Thursday, 22 November 2007


Tough to keep the energy going through to the end of term. I know students feel the same way. The other day in one of my classes I tried out some football coach-type motivation: hard-ass, stern, driving. Make the players mad enough, maybe they'll perform, is how the coaches see it. I returned one essay, assigned another, handed out preliminary classwork marks (which could be adjusted, I noted, between now and the end of term), and laid a rare lecture on them. Any one of those four acts tends to induce silence; the four of them at once scorched all sound from the classroom for the full 50 minutes. For the next 48 hours, I fretted over how to take the edge off, now that I'd put it there. Which I did, next class, with the more familiar fumbling, bumbling and fooling around. All in all, it was a useful wake-up for my students, I'd say

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