Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What Happens When You Hand Out 150 Free Copies of Your Book to Your Students?

I am a nice guy.  The proof?  Yesterday,  I handed out over 130 copies of Climatopolis away for free today to my UCLA Freshmen.   Some of the students appreciated my contribution to their education but most of them didn't seem to care.  I also handed free copies to several of my friends on the faculty.  They appeared to be much more thankful than the students.  What does that say?

It suggests that I no longer connect with the undergraduates and that worries me.  My father, at the age of 73, is connecting with his students at NYU Medical School but I'm not.

Switching subjects, long time readers of this blog will know that this isn't an "academic blog".  I write these entries quickly, in a breezy fashion.  I throw out many ideas --- some of them may be correct and some may be false.  I want to be thought provoking.

This strategy can backfire.  My recent piece  has lead to some really nasty emails being sent to me. I did make a mistake in posting an original half-baked entry that wasn't well written and that left a lot of room open for being misinterpreted.    I have deleted that post and I regret writing it.  I have apologized to anyone who was offended by it.   As I have stated, it was never my intent to be offensive?  Why would I seek to be?  I have taught hundreds of excellent transfer students at UCLA and I hope they continue to enroll in my classes.  I deeply care about my teaching and I'm now embarrassed for having caused some pain for members of the Bruin community.  

In the future, I will try to be more mature and anticipate how my words might be interpreted.  In the case of my UCLA post, I wanted to make two points;

1.  The more time you spend at UCLA, the more likely you are to be loyal to UCLA.
2.  The more time you spend at UCLA as a student, the more you learn.

Based on these 2 points, I argued that UCLA should consider enrolling more 4 year undergraduates.  Transfer students have every right to attend UCLA but I want them to be here for 4 years!

UCLA is a great university and we are a stronger university because we attract excellent transfer students.  I want UCLA to have the resources so that these same admitted student can attend UCLA for 4 years rather than for 3 or 2 years.