Lessons learned from the experience.

Being a student again for an intense two weeks was a very transformative experience.  Some conclusions about teaching and learning from this experience:

  • research is hard; writing is harder
  • community and collegiality are important in this process.  The fact that there were 30 other students going through this same process, and 4 people in the exact same class, meant that I could always find a sympathetic ear.  I also got ideas for sources from other students.
  • the structure of the student experience is very important.  I could see how the professor wanted us to develop our understanding of the literature around different topics.  I was also able to see how the questions he created shaped my point of view on the issues.
  • questions are key.  Good questions help students think; bad ones stymie the process.
  • organization of notes and reading materials are incredibly important.
  • libraries are still really useful in the digital age, even if only as funnels for access to specific digital sources.