Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wally's Birthday is a Classy One

My younger brother Walter Allan McDougall was born on 3 December, 1946. If you happen to encounter him today, wish him a happy birthday for me, and ask him why he looks so much older than his senior brother, Duncan.

Today I got to the office in time to have a quiet 3/4-hour to collect my thoughts before teaching a new (for me) case study on Lincoln Electric. I learned from Wickham Skinner some 38 years ago that the hour before class is best spent thinking through what questions to ask of the class. So, this morning I did exactly that, and came into class with an ordered list.

I quickly perceived that about half of the students who had come to class had not read the case. As this case will be one on which the class will later have a chance to write an essay, I marked all students present who were there, then asked those who were unprepared to leave the room. I explained that it was not fair for them to sit there and hear what the prepared students had to say about a case for which there would be a graded assignment passed out next week. They left, clearly surprised to be excused, and not happy about it.

My remaining students then tore into the case with a vengeance. It was one of the best class discussions that I have experienced since coming to Romania.

Happily, I have many bright students. It is a joy working with the Englishline students at Babeş-Bolyai University.

1 comment:

Rather Dashing said...

Imagine the panic in the heart of the student who hadn't read the case, didn't admit it, and therefore had to stay in the room when all his fellow slackers were kicked out. Staring down Flunkin' Duncan alone. Terrifying.