March 12, 2004

Its the end of the Winter quarter. Tired, yet exuberant. A wonderful group of graduate and undergraduate students. This time the undergrads surprised me immensely. They surpassed my highest expectations. Funny how it happens when you least expect it.

I think I learned more from them about myself than they did from me. Here is what I learnt:

  1. I have always felt hard pressed to cover all the topics I want in a single quarter. So I decided to leave it up to the students to crash as many topics as possible in the last week by doing ten minute presentations. Which they did, in very high quality. I think this may be the solution to the “quarter system constraint.”
  2. I learnt that students are better at picking interesting topics than I am.
  3. I learnt that you can always treat undergraduates as graduates and they will meet the moment.
  4. I learnt that maybe student run courses would work just as well as faculty run ones.
  5. I learnt that setting expectations high is the easiest way to get students to surpass your expectations.
  6. I learnt that you know best what you teach, but you teach best what you love and find most interesting – so there is a huge benefit in finding that which you enjoy.
  7. I learnt that it is better to learn to ask good questions, than it is to know all the answers.