|From McGill meme website|
What did I do with the last class? Despite the fact that I hate the Lannisters, I do pay my debts. So, I first had to pay off Jacob Levy for a bet we made long ago about whether Quebec's Liberals would sell out the Anglophones.... well more than they had when addressing the issue of private English schools. If I were right, my daughter would have been kicked out of her private school and Jacob would have had to teach a bit of IR to my class in the language of the Klingons (the adversary/ally of the Federation in the old/new Star Trek). But the Quebec Liberals did not act as cravenly as I expected, so I lost--which meant lecturing to my class in French for five minutes.
How did it go? Um? Badly. I had written text that I had translated into French and then posted the English on the slides so that the Anglophones and the ... Francophones could understand what the hell I was saying. I told them about the bet, my various wagers/gambling problems, and my first day going to McGill in 2002. Good times. They seemed to enjoy my embarrassment, my lame-ness, and my commentary on my embarrassment and my lameness. Whatever street/academic cred I had, gone.
Then, I had a fun time applying the IR concepts to Harry Potter. Easy stuff that played pretty well. I was able to talk about Harry Potter as a policy entrepreneur with his own incentives to contribute to the collective action to provide the public good of freedom from V's tyranny. I talked about V and Harry bother illustrating the dangers involved in alliances.
Next step--thanking the Teaching Assistants for all they did. I even showed a jib-jab video a TA made a couple of years ago, using pictures from the web to come up with Elves with the TAs' faces (and mine) dancing to X-mas music. Silly, embarrassing--I never had better dance moves.
Finally, I thanked the students--they were terrific--this year and over the years. I even showed them a pic--a screenshot of a facebook group that mocked me about six years ago:
Yep, the students accused me of developing a cult of personality through my use of
The best part, and most moving for me, was that a bunch of students lined up to shake my hand after the lecture. A heap of them. I am glad that they found the experience of the class to be edu-taining. that they enjoyed learning the stuff. Hopefully, they learned, and not just were entertained. Given the questions they ask, I think I can feel good about getting some concepts, some theories, some social science thinking and methods even if covered with silly sauce.
Thanks again to the students of McGill for making this a fun and rewarding place to teach. I have one small (only 80 students) class left to teach next term to these smart, engaged, interesting, interested folks. I may be counting the days to my move onwards, but these folks make me appreciate each and every one. Merci beaucoup.