Once again, I am woefully behind on my blog posts. There is a very good reason for that. Classes started today! As many tasks as I planned to get accomplished last week, not one of them got done due to a number of unexpected, but highly productive, meetings with faculty.
Since last Wednesday, I have been booked in one meeting after another; not all with faculty mind you, but the time has definitely not been my own. Meetings began last Monday with RM, the new Anthropology Deptartment Chair. We met up in Rochester, over a bagel and coffee, which was a nice change of pace. It also allowed the two of us to avoid the early morning commute down to Geneseo. We are planning for two courses this semester – ANTH 216: The African Diaspora and ANTH 313: Seminar in Global Health Issues. Most of our focus has been on the lower level course, with the expectation that the majority of students will be sophomores. RM has been extremely gracious, especially considering that this is our first intensive (or high end, as I will refer to in a later post, based on a very helpful article) course collaboration, in allowing me to provide input and ideas into the course schedule, lessons, and assignments. In addition to Monday’s meeting, we met Thursday, Friday (of last week) and then today, to finish up.
Wording (scholarly research instead of library instruction), assignment requirements, and practice with the scholarly research skills were added to the syllabus. For both courses, we will require all student groups (who will be responsible for leading one class discussion throughout the semester) to schedule a research consultation with me (one week in advance) so that we can target the research skills to the content of the anticipated discussion. Additionally, student groups are required to create interactive exercises to get the rest of the class involved in the conversation and I hope students will call on me to help with the brainstorming. RM has told me that her interest in this course has been renewed through our collaborative planning. We’ll cross our fingers that all of the new additions go smoothly. Always a work in progress.
Beyond the blossoming relationship with RM, I have met with Cristina (Spanish), Ellen, Jim and Kristi (Anthropology), Dave (Chemistry), and the RYSAG faculty team – all within the past 2-3 days. Now it’s time to focus on the potential product after all this planning. I am scheduled to be in 4 classes in this first week of school!