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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published on December 16, 2009.

How best to use my time….a perennial question. Maybe the better question is how to use my time well. It’s like the train of thought I was developing that it is naive and ill-considered to wonder whether I made the RIGHT decision—but instead, I should be concerned with making A right decision.

All twenty students showed up—on-time and seemingly appropriately motivated for this final exam over “Statistics and Experimental Design.” I was surprised at how many emails I received in the past few days with questions about things students didn’t quite understand. The questions provided evidence of studying (and addressable lack of understanding!).

Is it a professor’s responsibility to respond to such questions outside of the classroom environment (where others cannot hear my answers)? Is responding to emails of this sort inappropriately extending my office hours (The campus has listened to the answer Stanley Fish to this kind of question)?

How about the student who joined me while meditating over my coffee cup at the Student Center just before the exam? Should I have turned him away? How does one define the boundaries of when and where one teaches? It is not just technology that can result in our moving toward an “Edgeless University” but a failure to establish and protect boundaries.

How best to use my time…? I could use it right now to grade the 25 Introductory Psychology finals I gave on Monday. I could have done that Tuesday while my 20 students were taking their Experimental Social Psychology Exam (a proctored exercise in carefully reading and critiquing one of two recently published articles, “God is Watching You” or the “Scrooge Effect“). Instead, I used the time to attempt to cultivate some research opportunities with The Medical College of Wisconsin that would use and stretch my skills—and perhaps provide opportunities for future students.

I could use this “quiet time” to reflect at the keyboard (as I, music-instrument-challenged, am doing). I just now downloaded a marvelous piece of open-source software, G*Power,  that I’ve meant to incorporate into my research classes for the past few years!  Maybe next semester???

The first student is done at 8:52. I’m delighted that it is not whom I predicted who has blossomed in confidence this semester since her first year but who has a history of leaving the classroom far too early without having checked her work.

It’s 9: 35 a.m., and seven students remain…It will be interesting to see how students respond to Robin the Newf’s extra credit problems. It must have been my having overeaten St. Nick’s Eve candy (or my being bedazzled by Robin’s stunning holiday outfit) because, along with the final exam, I produced a 5-minute-needed-to-do (48 hours given to respond) take-home extra-credit problem. Robin was puzzled by why I, Curious David, GROWLED upon reading the results section of the “Scrooge Effect” and GROWLED EVEN LOUDER  as I read the survey from the Milwaukee Journal’s Top Workplaces Survey that was assessing my evaluation of Carroll as a workplace. Email me if you’d like to attempt to resolve Robin’s puzzlement.

How best to use my time… I could (should) start revising my Psychological Testing and Assessment course, which I’ll be teaching after a year’s hiatus. I’m embarrassed at how much it needs to be improved from the last time I taught it.

But these students are now entering the beginning of their third hour. This three-hour final now asks me questions, so I’d better focus on their needs.


Happy Holidays to any Readers.

—Curious David