And at the review session ...

On the morning of Wednesday, May 7, I spent about an hour and a half going over the sections of the textbook which had been covered in Math 152. I tried to pick out one or two problems from each section. My criteria included whether the problems were properly representative of the course, whether they were feasible final exam problems, and whether they would expose some systematic errors which I had noticed students making in previous exams. I selected these problems:

6.1: #27     6.2: #9     6.3: #9
6.3: #24     6.4: #10     6.4: #37
6.5: #14     6.5: #26     7.1: #36
7.1: #42     7.2: #16     7.2: #22
7.3: #6     7.3; #15     7.4: #10
7.4: #18     7.6: #28     7.6: #33
7.7: #25     7.7: #36     8.1: #9
8.1: #35     8.4: #11     8.4: #32
9.1: #31     9.1: #37     9.2: #5
9.3: #7     p.618: #17     p.618: #21
10.2: #26     p.618: #34     10.3: #8
10.3: #24     10.3: #28     10.4: #9
10.4: #12     10.4: #23     10.5: #18
10.5: #37     10.6: #10     10.6: #20
10.7: #6     10.7: #23     10.7: #35
10.7 #49     10.7: #60     11.1: #40
11.2: #8     11.3 #25     11.4: #6

There are 51 problems. I wanted students to do problems at the board, and wanted three of the problems to be done in parallel at the board, while the seated students worked on the board problems. I would help the three students at the board while students helped each other work on the board problems. I worried that the number of problems was excessive for the number of students who might attend the review session and for the time allowed. I had told students to come to this review session only if they were willing to work themselves.

I arrived in SEC 118 and saw that about 80 to 100 students were present, many more than in my three sections. Therefore I thought there would be no difficulty getting a sufficient number of "volunteers". But, indeed, there was difficulty. Many students came to sit and watch other students, and maybe me, do problems. The first 27 problems (9 "rounds") were done by volunteers. It was difficult to find volunteers for the ninth round and I mentioned that I would rather go home than do problems myself. When I called for volunteers for the tenth round, only one student came up, and I left. I was disappointed and, I admit, a bit disgusted. I left at about 6:49 (yes, more than two and a half hours from the start) but I would have been willing to stay to complete all of the problems if enough students were actively engaged. Students did the problems in green above, and I commented on the solutions and tried to answer questions. I tried to make the time pass valuably.

I was very annoyed at people who came just to gaze at the work being done. These students were numerous. I do not understand how these people will do well in almost any area of study or work. Perhaps I should think, "They're young, and they'll grow out of it." But you can't be a spectator at such stuff. Give up now if this is your attitude, and find something else to do. I believe that a comprehensive guided review session for a final exam in an important course with a high credit count is a worthwhile activity. I don't like wasting people's time, and, also, I don't like to feel I'm wasting my time! Overall, I feel strongly that education is important. I will help, and I will work diligently, but ...

Students must take responsibility for their own education.

Maintained by and last modified 5/7/2008.