Or ... How much trouble will Sam get in if his colleagues read his answers?
What is your opinion of Grinnell's teaching?
From what I can tell, a large number of Grinnell faculty are enthusiastic and innovative teachers. My experience is based primarily on our conversations on teaching and other issues. I have not sat in on other folk's classes.
Do you feel that it is far too acceptable for teaching to be dry and uncreative in the realm of the sciences?
It is my impression that Grinnell is working hard to ensure that teaching is not dry and uncreative. The workshop courses are one piece of evidence. The summer research program, the continued emphasis on getting research into the classroom, and the use of collaborative learning are others. Do you have different experiences?
In my own discipline, there seems to be a long history of lecture-based classes (not my own style, but ...). When I was last on the job trail, almost every place I visited said "We find your more interactive classes interesting; we probably wouldn't/couldn't teach them that way, but it seems like a good idea."
Why do you tend to wear red shirts?
I hadn't realized that I tend to wear red shirts. Perhaps it's that I'm an angry person :-). Actually, I tend to go through phases. There was a period in which I only wore white button-down shirts.
How do you like Grinnell and the students now that you've been here for awhile?
I still like it. I wish that you folks were a little more active in class and willing to read ahead, but I survive. I hear from folks who've taught elsewhere that I'm lucky that you do as much as you do.
Are you going to continue to go slowly through topics?
I'll try not to. Prod me if I'm going too slowly.
How is your new baby? What's his name?
Our new baby is Jonathan Bennett Rebelsky. Born August 6, 1998. He's doing okay, although he has a cold right now.
When did you decide to be a professor?
A long time ago. My mother was on the faculty of B.U. from the time I was born until a few years ago. Seeing the enormous impact she had on her students made me want to do the same.
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