The longer I teach, the less I cover in each class. It is not just making the powerpoints simpler. Nor is it going slower. But instead it is looking the students in the eyes after I explain something and trying to see the spark of understanding. That takes time, and in the old days, I found the silence uncomfortable. Not now.

Why? I think that now being in front of the class is much more like being on stage than it was before. I tell jokes, try physical humor, and so on. Even though I am really shy off-stage, and generally don't like being the center of attention in social situations

When I first started teaching, I would often think to myself: I have 60 people paying attention. What the heck do I have to tell them that is so important.  It seemed frightening, and sometimes I would listen to myself and it did not sound real.  In those days, I would stay up all night before class replaying the lecture in my head. No more.


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