New Civilization News: Memories for the Day    
 Memories for the Day6 comments
picture19 Nov 2004 @ 05:17, by John Ashbaugh

Thoughts for the Day,
Summary of Events,
Catalog of Occurances,
Synopsis of the Syllogism,
Ruminations on the Ridiculous,
Awe at the Awesome,
Fascination with the Fabulous,
Point of the Motion.

Thursday evening, November 18th into the 19th. Memories for the day.
Morning Economics class for the final quiz and the final project presentations. All of my five classes have two or three presentations per student this quarter. That’s fourteen presentation rounds between the sixth and the eleventh week of a quarter. Nine plus seventeen plus sixteen plus twelve plus eleven students which figures to one hundred eighty six presentations in that five-week period. Generally speaking, peak is at sixth and eleventh week, with the remaining third during the eight and ninth weeks. It is very much about developing presentation skills, the sense of authentic self standing before and facing a group of people whose sole purpose for being there is to listen to your voice.
All of the spaces between the words ring as clearly as every vocalization. There is a general education course that serves as a context, and the students have to do research and presentation projects on subjects about which they have only the most perfunctory knowledge in the first place. Speak clearly, whatever you say, and keep connected with the audience. It’s a piece of work these students are putting into this place, most of them working full time, many with some kind of family situation, getting this technical degree so they can get a decent professional job, so they can live a little better than they have been, pursuing knowledge for its own sake because they love their subject, and here they get thrown in with all of these writing and speaking courses, to include the reading of various essays and articles geared towards the multiple objectives of developing social consciousness and critical thinking skills, and the personal development of good written and oral communication skills.
I’ve had a rather agreeable quarter with one course in Business and Globalization, two in Argumentation, both written and oral, and two in Basic Macro and Micro Economics. Interesting thing about this school, as small as it is with its 450 students and fifty-odd faculty/staff walking up and down the one and a half hallways, through open lounge area and the library with its 22 computer workstations and assorted desks; there’s a lot of familiarity that develops between faculty and students during the course of for two to four years, mostly in their own departments, be it computer science, electronics, or computer aided drafting. Here I be, the senior general ed teacher, and I get to see ‘em all at one time or another in one class or another. There are other gen ed teachers and I don’t see every student who goes through this school, but I’d guess I see most of ‘em. And then they graduate, and you don’t see them anymore, and there are some others that are coming along, passing by for the first time, and I will get to know their learning styles, and try to communicate something of value to them. So this morning’s Economics class made their presentations. This is the third course I’ve had with this group, so we’ve had some time to get used to each other. Won’t be seeing ‘em next quarter, and after that, I don’t know.


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6 comments

19 Nov 2004 @ 06:02 by skookum : remind me
not to debate you on anything lol  


19 Nov 2004 @ 16:21 by astrid : Oh. that must be so....
...frustrating and drainging to have give your all, tryng to as quickly as possible learn how each student takes in knowledge and just as you learn it all to see the students "disappear" or certainly not remain with you... I had my teachers, many of them for four-five years and some even eight years. But I was lucky to go to a small private school, where all the Teachers knew you, even when they didn't have you/your class for that year. I so wish this would come back again! For both the Students' sake and the Teachers'  


20 Nov 2004 @ 05:13 by koravya : Another Day
>Late Friday evening, November nineteenth into the twentieth. Begin from today’s event, a series of eight debates, one-on-one. Topics included Mandatory Drug Testing, Legalization of Prostitution, School dress codes and/or uniforms, Physician Assisted Suicide, Drilling for oil in Alaska, To home school or not to home school, our dear friend The Patriot Act, and Raising the Minimum Wage. I pair students up as opponents. These opponents choose their issue and have two weeks to prepare themselves for the coin toss at the beginning of the debate day that will determine which side they will argue. Obviously, it is fun to listen to various individuals having to present a side we all know they don’t feel in their heart. Three times up and three times down for each one, opening, rebuttal, and conclusion, questions or comments at the end, and it is not about who wins.
We don’t make those judgments here. Everyone is doing as well as they can, and that’s what I want.
What is ironic about this scenario is that I have absolutely no experience through hi school or college debating, nor any experience in any of the public speaking arts, other than what I’ve developed as a classroom teacher these last four years. I came to this place as a writing teacher with additional background in art, economics, and anthropology. I was no better at public speaking when I started this job than many of my students are right now. All I’m telling my people is to get up there and have something to say and just be sure you keep as much of your attention as you can on your audience. It’s work, but it’s fun for everybody, especially to me since all I have to do is listen and make some useful and/or affirmative remark at the end. They’re the ones doing the learning, and I am their audience. Kind of another way of looking at that student-teacher relationship. It can get to be like the students are the audience to the teacher. Now the teacher is the audience, not only to what they say, but to what is going on behind the scene of who this person is talking to us in the vocabulary of his or her chosen subject matter.<  



20 Nov 2004 @ 21:57 by skookum : being that my nature
is as a peacemaker.. I find debating painful. I am not good at it.. plain and simple. I admire those who can do it well.  


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