Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back to School . . .

"Back to school, back to school, to show my dad that I'm not a fool. I've got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight." This song from the classic Adam Sandler movie, Billy Madison, was what I thought about on my first day back to school- at least the college classroom- in three years.

After having a minor issue with our home printer (I swear that I had changed the black cartridge with the color one . . . but I didn't! oopsies :-), I was able to get my syllabus copied this morning before class. I created this syllabus from the reading assignments to the written work- including the breaking social norm experiment for them to do- and eventually the tests (still need to come up with this . . . ) so it was good to finally get it out to the students after working on it for the past month (most intensively this past week).

My class is at 9:15 am and so I thought that most of the class would straggle in late. To my surprise and delight, when I arrived at 9:10, there were already 20 students in the class! And most arrived before the class started at 9:15. I hope that they are able to keep this up throughout the semester. William had warned me that since it was so early in the morning, the class might be unusually quiet and this was definitely the case. I heard "cricket, cricket" numerous times throughout my class. But, several students did raise their hands to answer a few questions so I'm just hoping that they will warm up as the class progresses throughout the semester. I had forgotten what it is like to have students who are so eager to hear what you are saying that they take notes as you say it, and are careful to write down all of the things you include on the blackboard. I was glad that I had prepared some extra material since they were so quiet because I was able to fill nearly the full 65 minute class. I was happy that I had a few students at least laugh when I told them about the great "breaking social norm" that I heard this past weekend. I met a girl at a baby shower who is allergic to gluten and so she shops at Whole Foods sometimes since they have a bigger selection of products. After having lunch at McDonald's one day, she walked into Whole Foods still holding her drink from there. She received several stares and a couple of dirty looks from the other customers, but the best reaction she received from one of the cashiers. She was waiting in a huge line and one of the cashiers, who wasn't working a line, passed by her and burst our laughing. He said that her bringing that cup into this store was one of the coolest things he had seen in awhile and so he would subsequently open up the line for her. What a perfect story to illustrate the unwritten norms that exist in our society.

All in all, I think that the first day went pretty well and it appears that I am looking forward to great semester!

4 comments:

Dyan said...

Wow, you survived. I bet you will have a wonderful class this semester. Good luck

Brad and Erin said...

Good luck with your class. I'm sure you will have fun and your class will warm up to you.

nicole said...

good luck! I am so happy for you!

Alecia said...

I'm glad you had a good first day!