New experiences all around.

Phone calls from parents is a completely new experience for me - one that I got to enjoy this afternoon. Fortunately, it was a concerned parent and not a frothing-with-anger parent, so I could have lost my parent-call virginity in far less savory ways. The student in question is quiet and shy, but perfectly competent - he's not the star of the class, though, and I think not outshining his peers is a new experience. It's a good lesson, though - I feel like I'm teaching life skills here, which is a new experience of my own. Today I taught them all how to find books in the stacks, and yesterday I taught them all how to skim articles to weed out the literary chaff.

7 comments:

Burrito Eater said...

I am glad you are making a difference. Sooner or later the gifted kids will go somewhere where everyone is gifted and the transition will be hard.

Spice said...

Oh yeah, I think all of my fellow OAMers vividly recall the very moment at the first convo where they said "Look around you - from this point forward half of you are in the bottom half of your class." You could almost hear the air hissing from our rapidly deflating academic egos. Not a fun experience, but a very necessary one.

towwas said...

Heh. Whereas I, like the kids in J.Bro's class, had already been through two summers of CTY and knew I was not all that hot.

grrrbear said...

Oh yeah, I remember that convo speech. Of course, I also remember getting my first D's and F's in a certain history professor's classes freshman year. That one-two combo pretty much provided me the energy I needed to finally learn how to study.

Sophist said...

My cousin was in the way bottom of his class at an Ivy league school after being at the top in high school, and now that he is out of college, he realizes that he's not a dummy after all, and he's actually hating readjusting to being the one to have to slow down when explaining things to people... as for me, by not ever leaving academia, have secured my position as one of the proud "bottom half" of my peergroup for as long as I want! "Can you slow down and explain that to me again????? again?? OK just one more time I swear."

towwas said...

Truthfully, I was not all that smart relative to other people in my high school, either. Now, in my profession, I'm considered pretty smart. Well - I know a lot more about science than most people, anyway, and they're easily impressed.

Spice said...

Yeah it was even weird when I got to MFGAM and realized that there were people there who had never written a 15-page paper. Plus there was someone who was a native Californian and didn't realize that the state bordered Oregon. Not that everyone in education (or at MFGAM, for sure) is that clueless, but there was definitely more cluelessness floating around than at OAM. It was totally weird to suddenly be one of the 'smart ones' again. But then, some crazy proportion of my OAM friends and close acquaintances graduated summa (at a place where 4-6 people do that a year), so I think I'd been comparing myself to a pretty wacky scale!