10 September 2007

Just what the boreal forest needs

Heaven forbid that on our first day of orientation for first-time TA's, we should receive only the two normal booklets printed on regular paper, one a general all-purpose handbook on being a TA and the other on plagiarism. No, we must also receive a very elegantly designed and glossy pamphlet in Princeton orange entitled Inspired Conversations: The Princeton Precept, this being after all such a different beast from such lowly cousins as say, the Toronto Tutorial. Compared to the other two booklets, this one contains not so much in the way of actual, useful information, but it puts them to shame for inspirational quotations in the margin. A sampling below the fold:

"Most fundamentally . . . the preceptor is a catalyst". (ellipsis from original) - preceptor

"The precept is particularly vulnerable to failures in listening". - preceptor

"We should take classes because we are excited, interested, and dedicated, and professors should teach them for the same reason. With this sense of shared purpose, we can embark on a shared purpose, we can embark on a common educational journey in precepts". - student

It brings to mind the UTS agenda at its best.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Do Preceptors wear high-density molybdenum body armor and carry ion-charged force pulse ray guns? Cause there has to be some reason why they're so special that they get to be called "Preceptor," and not "TA."

John, do YOU carry an ion charged force pulse ray gun? Would you use it to shoot a precept? Say, if it experienced a failure in listening?

Just askin'.