I didn't want anyone to be there who didn't want to be there, but that's highschool I suppose. Theory of computer science might have been a bad choice for a couple of reasons.
- They didn't sign up for a week of it knowing what they were really getting into
- I don't think many of them were high enough on the Maslow heirachy of needs to really care. I would rather have had students eat well, sleep, and develop meaningful social ties. Theres no point in teaching to a class without these. ( I can only claim to do the first two )
- Many saw the jump into higher mathematics as merely overly specialized knowledge rather than a profound overveiw of basic philosophical thingys. The only thing i wanted them to see the entire class was the chomsky heirarchy and vaugely understand my proof about the existance of unsolvable problems.
- Many students complained about not learning anything, when in fact it was amazing how much they had learned in such a short amount of time. If there had been hands on things, it would have been easier to demonstrate that they had learned something. I think maybe they expect pain as a sign of learning, a certain sense that math/cs is a field of no pain no gain.
Frankly I did it because i believe theoretical computer science is probably the most important /beautiful thing Ive learned in college and im sad I didn't know about it earlier. It might be the fact that breaks are stressfull for me, being cut off from everyone, but i remember saying to everyone "cs273 taught me not to fear death" as a joke. It certainly affects how i see the world more than i think it was meant to.