Me at the beginning of a class meeting where I’ve assigned one of my favorite books.
Me realizing that maybe a quarter of the class read it with any real attention despite the fact that I already said it’s going to be an essay question on the final.
Me inside as we wind down the class.
Yup. What was the book?
Binyavanga Wainaina, One Day I Will Write About This Place.
Bummer. You know I have yet to come up with an effective way to actually convince, cajole, coerce, all the students into reading a whole book for seminar. Seems like only 50% can get it done, even on a good day. Most of the time its like 30%. My condolences.
I mean, my experience is that you guys assign a ton of reading! I only ever took one humanities class at a time, so at least it was a change of pace. I did actually read everything, but with longer assignments I certainly didn’t read everything closely. I honestly don’t know how I could have. When I read The Human Condition for pleasure I never read more than a chapter a day and I think it took me around three months to finish the book, maybe a little longer. I mean, you can read faster than my first example. I think I read Discipline and Punish during spring break – but that was the only intellectual work I did all week. If there is a way to read closely that is not exhausting and time consuming I never learned it. It might feel wrong to do explicit instruction in how to read to Swarthmore students, but perhaps some of us need it.
Coincidentally, I do explicit instruction in how to read to Swarthmore students. 🙂
My loss then! If only I had taken a class with you 😛
I see some of your advice on the sidebar here. Had I followed it, I think I would have gotten more out of the history classes that I took 🙂