The View From 32


AUGUST 18, 2007  

The end of summer

Football players practicing at St. Ignatius field Football practice in full swing at St. Ignatius High. I stopped to watch a while on my way back from the West Side Market. Ignatius is always a football powerhouse, and as I watched these students listening attentively to their coaches I was trying to figure out how to try a similar approach with my students.

In sports, when you as a coach have a winning tradition you have credibility with the players. They know that others who've listened to you have succeeded. Is there a way for a teacher to do this with a design class? The teamwork aspect is problemmatic,too. Is there a way to make a class more like a team? Would this make it more effective or successful?

These are defintely end of summer thoughts. The start of the football season—and school year—is only a week or two away, and I can't say that I'm ready for it yet. Though I love my job teaching Visual Communication & Design at Cuyahoga Community College, I'm not eager to be back on a regular schedule of classes, office hours, meetings, etc.

Next week we'll have the usual three days of meetings where a variety of speakers try to get us enthused about some new teaching philosophy or other, some new college-wide initiative or other. After sitting though eight years of these I can't help but be cynical about this flavor-of-the-month approach. Even when the speaker has something valuable to say—never a sure thing— the next day the topic is forgotten by the college until the next semester rolls around with its new lineup of speakers and ideas. This year someone's going to tell us how teaching is like whitewater rafting. Oh boy.

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New additions: sounds of an organ concert; our waiter talking about my entree: Aug. 4. Tour guide describes the Temple Church on a DaVinci Code walking tour: Aug. 8.

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