Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chrissy's Lectures

The class has been wonderful so far - I'm especially enjoying Chrissy's afternoon lectures. Three hours seems like it would be too long for a lecture session, especially day after day, but with Chrissy's energy and the participation of the class, the sessions go flying by. I really appreciate how although Chrissy comes in with a pre-planned lecture (on powerpoint slides with photos, etc.), she does not hesitate to let the coversation go where the class' interests lie. I've been in other classes where professors cut off student questions in order to get "back on track" - that is, back to the power point presentation. These professors give the impression that student questions are more of a distraction or a hindrance than a resource. Chrissy takes all of our questions and, as Dan pointed out, not only doesn't view them as distractions keeping her from her planned lecture, she actually feeds off them and the classroom conversations take us to new and interesting places that not even she had planned on. I'm constantly amazed by her ability to talk intelligently about any topic we throw at her - it seems that no matter how obscure or random the question, she knows something about it - from the fish living in the rice patties in China to the predators of Australia to the moss of England. She's obviously found her calling; her joy and enthusiasm when talking about all the earth's biodiversity is contagious.

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