Category Archives: Teaching

My College Is Being Blackmailed

My college is being blackmailed. The story of the blackmail goes back to Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education under Bush the Younger. Spellings (who has no classroom teaching experience, and no degree that would even qualify her to teach at … Continue reading

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You Need the Humility to Learn

As a graduate student at Stanford, I was a teaching assistant for a year-long course required of freshmen: Cultures, Ideas, and Values. I have no idea whether this particular course still exists, but I still have vivid memories of it.

The … Continue reading

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Am I a good professor?

I think so, but even my own best evidence is of questionable reliability:

I get very high numerical evaluations by students in my classes.  These are on forms that are distributed only to students in my class, and the results are … Continue reading

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Rouzer, A New Practical Primer of Literary Chinese, Overview

I am currently using Rouzer’s A New Practical Primer of Literary Chinese to teach first-year Literary Chinese to students with at least two years of modern Chinese.  As I teach, suggestions for other instructors and notes for my own future … Continue reading

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Philosophy Majors after Graduation

My department had a large graduating class last year:  28 senior majors.  I sent out a poll, asking students what their post-graduation plans were.  This is part of a project I have to work up a handout of what our … Continue reading

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Student Praise

I don’t want to make this blog a record of student praise, but I got an email today from a former student that made me smile.
I hope you’ve been having a great semester and enjoyed your spring
break! As I’m preparing … Continue reading

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Student Reading Habits

I was very interested to discover that a lot of my students have read Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.  I read that when I was in high school, but I would have guessed that no one in their … Continue reading

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Student Question on Meta-Philosophy

Every time I teach intro to philosophy (we call it Problems of Philosophy, a title I’m not especially fond of, but that’s best saved for another post), I have at least one student who is some combination of a radical … Continue reading

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Evaluating Teaching

It’s the beginning of a new semester.  One of the things that this means is that I have gotten the numerical and written feedback from students for the courses I taught last semester.  The numerical feedback is what counts for … Continue reading

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