Friday, June 5, 2009

Best Evaluation Comment Ever

I finally got my student evaluations back from the "Introduction to Film Studies" class I taught this spring.  It's a really fun class to teach, and is finally developed enough that it runs pretty well on its own, so that I can try some risky things in it--like getting the students to do improv games at the beginning of every class, or having them make their own student films--without things getting too out of hand.  What I'm saying is there's a good underlying structure there, so I can flip some gravy all over the top without the whole thing turning to mush.

Of course, it's a film class, so most students sign up thinking they're going to just "watch movies" all semester.  They're graduating seniors, and so when they find out there's a bunch of reading and writing involved, they're inclined to complain a bit.  So, my evaluations usually look something like this: "This was a fun class, I learned a lot, but there was too much work, and please don't make us watch 8 1/2 ever again."  For me, this confirms I'm doing my job.  I'm challenging them but keeping them engaged.

There is the occasional angry or angsty eval, of course ("please don't show movies that offend people").  Much more interesting, however, is when I get evals that don't seem to be for my course ("the equations in this class were really difficult to solve") or are about me personally ("I really like that cute skirt you wore, with the flowers, but your voice is really annoying").

Best of all, I think, is this comment, just received on the most recent round of evals.  It's in the hall of fame, for sure:

This class was one big funky medicine ball from outer space. Word to your mutha!

Amen to that, my friend.  Amen to that.  If that doesn't get me tenure, I don't know what will.

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