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Friday, December 02, 2005

Day 8 Thursday preparing for Presentation 3

Feeling minimally better today. Began class on time, asking for vocab checking. managed to chalk up the day's time schedule, the article topics and my mollusc shell diagrams without vomiting, which is something.

During the mini-test I wandered round asking people to put their student id number on the rubric cover of the article reports (Thursday class is a week ahead because there was no mix-ups with lost work) (or was it me forgetting to tell them to exchange? I forget). I spent the time ordering the work by number and when it was all over, I told students not to expect the work back until January. You spent a lot of time polishing this, I said, now I want to spend some time making valid, helpful comments ( hope I live up to that, I feel a bit overwhelmed with 80 papers, and i have to write a diss proposal, plus a new essay for Bham, plus family chores, plus Xmas, plus JALT plus Peace Education assignments plus 'Blogging Out' article, plus oh goddess!) ...

I noticed some students making notes as I explained my molluscs, and nobody had any questions or asked for a Japanese rerun, so we hit the break and got into groups.

One of my rather quiet students has stopped coming, but his invited friend from the year below is coming...what's up? I said, is he not enjoying the course? That may be, they replied, they were talking of doing it next year instead. Look, I said, they've come for half the course, next year is job-hunting, they'll be busy, they're doing well, tell them I miss them and think they should come along for the second half of the ride. I also asked some peers in the smoking lounge to grab them and relay the invitation message again as I walked home. I know that three students from the group this student hung out with have shifted at the beginning of this term to a colleague's parallel course. Every so often I ask my colleague about how the three are enjoying the new course, (uncertain response!) which of course has a different approach, in the hope it will work out more to their taste.

I notice my quiet student has kind of stopped coming when I switched groups for presentation 2, so they were no longer with their specially invited young friend, so perhaps the interpersonal course element of making friends outside your circle and gelling with new groups techniques have been too threatening (this student was get up and go enough to organize themselves a buddy and then i take the buddy away!) I hope the word is passed on to them and they come back again, particularly since if it was a groups glitch thing they can be back with their friend again for presentation 3.

I had a bit more energy to make the teamwork handout more valid today, I asked students in groups to look at the original to find examples of the four areas, repetition, questions, contrasting opinions and groups of three, and after a couple of minutes called on groups to answer, then providing the answers myself in face of the complete passivity of everyone happily letting me do my expected teacher job telling them what's what. Then they got their articles, two for Bird Flu, Amazon, Renewables, two groups on controlling pollution in China. I had a most profitable time with the amazon group, who wanted to talk about mcdonalds, and I suggested they pull a spot-on quote from the article for their ppt. Whether they go for it will depend on how their research goes and next week, I guess. See you all in the puter room next week, I said, bought a copy of the Economist on my way home and headed for bed, which is why this blog is now at last up-to-date twenty-four hours late.