Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today was astonishingly boring. I like the idea of getting out of the office and taking a class. (Um, if I neglected to mention it, that's what I'm doing on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.) It's a good idea. If the class involves technical minutiae, so much the better. What's not so good is an instructor who rarely stirs from his chair and speaks in a just above a whisper monotone. I almost fell asleep a couple of times.

When I wasn't almost sleeping, I was drifting away in daydreams. Seriously. Once the instructor gave a long, illustrated example of something and then said, "That was a good question." I thought, "A question? Did someone ask a question?" Yeesh.

Particularly annoying is the instructor's wrong-headed approach to the topic. So many equations! I can even read and understand most of them but this is supposed to be about the substantive issues and their solutions--not the algorithms that underpin them. I don't even mind learning some of the algebra--but what about letting us work some problems or give some practical examples? Pure hypothetical discussion is deadening. Also, we're not a bunch of novices--everyone in the room has an MA or PhD. We understand the basic methods stuff. Please teach us something we don't know.

Last, perhaps it's just damn hard sitting and focusing on the same thing--with no active role--for a full day. Maybe tomorrow will be better, but I doubt it.

Grateful for: learning.

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