14 December 2010

The Finale

Ah, another semester has just been concluded. I am inside the room where my students are taking their finals, and for the past two hours, my students have been answering questions, and several of them have already finished. I still have a few minutes here, before this class finally ends, and everyone will get their grades in a few days.

Wow. It's interesting to see that fifteen weeks have already passed like that. In fifteen weeks, I had about 80 students, and of those, a handful dropped, and the rest remained. Some performed well, some performed okay, a few performed in a way that needed improvement.

I was able to memorize the names of about 95 percent of the students. I can call everyone by name by the time the class ended, and the ones who I still have difficulty remembering are the ones that just do not show up in class regularly.

So now I have a stack of final exams on my table, waiting to be graded. I'll be working on that for the next few days, and then I will submit grades in about 4 days, when the evaluation period has ended, so that students won't be evaluating me based on what grade they got. I wanted them to tell me how my class rocked, how it sucked, and so on. So that if I get to teach this class again, I will know how to improve it.

So yeah, that was my semester: a semester where I taught a class of 80 students, and where I also had my own TA. I am not letting my TA grade the finals, since my TA is a grad student as well, and he has his own papers to worry about. It's just a matter of consideration that I give him the time to do his own stuff at the end of the semester.

Finally, this class has made me realize that I am old, at least for academia. I don't think I can pretend to be an undergrad anymore. I suppose that means I crossed over to the dark side. My students are as young as 18: I have students that were born in 1992, which means that they are exactly ten years younger than me. There are things that are common for them, but not for me. There is a generation gap, and it's larger now than when I started grad school back in 2005.

Oh well, that's just life. Life happens, and people age. Semesters come and go. And this year is about to conclude as well, in just a couple of weeks time.

(Structures Among the Fountains, from my Tambomachay Series)


  1. Oh congratulations professor Dery! The first of many more to come. Did you get emotional on your last day of class?
    btw, its nice that you know the names of your students. I liked the classes where the instructors actually made an attempt to know the names.

    And there might be a typo in the post, unless you were born in 1972..

  2. Priyank,

    Thanks! Emotional? Not really, but it was a relief to finish the class. And yes, I fixed the typo, thanks for pointing it out.