Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fail: Discussion

I just tried to have a discussion with one of my classes that was absolutely ugh. Only a few people spoke, and I wasn't leading well, and just ugh.

Partly, it's the beginning of the semester thing where some people are intimidated now, but will be able to contribute in a week or two.

Partly it's the beginning of the semester thing where some people just aren't used to reading carefully yet, and so disagree with something the author didn't actually say, and want to talk about how wrong the author is, except s/he didn't say it anyway.

Partly the room is a really bad configuration for good discussion, and way crowded, so circling up isn't really an option. It's a long narrow configuration with a lot of bodies stuck in.

And partly I just stunk at leading today, despite being pretty well prepared.


  1. I love your comment about the beginning of hte semester awkwardness. I'm using the wiki feature on our class website thing to have students develop a glossary of words for the class (English legal history, so there are some technical terms). After the first week, I commented that I was surprised at some of the words that hadn't made it, like "infangetheof". I showed them how to use the OED. This morning I checked, and suddenly people had admitted all the words they had to look up, even ones I thought they *would* know.

  2. Ugh.

    I'm sorry. That's just awful. Sounds like you've had a generally shitty day, Bardiac.

    Here's to hoping the next one's a bit better.