Monday, December 22, 2003

Learning from students
One of the good things about this period of assessing students is all the things I learn. Even the most boring load of low-level droning papers can teach me something about what students understand from textbooks, lectures and comments made to them. Reading the exams tells me about the curriculum, what should be adjusted, where we should make an effort to teach more or clearer next time around and where we pershaps should find some newer or more precise literature.

I am also learning a lot about methodology, of writing and structuring a paper, of different genres in paper writing and of the importance of those structures I sometimes feel like I am repeating to the extent of absolute boredom. I know how to spot a flawed hypothesis in three sentences, and I can tick the most common errors in most humanistic and social science theories and methodologies on my fingers at a moment's notice. Exams can do one thing: make professors better!

From the most recent batch of papers I have also had the incredible blessing of starting to think about two central concepts to my own work: flow and immersion. There is an immersion article out ther ewaiting to be written, and it should be coupled with among other concepts: flow. The working title in my head at the moment is seduction, immersion, flow and satisfaction. Of course, it is all about games, and it is all about pleasure, the pleasure of letting go. It's an article I have wanted to write for years, and it will be an essay written for my own pleasure, using my pet references. Just thinking of it makes me smile.

It's been a while since the thougt of writing and building a scholarly argument made me feel eager and happy. No matter if I finish this, just recognizing the feeling and cherishing it, in the middle of the chaos before Christmas, is really, really GOOD.

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