Monday, February 26, 2007

People write down what I say.

One of the weirdest things about being a college professor is that people write down what you say. Today in my ethics class I pontificated, "The world is full of weak people who idolize power," and everyone's pen started moving. Funny thing is, this isn't something I had planned to say. I didn't make a pedagogical decision that my students should know that the world is full of weak people who idolize power, or even that they should be confronted with this idea. In fact, we had been talking about Nietzsche, and I realized that they should be warned away from a certain kind of poor thinking, so I started talking. And people wrote down what I said.

Ooh, the power!

2 comments:

C.A. said...

I find it weirder to see what they actually write down! I have had a couple of occasions when I've been shown someone's notes and I have no idea who was speaking. Just to make something up--like. . .

The world is full people who are weak and idle their power.

I think there's some interesting research in "What's the Use of Lectures?" about notetaking, distortions, and attention span.

Sometimes I suspect that notetaking is a manifestation of the guilt of not paying attention. Students write something down because of tone of voice or emphasis though they weren't paying the slightest attention at the time.

Plus students seem to believe that school is about internalizing facts and propositions. (Hell, our furniture trains them to think this--we have those ridiculous junior high school desks with barely enough space to put a notebook on it. We train them bodily to be passive.

One thing about SJC. They sure understood the importance of furniture.

Thomas said...

@c.a.: One thing about SJC. They sure understood the importance of furniture.

Except for those damn chairs....