Time for a short report on office hours in practice: I’ve held three sessions so far and all have been great, at least from my perspective. Interesting conversations, good questions, and it’s been as humanizing as I had hoped.
Some of the people included (in their initial email) a list of things to talk about, which was nice, but I don’t think I want to make that a requirement.
I’ve also realized that I don’t like talking about politics, so that’s now off the table for these. (The political conversation that I had, though, was fine and civil and not a problem at all, to be clear.)
While it’s only been a week and my sample size to date is still fairly small, as of today I consider this office hours idea to be a great success. Definitely planning to keep doing it.
In the spirit of working in public, and inspired by the office hours professors keep (and maybe others, though I’m not familiar with the idea outside of an academic context), I’m now holding occasional ad hoc office hours via video chat.
For now I’m starting with fifteen-minute appointments (less daunting for both sides, I think) and asking people to email me a list of three time slots that work for them.
This thing is very much an experiment. It may bomb. I don’t know that anyone will actually want to talk via video or audio rather than just sending an email, but it’ll be available for those who do. (Luckily, since the scheduling is ad hoc, it’s not a problem at all if hardly anyone ever uses it.)