Did I Pass?
It’s that time again: students in my CSC302 software engineering class are doing peer assessments next week, and soon after that I’ll have to assign grades to them and the UCOSP students. It’s got me thinking about what grade I deserve for my time at U of T.
- For mentoring undergrad students: A-. Not all of my students have enjoyed working with me (see Exhibit A), but I think most have learned something useful. On the other hand, none of the projects themselves ever became independently viable (something that I'll blog about separately).
- For the Master of Science in Applied Computing: B+. I think it's going to be an excellent program, but it took longer to get going than it should have.
- For regular classroom teaching: B-. This one isn't a guess—my course evaluations have been OK, but not great. The longer I teach, the more respect I have for how organized, polished, and thoughtful some of my colleagues are…
- For supervising grad students: I honestly don't know. Of the 11 who started with me, 3 are in progress, 2 switched to other supervisors, and 5 of the remaining 6 finished on time. None of them have published anything based on their theses, so by conventional measures, I haven't done very well. C+?
- For my own research: F. NSERC turned down every grant application I ever submitted, but that's just an excuse: I could and should have done a lot more than I actually did. The real reason I failed was that I repeatedly pushed aside big things that didn't have fixed target dates in order to work on smaller things that did (which is ironic, considering how often and how strenuously I warn my students not to do exactly that).
Overall, I’d give myself a B-. That’s by no means a bad grade, but I’m still disappointed. I had all the information I needed to make better decisions—I just didn’t think things through. Here’s hoping I do a better job on my next project.