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notes on the Greek classroom

The Greek class that I taught in this summer had only eleven students. I took the same class previously, and we had 20 students. The change in group dynamics was striking. Students were more timid about getting up to do work on the board; but once it began happening, an amazing small-group camaraderie formed that could not form in my class.

The fall class has 25 students if I remember correctly. It is held in "the original room..." Greek and Hebrew are offered as joint classes between the seminary and the undergraduate religion department. The seminary hosts Hebrew, and the undergraduate department hosts Greek. We moved the summer class over to a room in the seminary due to some construction that was going on in the undergraduate building. So now we are back in the undergrad building...

I never explored the room... Today I began. I got here at 7:00 AM. There were no students present and no custodians nearby. So I opened the door, turned on the lights, dropped off my bag at a desk, and walked the room.

Undergrad classrooms are stocked with the chair/desk combos that one must cram oneself into if one weighs more than 100 pounds. I seem to remember the ratio here is seven girls to every guy; so I suppose someone thought this would not be a problem. I don't know how male athletes sit in these things! There are 40 of them in this room: four rows of ten spaced out so that a person can walk in front of the row to get to their seat. I suppose they could get in by lifting up the desk (hopefully not with their coffee on it), sitting down, and then slamming it back down over their stomach. Hey, look! Students in their own personal prisons! Undergrad really needs a refit. But I'm just a volunteer!

I decided to try a new vantage point this morning. Instead of sitting in the front on the right side (convenient for making a beeline out of here), I moved to the middle. It might be easier for hearing questions from all points in the room or moving around if needed. We will see.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
my first greek class had 8 people. we were very, very close.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
One of my graduate classes this summer had two sections with nine people in one section and 20 people in the other and the same professor for both. Due to scheduling problems and conflicts with other classes for those of us in the vision program, during the third week of classes those of us in the section with nine people joined the section with 20 people for a few days. I was amazed at how different the experiences were, even with the same teacher! In our nine person section classes were almost like conversations with the professor much of the time, while in the 20 people section it was much more a straight lecture. When we returned to our regular section after four days we were all very glad to be back! I definitely prefer smaller classes.
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Lol, you described those desks perfectly. I am in two classes with those annoying desks, and one of those classes has some even stranger ones. They are for left-handed people. The chair is kind of situated to the right of the desk, but the desk only covers the half of the chair on the left side. There is not enough room for a Pac mate or laptop on such a desk, and virtually no one uses them due to how uncomfortable they are as well as the fact that they are not for right-handed people.
Aug. 31st, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Oh god, aren't seats like that fun? It's like, I HOPE Y'ALL AREN'T CLAUSTROPHOBIC, BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT TO GET REAL.
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Class I loved most, and got most out of, was Syntactic Theory. Eleven of us, and while I was older than the others, I was also the only undergrad, so it kind of evened out. It's the only class in which I can recall *any* other students' names -- and I can come up with names for six of us.

As to chairs -- as a lifelong lefty I'm just cackling over the rest of you facing problems *we* face all day, every day.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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