I'm glad there are people who are more time-conscious than I am; Olin might have careened off the end of the semester before I noticed, if it weren't for a stray comment today.
Last week I convinced my co-teachers to let the students in our classes do their own thing, and now I'm paying the consequences. But I'm pleased. It's wonderful to see my students come up with actually new, creative ideas, and I'll give my time to allow that any day.
One point of interest: In one class we required that they come up with their own alternative before choosing between it and the prescribed labs; in the other, we simply encouraged them to find their own path, but offered the "class plan" to anyone who wanted it. In the former class, nearly half of the students have decided to do their own thing (and over 90% of those who came up with truly considered alternative); in the latter, there's been hardly a peep.
In other news, last night I successfully hypnotized my third person, which brings my success rate over 50% again.