I read these comments as they come in, but there's something about going through six years' worth at once that gives one a bit more big-picture perspective. Sure, there are the loads of "She's great!" or "There's too much reading!" or "She made me love this subject!" or "She should make her assignments not due on the same day as my other classes' assignments." Such evaluations, like the poor, will always be with us. There are also the ones that offer concrete suggestions about how an assignment might be more helpfully structured, or who give me feedback on a new experimental assignment. And I take those into account.
But then, there are the really fun ones (and I do mean that), which I now share with you:
· “Babbles in connection with lecture” [If only it were just in lecture.]
· “This was a great class. Too bad it had so much religion in it.” [Well, it is a course on medieval Europe.]
· “As always, I enjoyed your class. Teach more classes!” [Dear God, no.]
· “It would be cool if you taught a bit more about the Knights Templar.” [::backing out of the room slowly…::]
· “Class was a pain and great at the same time” and “Very dedicated to getting us through the semester without losing our minds.” [Two comments from my methods class – what we refer to as “history boot camp”]
· “Hi. You are cool.” [Thanks. Back atcha'.]
· “The Abelard reading isn’t as interesting as Lateran IV.” [I just… What?!?]
· “I didn’t dread coming to this class.” [I usually didn't, either. Usually.]
· “SWED => This final is gonna blow.” [SWED = “smoke weed every day.” I had to look this up. Who says we don’t learn as much from our students as they learn from us?]
· “Good job, tough class, great hair.” [A student who has taken my critiques of wordiness to heart.]
· "What isn’t the Mediterranean?" [This, from a class where I apparently asked “What is the Mediterranean?” a few too many times…]
And finally, perhaps my all-time favorite evaluation comment:
· “Her passion for history is as contagious as smallpox and a lot more fun."