Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What I Really Want to Do is Direct

It's taken me how long to figure out what I want to do when I grow up?

This morning as I was continuing to work on my plans for my large lecture calculus, I realized that I'm not so much excited about the task of communicating the rules of differentiation to 250 freshmen. I'm much more interested in designing a system in which the 250 freshmen carry out prescribed tasks to reach objectives under the supervision of my small staff of TAs. What will the students do? How will the TAs verify it? How can I get it all to work smoothly? What incentives will I use to get people to do things that they don't want to do?

And then I'm like, oh, yes, of course. Part of my regular job is the supervision of all the courses below calculus. This summer I'm going to be an administrator of a program at MIT. (If you're looking for me between late-June and early-August, you will probably find me in a much-dicsussed and futuristic metal-and-glass building.) I like to be in charge! I like to tell people what to do!