By LUCY SIEGEL Oct. 2, 2018
Linda Makinson is re-evaluating her decision to become a professor after teaching a class that fulfills the Inquiry in Natural Science (INS) requirement for the past month. Makenson received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins last year and has received countless awards for her groundbreaking research on the devastating effects climate change is having on sub-Saharan Africa. She decided to become a professor to “help shape the minds of tomorrow’s greatest scientific researches.”
According to Makenson, several students in her class seem to be “uninspired by scientific endeavors.” Makenson cited how her class is a 50-50 split between first-years and seniors, all of whom have already come to her office hours to discuss how they “aren’t really science kids” and are “taking this class for the requirement.”
“I do appreciate how proactive some of these first-years are,” Makenson stated, “I mean, they know they hate this and just want to get it over with right away.” The seniors, on the other hand, roll into class 20 minutes late sipping lattes from Dog Bar Jim.
Professor Makenson has altered her anticipated curricular plans to accommodate lectures on what a peer-reviewed journal even is and how to effectively use Excel for things other than Secret Santa lists. “It’s shocking how little these students know about the scientific experience. I mean, didn’t they have science classes in high school?” Makenson said.
Makenson says she does not regret moving to the “middle of nowhere” to teach undergrads instead of accepting a leadership position at the United Nations Environment Programme. She claims “I just need to readjust my approach to teaching for some of the more ‘arts oriented’ students.” Makenson has already made changes to the syllabus, stating that instead of an investigative research project on rising sea levels, students will write a one to two-page paper, double-spaced, on the observed differences between seniors and first-years in classes that fulfill the INS requirement.