Friday, February 02, 2007

I have questions

(1) What do the numbers mean when Americans describe teaching loads (e.g. 2-2, 4-4 etc)? I have theories, but I'd like to know if I'm right. (4 classes each on 4 days per week?)

(2) If you are teaching students in full burqa with nothing but their eyes visible and those only underneath mesh, how do you tell them apart? (I'm not poking fun here; I really want to know. I taught one woman wearing a burqa last year and I recognised her because, well, she was the one in the burqa, but I assume if you have more than one in the class and they are of similar height, it probably isn't polite to ask every time you talk to them, "Is that Fatema in there?")

(3) Did anyone else used to think that the theme song to the Wombles went, "Wombles of Wimbledon / Common are we." ?

(4) Can I go back to bed now?

(5) How about now?

(6) Please?

13 Comments:

Don said...

Generally, it's number of classes and the number of credit hours for each class:
5 3, means 5 classes of 3 credit hours

Ianqui said...

Oh, I've always take it to mean how many courses per semester--a 2/2 load means 2 courses in the fall & 2 in the spring.

StyleyGeek said...

In that case, what's a credit hour? Does one hour of class per week = one credit hour?

StyleyGeek said...

Okay, I don't feel so dense now, since it seems that you people haven't even got a consensus about this among yourselves!

USJogger said...

ianqui's interpretation matches with my experience.

Lucy said...

3. Yes! I had a friend who once lived in Wimbledon and when I heard that I got all excited. She wearily started explaining that no, she didn't go and watch the tennis, which confused me, because I was excited about the wombles.

Kristen said...

I agree with Ianqui on this one. And yes, a three-credit hour class meets for three hours per week, In my experience, most colleges offer three-credit hour classes. Although, at my undergrad institution, we had four-credit hour classes, which meant that a full load (16 hours) was only four classes. I don't think this is too common. How do things work down under?

StyleyGeek said...

I'm not sure how it works here in Australia, not having taken a class as a student here myself. But in NZ at the uni where I was, you got 6 credits for a first year class, 8 for a second year one, and 12 for a third year class. You needed I think about 130 credits as a minimum for a BA degree. Some courses were full-year and some one-semester only. The points numbers have all changed now, but the basic principle is the same.

Most classes, but not all, meet for lectures twice a week and tutorials for one hour on top of that. Those that had a different timetable still generally had the same credit value, since it was assumed that fewer face-to-face hours meant more assigned reading, etc.

When people talk about teaching loads here they don't use any handy abbreviations, which is why I was confused. They just say, "I'm teaching three classes this semester" or whatever.

Anastasia said...

on #2, I'd imagine they're eyes might be different. They also might be different shapes, generally. If not, you might begin to see differences in how they carry or comport themselves. I'm totally fascinated by this question and it seems like it would be difficult for sure, but I'm also quite sure it could be done. For some reason. There are all kinds of things that distinguish people. I mean, that's how you can spot people you know at a distance. you know?

as for teachings loads, I agree with everyone else: 2-2 is two courses per semester. My friend is applying for a job that is 3-1-3 which means 3 in the fall, 1 january term, 3 in the spring.

Anastasia said...

their. meh.

StyleyGeek said...

Good points, Anastasia. I hadn't even thought about the way they move, and so on. I guess you'd become much more observant of that sort of thing if you had to. But I think it would make learning names at the start of term extra hard!

no, seriously said...

Coming late to the party, but I can answer your first two questions.

1. As a grad student in philosophy in the States, 2-2 means you're teaching 2 courses the first semester, and 2 courses the second semester. These will almost always be 3 credit-hour courses (3 hours a week)--either 50 minutes MWF or an hour and 15 minutes T/Thursday.

2. As someone who actually wears a burqa (but with her face uncovered), and who lived (for 2 years) in an entirely burqa-wearing town--you do actually learn to recognize people by the style of burqa and the way they walk. If you can see their eyes (even if you can JUST see their eyes), then recognition is no problem at all.

no, seriously said...

Also, I forgot to add this--
if the class was composed entirely of women, and the instructor was a woman, most would feel free to take their burqas off, thereby solving the problem. :)