Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Section D Norms

Each section has its own identity. Norms are set by the sections preceding and each class has the opportunity to add its own norms. This is probably not the place to divulge the details, so I will refrain, however, I will give a little insight. First, every section has some sort of "song and dance". Ours includes a form of the wave mixed with pounding on the walls/tables as a hello to anyone who is introduced in our class. Each section creates a t-shirt, which I presume is used for Darden Cup events. Unfortunately, my section has a very beautiful trophy from last year, for being the worst performing section in the Cup. Ironically enough, academically, they were one of the best performing. I'm hoping to level both those at the top of the scale this year.

In addition, today, we created section norms for the classroom. Each section has a classroom for the quarter and during each class period, the faculty move, not the students. With the case method, there are a few caveats that are not like a regular classroom. The first, 30-50% of final grades are typically based on participation. Not only is there a feeling of need to participate, but there is also a bit of fear. We can only hope that each person among us is as respectful as they'd want you to be to them. When there's no right answer, that can seem difficult. Thus far, our conversations haven't gotten heated. We've put our hands down when someone else has the floor and there's a rare occurrence when one speaks out of turn. All the same, today, we put rules in the open so each person knows what is expected of them and their classmates.

As for me, my contribution today was "positive reinforcement". My demeanor is often that of a happy camper, yet my feelings after an agonizing cold call can be quite similar to that of a tough interview - questioning, draining and worried. Last week after a long cold call in Managerial Accounting, one of my classmates told me he was impressed with my ability to withstand the professors wrath and that he didn't think he would have fared the same. Though I can say with confidence that he would have done just as well, that little comment gave me more confidence than I could have asked.

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