I was just looking at my previous post about Powerpoints, and it made me realise something. I am happy to report that Powerpoint doesn‘t reign supreme at university here. Most of the teachers I’ve encountered use a blackboard and chalk. I haven’t seen either in about ten years.
Just the other day I had an initial class on Greek religion in which the teacher just talked to us for an hour and forty-five minutes. No powerpoint, a few words scribbled on the chalkboard, that was it. It was one of the most stimulating, fascinating classes I’ve ever had. He was a fantastic speaker, passionate and engaging. This is what teaching should be about. The dude made me want to be a teacher.
But even he couldn’t stop me nodding off in the last half of the class, though that was more to do with the previous alcoholic late night I’d had than the quality of his speech.
Teaching here is excellent. The students seem to actually care about work. All classes are optional, which in England would mean a consistent turnout of zero by the time week four rolls around. Here, I get the impression people will continue to attend in order to, y’know, learn.
One thing I do not like, AT ALL, is the 8:30am starts. 8:30am!!! Why, why? A Swiss girl explained to me that an earlier start means an earlier finish. Yes, ok, but why not have a later start to make life more bearable?! I don’t suppose I’ll ever get used to 8:30 starts, it’s just cruel.
I realise this post is not what I promised it would be (a list of fun Swiss facts), but that is coming up, promise!