Graduation Day

My daughter is graduating from college in a few days, with high honors. She did it in 4 years! And, she has a full-time job that starts four days after graduation!!

We were driving around the shoreline last weekend and talking about her college experience. She noted that important parts of her education in her major field of study were not current with the times. The department chair is a traditionalist who emphasizes numerous courses of a similar type to develop a particular capability and is unaware or does not care that the field is changing from manual processing to digital processing.

My daughter said there were too many courses in manual processing and not enough courses in digital processing. She would have preferred to get more value for her time and our money by taking courses in digital processing – which is the type of processing she will do in her new job, as well as most other graduates. She gave this feedback to her professors.

I asked her about her teachers. She had a great teacher in her final semester; the best one in all four years. I asked her, “What made this one teacher stand out? Why was she so great?” My daughter said:

  • “Fucking not an asshole!!”
  • “She’s is talented in what she teaches.” (Can do expertly what she teaches)
  • “Everything makes sense!”
  • “She’s laid back; logical.”
  • “She gives one-on-one attention.”
  • “Pleasant, down to earth.”

Notice that these comments pertain to respect, or lack thereof, for the student.

How many students do you think share similar perspectives about courses, in whatever the major field of study happens to be, and teachers? I am certain the number is great, which should serve as a catalyst for faculty to make many improvements in both curriculum and course delivery.

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