Good students

There’s a certain frustration, ironically, that comes from having really good students. Most times when I teach my classes, there’s a certain percentage of the class who either aren’t particularly good students, or lack any background in command-line-computing, or simply don’t want to be there. Thus, my class outlines are built around the notion that I will spend a sizeable percentage of my time assisting them while everyone else waits. This time around, the whole class is composed of people who either have considerable Unix experience (in one case, at least a decade more than myself) or, while lacking the Unix experience, have sufficient passion to learn, to overcome that shortcoming.

Consequently, with one exception, every day this week has run short on material before it has run short on time. Subjects that traditionally have taken a hour, they absorb in a half hour, and are ready to move on to the next thing. Hands-on exercises like typing in a 10-line CGI program, which usually takes a half hour to get everyone working, are done in 15 minutes.

Nobody has complained, but it leaves me feeling like somehow I’m short-changing them. I try to throw in additional stuff and examples, but after so much of that, it becomes obvious that you’re just stalling and fluff-filling time. So that’s no good. So last night I completely gutted my class outline for today, and rewrote it. Hopefully it’s got more substance now.

Listen at me, complaining that I have good students. Sheesh. Anyways, it’s been a good week. I hope my students feel the same. I’m looking forward to the weekend, and having a day off, then I start the new job on Tuesday. Woohoo!