History is best told by people who were part of it. Yesterday, I sat in one talk I hoped I could have recorded so I could share it with other students. Somehow, everything’s easier to remember. Things are more personal, more vivid, and are way easier to understand.
Perhaps it comes with age. When I was in college, I would have been in awe of that important person sharing in front. I would remember how humorous or humble (or the opposite) these people were. Basically, my focus would be on how different they were from the person I expected them to be. I would be content with the thought of being in the presence of these important people. That’s what mattered then.
About five years after college and I found myself appreciating the message more than the source. My interest is more on the parts of the talk related to the field. As an undergraduate student, I’d be content in earning bragging rights about attending a talk of this intelligent and/or important person.
I look at my students and wonder what they’re focusing on in silent prayer that they’d be unlike the student I was. There I sat hoping they’d be able to appreciate the experience. There’s that possibility that they saw this activity as one of the requirements they needed to get over with to pass the course. There were a few questions raised. There were only a few queries but in this state, I’m thankful there were questions.
From demanding the better, if not the best in anything, I’m in that point where one will content oneself with at least there is. Between having better and more questions, one needs to make do with having questions. I’ll take that over having silence during an open forum.
As I reviewed my notes on what the speaker has shared, I cannot help but notice how most, if not all, things has become way easier to accomplish and requires a shorter period of time to complete. Strangely, students are perceiving the same things of greater difficulty and submit output late (with substandard quality).
The more important observation I found was that in the past, if one did was not able to deliver, it is entirely the students’ fault. The students took responsibility and held themselves accountable. In the period I am in, if the students failed to comply to the requirements, it’s the teacher who is at fault. Too demanding, unrealistic standards, disregard for the students’ academic load for the semester, among others. It would be difficult to find learners who’d admit that the failure to comply with the requirement was mostly their fault.
I do wonder if our teachers thought the same of our generation of learners as I do with the students I encounter.