Wednesday, September 28, 2011


As of today, and after almost ten months—six and change of sabbatical and three-plus of vacation—I am back in the classroom teaching college students.

Should be a busy quarter; I’ve got a couple of classes at Cascadia, and then, this is one of those times when “Professor Dave” is officially a professor: I’m teaching at the University of Washington, too.

Naturally, I have a bit of trepidation about jumping back into the fray. I always wonder if I remember how to do this thing when fall rolls around and that feeling is only amped up by my experience over the year so far.

Still, I’m confident that there’s something of the “riding a bike” aspect to it. Once I’m there, working with students, I imagine it will all (or at least most) come back to me. I’ve been doing this long enough that certainly there’s some “muscle memory” at work. Or, so I hope.

I’m eager to infuse my teaching with some of what I imbibed during my time as a student in India. Above all, I hope I can bring to my students here some of the seriousness with which students at the yoga shala approached our studies there.

To that end, I’ve made one small change to all my syllabi that, I’ve been joking, indicates that I’m truly an old fogey.

Up until this year, I’d always resisted having a cell phone policy in my classes. I’d hoped that the fascinating things being done in class would discourage students from checking their text messages, emails, and Facebook statuses during our time together. In recent years, though, this has proven overly optimistic; more and more many students have found it impossible to go the entire two hours (with a break) without a hit or more of their devices.

So now, I’m stating on my syllabi that if students want to check their phones, they have to leave the room.

See how serious I’ve become?


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