Mid Winter Thoughts

You may or may not know that I taught Introduction to Weather and Climate at Lincoln Land Community College in 2014. Spring semester I had Tuesday & Thursday evening classes, and in the fall it was Tuesday & Thursday afternoon classes. Two hours per class meeting. I found it fun to teach “real world” weather to students who weren’t planning to major in meteorology. It was kind of cool that although adjunct faculty, I was accorded the courtesy of being called “professor.” I’ve also been told by some friends with doctorates, who teach/have taught at the university level, the courtesy title of “professor” is kind of like “coach.”  You get called professor even after you’re no longer teaching. Cool.

I think I enjoyed teaching spring semester more than fall. I don’t know whether it was because spring was my first semester teaching, because it was evening as opposed to day, or whether the makeup of the students in the evening was different from daytime.

Fall semester (Tues-Thurs 2-3:50pm) seemed to be more traditional college students. I started with 22 students which rapidly became 18, then toward mid-term 14. I guess they thought they weren’t going to have to actually LEARN material. Some of them took earth science in high school, and I think they felt they knew everything they needed to pass a college course. High school is pretty much learning facts and parroting them back. College is about critical thinking and being analytical. At the end of the semester, I had one student who had not attended class since October, did not take the final exam or hand in any assignments, and did not withdraw from the class despite my encouragement that he withdraw. He was awarded four hours of “F” for his lack of effort. Truly disappointing to me.

Also disappointing was these students’ lack of work ethic. I think there were only a few who actually read their book. On Thursday, I’d give an assignment for the next Tuesday which looked like: “Read, understand, and be prepared to discuss the content in chapter ##.” When I picked up on the fact they weren’t doing their reading, I started giving pop quizzes on Tuesdays. They didn’t like me much for doing that. I didn’t like it much that I was doing more preparation for class than they did.

I’m not teaching this (spring 2015) semester. They didn’t have a section they needed me to teach. I don’t know how I’ll react if they need me for fall. The pay certainly isn’t very much, so that’s not a factor. Being a slave to the college calendar really cut back on our 2014 trips to Florida.

I’m liking being retired.

“Professor” Davis


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