April 28-May 4, 2000
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Off the Shelf - recently published books by U.Va. faculty and staff
Onuf elucidates Jefferson's nation-making

All-University Outstanding Teaching Award winners

Q&A - Engineering Dean Richard Miksad
After Hours - On the roof or ground, Quillon takes chess to new heights
Faculty Actions from the April BOV meeting
In Memoriam
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ITC's Office Technology Conference to be held May 10
WFPA honors Sisson and Allen

Krueger's classes have that je ne sais quoi

Whether she's teaching a graduate seminar, an elective on French literature in film, or an entry-level composition course, associate professor Cheryl Krueger "upholds tenaciously" one ideal: "Fuzzy French equals fuzzy ideas," according to Commonwealth Professor John D. Lyons.

Krueger firmly believes that "a brilliant idea that flickers mirage-like among the debris of mischosen prepositions, wildly approximate semantics, mix-and-match verb endings, and a sentence salad tossed with French dressing should be sent back," he said. It is one of the reasons why Lyons considers Krueger "one of the University's greatest teachers," he wrote in his letter nominating her for a teaching award.

"How she manages to be so stimulating, to fill her sections before anyone else [and] ... to take students who enroll in a film course for 'fun' and leave not only being literate in film but articulate in French -- I don't fully understand. But I do try every year to be a little more like her."

Others who echo Lyons' sentiments include department chairs, faculty who audit her courses to brush up on their French, teaching assistants and students. Their comments range from "I now rent French films on my own," to ranking her courses "the most interesting and enjoyable at U.Va."

French department chair Mary B. McKinley noted that Krueger organizes an orientation workshop for new graduate teaching assistants. "Her efforts have produced excellent results in our lower-level French courses," she said. "Colleagues who hire our graduates tell me that U.Va. candidates are the best prepared."

Of teaching, Krueger says, "planning a course is like composing a story. We select and organize information to be revealed in measured doses. ... I know a class has been good when the last session seems to come one day too soon, and everyone shows up. Like the final page of a good novel, this final meeting of the class brings with its much-anticipated resolution, a sense of loss. Paradoxically, if the students and I have done our jobs well, the memory of this one fine class we constructed together will wane, while we use what it has taught us to do far better things."

-- Rebecca Arrington


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