Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Finals Week and I Am Boring

Well, I really need to get myself together to go give a final, but as I'm doing a final in this class that's more like a "culminating experience" than a traditional test, well, I can't really get my butt in gear until the strada is finished baking. (It seems that I've become the sort who likes to cook breakfast for my students every now and again. Historically I've only done this for my freshmen, but apparently now I'm branching out. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this, except for that I remember thinking it was nice when professors gave me food and so I like to give my students food.) Anyway, so yes, this final is not the traditional essay exam that I usually give, but rather we'll be eating breakfast and each student will give a 10-15 minute presentation that brings together what they've learned over the course of the semester. This is only possible because the class had a smallish enrollment to begin with and after withdrawals its positively tiny. At any rate, so we'll sit in a circle and eat some breakfast and hopefully the thing will work out to be quite conversational and not too painful for them or for me.

You know, but if this works out in some fashion and I do it again, I'm going to have to expand my repertoire of prep the night before and bake in the morning breakfast dishes. Maybe there is such a thing as a french toast casserole? There must be. I'll need to investigate.

But so anyway, the benefit of this final for me is that I can grade it as they do it, and that is a joy. I should note that I wouldn't feel comfortable doing this sort of thing if the final were worth a huge chunk of the grade. The final in here is only worth 15% and that makes me more comfortable allowing them (and me) to have a bit of fun with the thing. The true "final" of the course was the research paper. And yet, we are required to give a final, and so here I am, making breakfast. It all makes perfect sense :)

I know this post is rambling and boring. To be honest, I'm very rambling and boring for the past few days now. It's like I was infected with the rambling and boring tendencies of my mother during the course of our weekend together. I really want to be more interesting, if that counts for anything, which I'm not sure it does.

Ok, enough for now. Perhaps more later.


But my students are not boring! They are smart and wonderful! And even the one I feared had absorbed nothing learned some things! Huzzah! All in all I was happy with how the presentation final went, but I should have been more vigilant about keeping time - instead of going 10-15 minutes they ALL went over. I suppose this is excellent (it means they had a lot to say) but we were lucky that we had the room for a bit longer than the 2 hour final period. So if I do this assignment again, I will tweak it so that they yammer a bit less. But the yammering was so interesting! And funny! And smart! I love my students!


Laurie said...

I love the idea of your final, hope it goes well!
And there are lots of recipes for baked french toast or overnight french toast. Here is just one: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1818,150170-236192,00.html
I hate French toast so have not tried it, but I know people who love them.

m. minkoff said...

I enjoyed your post, and was not bored by it in the least! I also now want some delicious breakfast.

Susan said...

My sense is that recipes I've seen for baked french toast are very like stratas. But how can you get bored with them? You can vary the filling ad infinitum!

Artistic Soul said...

Baked french toast is the way to go -- it's super easy. Weight watchers has a couple recipes that are great with not too much butter. I use them at holidays all the time since I can mix up everything the night before, pour the eggs in the morning and bake.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Wouldn't French toast casserole be essentially the same thing as bread pudding?

And that sounds like altogether the best possible way to have a final.