|The MDG independent study group hard at work: Alexsis, Ben, Amanda and Matt|
This year April 12 fell on a Tuesday, which is also the day of one of my favorite activities of this semester, my independent study meetings with Alexsis, Amanda, Ben and Matt. Every once in a while a teacher gets lucky by having an astoundingly great group of students all in the same class. That happened to me in fall 2010 when I taught a new course on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for the first time. As I've written elsewhere, and will be writing about again shortly, the interest of the class has blossomed into an amibitious book project, drawing in a lot of outstanding alumni, that we are pursuing together. On Tuesdays I have been teaching two different independent studies with four of the students involved in the project. Alexsis and Matt were not able to take the original class and so have been doing the readings from the course and meeting for the discussions. Ben and Amanda were in the original class and signed on for an advanced topics version of the MDG experience. All four of them have also been helping bring together the logistics of the project, which are about to get complicated in a hurry, because this summer, with major support from the office of the Saint Michael's College Academic Vice President, Karen Talentino, we are continuing with the writing and sending student teams to four countries to gather information. That project will be its own post, but for now, I'll just say it's a lot of work to pull together, and it's been great to have the support of the independent study team.
When we met on the twelth it was a beautiful and sunny late afternoon, and we quickly decided that we could just as easily discuss our aganda standing in line on Cherry Street as around a table in Alliot Hall. So, we crammed into my car, headed downtown and loaded up on ice cream. Oh, and learned a new truism -- nothing says Millennium Development Goals like Ben and Jerry's.
|MDGs + free Ben and Jerry's + warm spring day = the Perfect Independent Study Class|