9.

I was nervous. I begged my professor to let me copy his lecture notes and I did so thoroughly, practically memorizing them word for word. I held on to those notes like a security blanket during my lectures, hoping and praying the students wouldn't ask any questions. But somehow that first night I made it to 9:00 o'clock and told the students they could go. They looked at each other quizzically and got up and left. This went on for weeks. The last week of class, I looked at the grade sheet, and saw that the class was scheduled from 7:00 to 10:00! And not one student ever said anything about it!

I learned a lot about teaching that semester, but the most important thing I learned is that I could actually teach. Maybe not the most brilliant academic mind, but I could communicate the interest and excitement about the earth that I myself had. And I especially liked field tripping. The comic above was one of the two pieces of paper a student turned in at the end of the field trip along the San Andreas fault at Cajon Pass in southern California. No notes, just a pair of comics.

He passed, but barely.


Anonymous said...

I hope you got a FERPA waiver before you posted this!

Gaelyn said...

LOL! First time out is always rought. Thanks for sharing more student art, and your story.