Monday, September 10, 2007

First lecture

Tomorrow 8 am, the first lecture.

I must admit, I'm a bit nervous, but not in a bad way. It's the kind of feeling of expectation where you can't wait for the actual show to start... It is going to be a whole new experience, and I'm trying to mentally prepare for it. The actual preparation has been challenging, as I have never needed to come up with things to say for two hours (or one and a half, as it starts quarter past, and there's either a break in between or it ends quarter to the hour: were in the academic time zone) and I have very little clue about what these students know and how they think.

I have been warned that as most of these students are fresh from the high school they know very little and I can't expect too much. On the other hand, if they ARE straight from high school then they don't know what to expect either, and I can set the bar high and they just take it for granted that they will have to work quite hard for these courses. Right?

Well, I'll try to be sensitive and sensible about this, and of course the first lecture will be soft, lots of examples, sound clips, videos, discussion... I'm just trying to get people engaged, and get them to challenge the things they've learned at school, because that has very little to do with how things actually are.

We'll see how it works.

This has taken a lot of work. I've written web pages for the course, opened a new blog for all my teaching stuff, drafted the plans for all lectures, trawled the libraries for material and tried to figure out how this introduction is different from the other introduction lecture I'm supposed to be having on Tuesdays. Also, I've tried to learn how the logic of the integrated calendar - course scheduler - venue booker - student administration system works, and how you do things with it. And it has been difficult to envisage the whole year, the whole course, when I still don't know how much the kids can take. But I'll be that much smarter tomorrow. Now I need to sleep so that I'll be up in time for some coffee before the challenge.

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