Monday, January 29, 2007

Barbed Wire and Books

Last night I dreamed I was being held in a concentration camp. Surrounded by barbed wire, I and the other inmates were forced to read textbooks all day and take copious notes on them. Periodically the guards would come around and demand that we read our notes aloud and that others listen and take notes on those notes. We all wanted to escape and made many attempts to slip under or over the barbed wire, all to no avail.

Funny as that is, it made me remember that textbooks and mandatory note-taking really are a nightmare. I never liked the classes and professors that demanded massive amounts of textbook-reading, outlining, and note-taking. On the other hand, I probably won't forget most of what I learned from my good classes: the classes with professors who made me hang on their every word, the classes with real books assigned instead of textbooks, the teachers who mandated nothing except that students be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the material by the end of the course.

1 comment: