I got to the BB room early in Thursday night and immediately switched the tables and chairs in the last two rows to be facing the "back," where the closet is. I arranged them into two curves, and took a table for my stuff, moving it near the closet. There was one chair on casters that wasn't there last week, and that made me very happy!
only needed one projection screen, and I used the monitor and built-in
keyboard, but it is awful! Can it really be that the closet design is
the result of consensus? If so, this is one case where that didn't work
well, and a person with good sense should have made an executive
First, it is hard to both pull it out and put it away,
and second, you have to stand up, facing the closet, not the students,
to operate it. Finally, It has a touch pad laptop-style mouse that is
marginal (I hate them). There is nowhere to put the wireless mouse if
you wanted to use that instead.
I had to call for help to put it
away when class was over. The nice young man from tech support showed me
the trick to doing it, and I think it won't be a problem in the future,
but that does nothing about having to stand with my back to the
That said, I was able to show them Collaborate and a
brief powerpoint. The students overall are very good, a nice mix of PhD
and MS and they all came prepared. Class discussion and small team
meeting #1 went well. Unfortunately two have dropped (leaving me with
After class, two students
helped me put the tables back into four rows, but we also switched all
the chairs to face the opposite way from how the room was originally set
up, on the theory that no one will change it back since it makes more
sense due to the closet's location.
Near the classroom is deserted
Thursday nights -- there were one or two classes in the rooms in the
main part of the basement with interior windows overlooking the
lounge, but nothing in any room in the entire section where my class meets. Kind of strange. Does no one
like the building?
Something I notice now that I am teaching a graduate
class is students’ Blackboard skill level is lower than among
undergrads. Anecdotal of course, and it is true that undergrads
occasionally have issues with the same tool (figuring out how to view my
comments on evaluated assignments) but it seems more common with grad
students. I get asked for feedback and when I ask “beyond what I already
wrote on your paper?” invariably they confess that they couldn’t figure
it out and only saw the score with no comments.
Something totally unrelated: I had my left temple dyed purple. I tried to have this done 20 years ago and it was a disaster. My hair did not take kindly to having the black stripped out, and it didn't accept the dye well, either. It turned orange, and eventually snapped off from too much processing. I'd NEVER dye my hair to cover my salt and pepper -- I love my hair -- but this little purple patch is awesome! Hair products have improved tremendously in 20 years.