Thursday, April 05, 2007

Better morning drive

It is amazing to me how often problems get better when I stop trying to fix them.

I really, really stink at behavior modification.

I decided the other day that I had no idea what was going on with Miss E. I had been trying to encourage conversation without grilling her, and it was only somewhat successful. So I decided just not to worry about it. I would listen to the radio and let her rest.

So today I left NPR on and there was a story about some sort of marathon presentation of trilogy that would last 12 hours. They went to a reporter who was interviewing people who were willing to spend that much time doing whatever it was. (I did not get to hear much of it, obviously).

Miss E: People are such idiots.
Me: Why do you say that?
Miss E: I would never sit for 12 hours for anything!
Me, turning off the radio: I can't think of much I could sit still for 12 hours for either.

And she kept chatting most of the way to school. Somehow her comments on idiocy turned into how easy teachers make it for students to cheat and how stupid they are to think the students are not doing it.

Of course today I am giving a remote exam, having reminded the students of the honor code, the extreme consequences of cheating (failing the whole course). Each student's exam is randomly generated from banks of questions, so students won't be able to just tell each other what answer they got. I did not tell her about this though.

The point is just that I shut up and Miss E engaged me in conversation.

I have to keep learning the same lessons over and over.

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