That's it.

xp-end-is-hereWell, time to sign off. I’m not sure what the future holds. I am on sabbatical 2017-2018, so if SC200 runs next Fall, it won’t be me running it. Whether that hiatus becomes permanent depends what’s happening when I get back from sabbatical and what the College wants to do with SC200. There are opportunities for new types of Gen Ed course now. I could do something different. I can imagine interesting things to be done now trans-domain courses are possible; I quite fancy joint teaching a course with someone in history or philosophy or literature or economics. I could also focus SC200 a bit more (perhaps entirely on to medicine and health care?) or keep the same general themes and just find different material to try to stay fresh. All things to ponder on sabbatical. I can’t help think that the themes, objectives and subtext of SC200 will become even more important in the coming months and years. Science is going to remain the best system for knowledge generation and problem solving that humanity has, but it is also a hugely civilizing process. Looking forward from this tumultuous year, it looks like we will need that side of things more and more.

But for now, a big thanks to people who made the course happen this year. Thirteen others contributed. Thanks to:

  • The class TAs, Brian, Eric and Sarah. Huge efforts, well above and beyond. The students and I really appreciate your efforts to support the students’ learning and blogging.tas-2016-cropped-pul0aw
  • The guest speakers who volunteered their time and their very different perspectives, Eberly College of Science Dean Doug Cavener, Mike Mann (Meterology) and Jason Wright (Astronomy). Thanks for making us all think, me and the students alike.
  • Monica, who kept me sane while dealing with endless emails, handouts ready in the nick of time, and pieces of paper for attendance grades and extra credit.
  • The graders, five hard working grad students who got things done under immense time pressure and, most impressively and despite the best efforts of sites@psu and Campus Press, found most of the students’ work. Thanks too for taking the time to give the students such detailed feedback.
  • Chris Stubbs, TLT tech guru who got the site up and running and then put up with my frustrations at what he no longer had control over.

Jason Wright in class, Nov 8, election day.

And to the Class of 2016: Thanks for the challenges. Keep thinking. Have a nice life.

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