Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Break

So I've been on Spring Break for the last week or so, and I'm looking at the conclusion of this break with mild trepidation and annoyance. Like I'm sure many have before me, I came into this break with a lot of intention to catch up on various school-related things - such as designing my mobile app UI, learning how to code for Android apps, applying to jobs, and reading a book or two. I haven't accomplished a single thing.

I did, however, get to level 18 on League of Legends.

My Spring Break wasn't completely unproductive. Not only do I have Monday and Tuesday next week to catch up on all that I didn't do (oops), I returned all the cases I marked for an undergraduate class I am a Teaching Assistant for.

I think that grading papers is a much better experience of learning than actually doing the paper itself, for myself. There is no "right" answer for cases, but there is a need to show thought and reasoning behind every argument. The answer key that the TAs are given can be specific in some areas but intentionally vague in others. It makes for some difficulty in being consistent in marking.

But I found that as I'm looking critically at other peoples' work, I'm finding myself come to conclusions that I should have considered in other aspect - for example, the very first case that my class did, we were accused of just restating the case facts. I'm seeing examples happen in the cases that I mark, and while I add comments to the cases about this, I'm noticing my own ability to critically analyze the case. I'm always writing "why is this important?" in the case when people restate the facts. I realize that the authors are restating it because they feel that there is a knowledge implied in the fact - but we want that assumption out in the open. I also found myself remembering a phrase that a senior manager at my pre-MBA job would always say - "so what?" He had coached us to always answer the "so what?" question... and I need to remember that for every aspect of communication, from capstone to an in-class discussion.

it's a lesson I will need to incorporate next mini I think.

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