The flowers are blooming, the temperatures rising. Spring is in the air. Class is again in session after a too-short spring break, and the bustle is back in the SW Portland streets of Portland State University. If it’s not obvious from the energy in the air, it becomes quite apparent as we stand in lines at the bookstore, the food court, and the transportation and registration offices, lines virtually non-existent after the first week of classes.
In my first class of the term, I was handed my syllabus and I cringed. Twenty pages. Wow! I remained calm, reminding myself that this was my senior Capstone class on being an effective change agent, a huge undertaking, so of course the syllabus is going to be lengthy. I was pleased to see that the twenty pages encompassed the entirety of what will be expected of us students throughout the term, and it was well organized and self-explanatory. This I can appreciate. I have learned over the years that just because an instructor takes the time to write a lengthy syllabus does not mean it is organized and clear. Size is not always the important factor, but rather the content itself. Too much information can be overwhelming, but too little can be frustrating. The best syllabus encompasses a balance between the two extremes.
As I enter into my last term at Portland State, I am pleased to have in hand my well-organized twenty page syllabus that clearly puts forth what is expected of me. My workload is heavy, but I take it on with excitement and passion. Bring on the learning, school is back in session!