An admission: I don’t really like exams, and I really don’t enjoy having to invigilate them as that means watching people suffer. Here at UBC, in lower-level undergraduate courses we are stuck with obligatory final exams worth at least a certain percentage of the final grade (and another percentage for work done under controlled conditions, be that as exams or in class). I’d rather that exams, like much else, were more like the image above. And less black-and-white; more green, with birdsong… (more…)
This post is essentially a statement of teaching philosophy, as academic outreach, most of which originally appeared as Tweets. It is also a contribution to #UBC100. I do not have much to give. I am not financially wealthy. But I can offer other riches—as can any faculty and many other members of the universitas that is the university community—riches beyond a banker’s wildest dreams or a property magnate’s most far-sighted imaginative speculations.
A statement of teaching philosophy, then.
Or: what is the point of it all?
Or: why am I here?
Or: why are we all here?
Or indeed: why am I?
I woke up quite early this morning. It was already gloriously sunny. Not too hot, a balmy spring breeze. A perfect day for drying laundry outside (except my strata won’t allow it because it would be unsightly or lower-class or something). I’ve spent the day marking, sorting out “hardship exams” (for students with 3 exams in 24 hours etc.), doing laundry, and reading and writing. Much of the latter activities have gravitated around one of the first things I saw online today, which made my day. It also made my day yesterday. Here it is:
With apologies to Ozzy and in festive continuation of Twitter’s virtual medievalise-ins, #HugAMedievalist (2016-03-31) and #WhanThatAprilleDay16 – Guilhem de Peitieus / Old Occitan (2016-04-01).
Medievalists and philologists are here to help, at your service and for the public Good. Even at what for others is “the weekend.” Manning the Medievalism Helpdesk today is the master satirist Marcabru. He’s joining us today from 870-ish years ago to help our Powers That Be with Words Of Wisdom and Thoughts For The Day from another world; from nobler, more gracious and honorable, yet humbler times. In the humility of looking back in turn, in the ever-repeating virtuous cycle of nostalgia, at better less barbarous times.
Welcome to a civilisation where: (more…)