Read more about Finally Learning the Lesson of My First Freshman Assignment
I often tell students that their learning will not end when the course is over. Unless they entirely shut down their mind, they can expect over many years to revisit the ideas we’ve discussed in the class. And maybe, if they’re lucky, many of the things that gave them the most problems during the term will later on become sources of enlightenment. Perhaps one day even these things will be pleasant to remember, as Virgil put it. Part of this advice is a bluff: how can I tell what their minds are going to do after the term is over? Part of it is aimed at undermining their sense that the grade is the end product of the course and the means of judging what the course meant to them. Most of all, though, my advice is a sharing of my own experience. I know how long it has taken me to learn what I was taught at Amherst College. It’s been an education constantly revisited.