Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Meandering toward fun

This afternoon I taught the most enjoyable Intro to American Government class I think I’ve ever had; I don’t know yet whether to attribute it to my new practice of giving quizzes on the readings before class on WebCT (thereby ensuring I have students who have read), having less than 20 students (thereby allowing me to stare down the incommunicado students easily), or letting the first 45 minutes or so be more driven by the class rather than my outline.

Not that the other two classes weren’t fun either—well, to the extent that you can lecture on measuring concepts and make that “fun”—but the intro class really stood out for me today.

In other news, I was challenged by an intermediary to come up for an explanation why I don’t have a tenure-track job yet that isn’t “Duke offered me an obscene amount of money to be a sabbatical replacement, so I turned down some tenure-track interviews,” “the department’s faculty apparently didn’t think I’d move permanently to Wisconsin, unlike the guy they hired who was from there,” or “I didn’t feel like spending the rest of my professional career just teaching intro to American politics and research methods every semester.” Now there’s a toughie…