Friday, March 28, 2014

You are my glory and joy

I just got back from the Bryan College Undergraduate Research Conference.  I'm teaching an adjunct class this semester to bio majors, and two of my students were presenting.  I had a great time, and I wanted everyone to know what spectacular biology majors they have at Bryan College.  You should hire one or accept them into your graduate program.  It is an honor and privilege to be part of their education, even though I do such a small part.  I'm reminded of the apostle Paul's words to the Thessalonians:
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?  For you are our glory and joy.
Amen to that!

After the conference, the department chair took me aside and shared with me the results from the latest standardized testing of the senior biology majors.  The test splits up their scores in four categories: cell, organismal, genetics, and evolution.  To my absolute delight, Bryan College students scored in the 99th percentile - in the evolution category!  That was their highest category too.  Uh oh!  Who's been teaching them evolution?  Well, that would be me.  The class I'm teaching this semester is called "History of Life," which is just a euphemism for evolutionary biology.  I teach straight from Freeman and Herron's Evolutionary Analysis, and we read Darwin's Origin of Species during the class.  The students know my position on origins, and when appropriate, I bring in creationist commentary.  But for the most part, it's straight evolutionary biology.  The 99th percentile means they're outperforming most students taught by actual evolutionists.

I know that that 99th percentile wasn't due just to my teaching, but I'll be glad to take credit for it anyway.  As I told my students, "When it comes to teaching evolution at Bryan College, it's the creationists you should be worried about!"

Andre, Matthew, Crystal, Haley, Robin, DeeDee, Susie, Nick, and Jessica, you guys rock!  Thanks for being awesome!

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.