Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Brilliant Professor

© Linda Davick

I'd never done this before: I signed up for an online class with College of Marin. Last night was my first meeting. I had to use the phone and dial a number and punch in a code. Then I sat down by my computer and entered our "class room." When I said "hello," and heard my teacher's voice on the other end, I felt like Alexander Graham Bell must have felt the first time he got his phone going. For a minute or so I forgot that anybody else might be on the line, and I monopolized the conversation. When I heard other voices, I had a rude awakening: I wasn't the only student in the class.

The online class is a great thing for me because:
1. We're a one-car family now, and it can be difficult scheduling the car.
2. I don't have to drive across the bridge every time class meets and use my lunch money for the $5.00 bridge toll.
3. I can ask dumb questions without being identified by the other students.

Here's why I admire my teacher: He had been asked to speak at the Flash Forward Conference in Austin, Texas, and that's where he was last night. That very day, his laptop had died. On top of that, the internet connection in his room didn't work. It turns out he was sitting down in the hotel lobby on a borrowed computer, with a phone in one hand, giving the class. Pretty classy, huh?
p.s. Next week we'll be using USB mikes, so we won't have to hold the phone and the mouse at the same time.
p.p.s. It's OK if I call James Gonzalez "my brilliant professor" because I'm taking the course for noncredit.