[lit-ideas] Re: It's gone quiet

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 17:45:44 -0230

I, and only I, grade my students' papers. I've never had the luxury of "office
hours." I regularly meet with students in my office to discuss their progress
on their term-papers. For any 3 credit hour, 36 hour contact course I teach, I
spend approx. 24 more hours in my office with students. (Note that "office
hours" can be filfilled despite the complete absence of any student coming to
see you. Diotima would not be pleased.) My only reward is the pleasure of my
students' company as we pursue philosophical matters of intrinsic educational
worth to their personal well-being and professional accountability. 

(OK, I occasionaly get a bottle of Oban or some cat food, or an invitation for
dinner by a harried coed having difficulties with applying Rawls's maximin
principle to a case-study in equal educational opportunity. But that's not why
I'm there.)

Walter O.

Quoting David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>:

> On Mar 31, 2008, at 8:17 PM, Robert Paul wrote:
> >
> > One serious observation. With respect to Harvard, Princeton, Brown,  
> > and possibly American University, it is simply false that  
> > professors are available outside their idiosyncratic office hours  
> > to talk with undergraduates. One of the draws for faculty at such  
> > places is that you don't have to teach much unless you want to.  
> > Even the famous large lecture courses that some super stars  
> > voluntarily teach, rely on graduate assistants to do the grading  
> > and to lead the 'discussion sections.' Undergraduates, especially  
> > in the first year may see such famous people, but only in the  
> > strict sense of 'see'?walking from limousine to library, perhaps.
> >
> At Brown we were told that X, who is world famous in his field and  
> seventy years old, lectures to several hundred students and, "if you  
> ask he question, he comes bounding up the stairs, shakes your hand,  
> remembers your name for the rest of the semester."
> No paper chasing there.
> Does anyone know the history of walking backwards?  Where did it  
> start?  How did it become the universal norm of college visits?
> Perhaps I should explain to the baffled British on the list that  
> when, as a prospective student, you visit an American campus, the  
> admissions people shepherd you into an "information [read propaganda]  
> session" and then deliver you into the orbit of celestial body who  
> walks backwards while telling you all the names of the buildings you  
> are passing, also that the food is good.
> David Ritchie,
> remembering how much tugging of the forelock was involved when he  
> chose where to study,
> Portland,
> Oregon------------------------------------------------------------------
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