Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 16, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY


Course Evaluations

It’s nearing the end of the semester, which means that in classes we are filling out course evaluations. In one of my classes, however, we have to write an evaluation of ourselves.

While normally writing about myself is preferred, this time it took me a while to form a response to accurately sum up my participation in class.

“If nothing else, I made a name for myself,” I started with. No, that’s not good, I thought. “Despite what you might think, I do think before I speak, but I usually don’t let myself finish,” was my next attempt.

Multiple drafts later, I finally came up with a semi-acceptable self-evaluation. What made this particular class difficult to judge myself on is that I’m strait up the stupidest in the class. Or at least I come across that way.

It’s not often that your teacher tells you—on a regular basis—that they want to bring a recorder to class because what you say is “so ridiculous,” even for me. This class is just completely outside of my comfort zone, as it’s not only on a topic I’m unfamiliar with but taught in a way I’m not used to.

There is an old professor from Columbia University who was known for giving his students a course evaluation that asked if the students enjoyed the class, and if not, then what was wrong with them to make them not like it. My class’ assignment was not as strait forward as that, and I actually really enjoyed it the class material, but it felt similarly awkward.

I settled on a critique of my effort and then intelligence, so I could show I tried but admit I failed. Honesty, I went with in the end, as the best policy.