Chicken Promislow – Preparation

After my November 21 letter the dance continues. Promislow replies thanking for the detailed response and expressing his support for the active learning approach.

At Monday, November 27, I gave a talk “Active learning in Discrete Mathematics courses” at a small seminar “Conversations among colleagues”. It is run by teaching specialists and deals mostly with low-level courses. I visited it in the Spring to learn what is understood here by the “flipped classes”. The people and the atmosphere were rather relaxed and friendly, I liked the seminar and by the end of the term I was ready to talk about my experience with high-level courses.

Promislow showed up, was smiling all the time and at the end showed me two (may be only one?) thumbs up.

22. Promislow to me, November 28, 2017, 11:13 p.m.

Thanks for your presentation at the ‘Conversations among Colleagues’, I’m impressed with the thought and effort you have put into your active learning practice. …

But two days later he writes the following letter.

29. Promislow to me, November 30, 12:01 p.m.

Thanks again for the very nice talk at “Conversations” this monday. We’d like to get some first-hand observation of how things work on-the-ground so that we can better respond the the various students comments.

A couple people, Bruce and Rick, will drop in the next few days.

Bruce Sagan was already mentioned. He is one of two Co-Directors of Undergraduate Studies. Rick Hensh always occupied some strange positions with unclear duties. He has a reputation of being an expert in the teaching of calculus, but, I suspect, he doesn’t know what a derivative is. Currently he is simply “Assistant to the Chair”.

With only 4 class meetings left, I strongly object. In particular, I wrote.

30. Me to Promislow, November 30, 2017, 1:49 p.m.

…. I believe that you need my consent for such a visit. If this is correct, you do not have one for this particular class.

In any case, I strongly object Hensh. He cannot be objective. He strongly dislikes me since the time I uncovered the fundamental problems with the way 124 was taught in past. And he is not my peer, he is not a tenured faculty member.

124 is a calculus course, Hensh was some sort of a supervisor for it (as I said, I never understood what his duties are).

The dance continues. Promislow replaces Rick Hensh by a nice guy who is not a faculty member either. I do not give my consent again.


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