My Students this senester think I am crazy …


I teach in an unorthodox way, like I do everything I suppose. I got a couple of great students and tonight is my first class.  New lectures new textbooks and its all kinds of awesome. I’m pumped up and excited. I cannot wait.

Unfortunately for some students, and also some ex-gf’s, I am a bit much.  I like to get to know each student and how they learn. I ask them questions  and challenge them I like to talk about things in a non linear fashion. So sometimes I may talk about bison and the battle of Custer and link that to  algorithmic complexity and the role it plays in fucking up ab initio predictive models for protein structure determination.

So far so good, many students have gone off to get better paying jobs than me and I languish is the cob-webbed filled hallways of academic contractual employment. j/k I’m being cynical.

Anyways here it is, why my students think I am off

Reason # 1: The Syllabus

The syllabus opens with this quote from Cormac McCarthy’s quote from The Road:

He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory.

The Syllabus Intro:

You all have different reasons for taking this course and as students you all have different strengths and weaknesses. My job as instructor is to somehow factor all that in as I lead you through the dark jungles of (subject name) where laxity at the wrong time can cause you to fall down hard beyond the helping hands of your course instructor. I do not want this to be your fate !!!

You may be asking yourself: “What qualifies me to lead you into such nefarious terrain?” or in another classically literary way: “On what meat doth course instructor Dave feed that he has gotten so big?” Well, aside from some degrees a decade of experience in research, there is something else.

You see as students you feel that science is your ally, because you’ve merely studied it for some years.

 I was born in it, molded by it. I had no place in my life for conjecture and suppositions… until I was a man but by then I was boring and working alone in a windowless lab

(it continues on…)

Reason # 2:  Off Email

Hello Everyone,

There is something in the air, can you feel it? Take a second right now close your eyes.. see that right there is called greatness and it is descending down upon us all. Why ? Becase at 6pm today in room (Cant say) there will be a coming together of not only the coolest of people, but fate will be working her magic as well.

I feel that if an instructor doesn’t have a sense of humor and cannot get excited and pumped about teaching the class will be boring as *unsayable expletive*. We are here to learn. I learn from you because teaching is the last step in education and hopefully you will learn something from me.  There is no power dynamic here. I view this as guiding and sharing my knowledge in a way that everyone benefits and that’s the magic.

Prepping the grounds for greatness.

(Real Name)


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