Thursday, October 21, 2010

I wish it was just the students...

Real emails and Facebook posts, from real students, over the past week. Ignore the atrocious spelling and grammar mistakes -- these are verbatim except for hiding identities.

Prof SGC,
I am writing you this e-mail to tell you about prof X's test's and class structure. There was very little programming done, like maybe one programming problem a chapter, and his test's were multiple choice and fill in blank programs that he had already written out and just left a few lines out. I did not learn the basic fundamentals of java programming like i needed to be successful in the next class. Also his multiple choice questions came straight form the practice quizzes that he put on Blackboard. He put three practice quizzes of twenty-five questions on Blackboard and then chose fifty of those questions to put on the test. Therefore all that was needed to pass the test was to go over those three quizzes many times and you would pass the test. I just wanted to inform you of this in hopes that the students that take his class later wont have to struggle like I am.

Thank You,

(FWIW, I passed this email on to prof X's (who is full-time but NOT TT) department head and curriculum oversight committee. I got my ass handed to me on a platter for doing so because I didn't "follow proper channels".)

Okay.. a teacher giving out a 50 on a TEST for just writing your name on the damn thing.. I was under the impression that this was COLLEGE, and that you get a grade based on the work you do.. ugh

they were talking about it in my Chem class.. some calc 3 teacher (i'll withhold the name for now) pretty much said come, and take the test .. if you make a 50 or less, i'll just put the grade as a 50.. if you make above that .. i'll take that grade. so, in theory, you could come to the test, write your name on it, and make a 50.

(Funny how it took no time at all to decide who the culprit had to be.)

I have an online class that has been updated a whole once this entire semester (and not with anything useful). We're supposed to have 8 quizzes, 3 assignments, a midterm, a final, a portfolio, and some discussion. So far we have had 1 quiz and 1 assignment, the semester is more than halfway done and the teacher is unresponsive as usual.


  1. I'm amazed students are complaining! The person students think is the best teacher in my department, Power to the People Penelope, is known far and wide for being the easiest. Students read aloud from their textbooks during class and know they don't need to come prepared. She spends a lot of time talking about how she worked her way up from poverty into college, which is a great story but has jack to do with English 99% of the time. Students write from personal experience on the rare occasions they are required to write. She regularly holds class outside and has been spotted using an entire class period to let students hit a pinata. Her final exam generally consists of an essay titled "Why I Deserve a Grade of (X)." I have yet to meet one of her students who did not get the grade he/she proposed. One is still kicking himself because he said B and thought if he wrote well he'd earn the A.

    Her classes fill within minutes of opening. Students talk about how inspirational she is and how she changed the way they think about English. Her overall GPAs look like the net worth of a dot com company right before the bubble burst. Then the poor, deluded snowflakes come to the rest of us and we have to clean up the mess after their heads explode from being required to do work. The few who see through the emperor's new clothes complain to our chair (who ignores it as the stats make our department look good), drop, and try to tell others, but they're too busy learning how much fun college can be.

  2. "you could come to the test, write your name on it, and make a 50"
    That's what I've heard about HS teachers doing. Now it's at the college level?

  3. I am reminded of a student I had about 7 or 8 years ago. Wonderful Wilma averaged somewhere around 10% on my MULTIPLE-CHOICE exams. Random guessing would have gotten her around 25%, right? There were cognitive issues, let's say.

    But she was the kindest student. Always sat in the front row. Sharp dresser (no yellow sundress or anything like that). Paid attention. Polite. Got along with everybody. Humble. Tried hard. Offered comments sometimes.

    Yes, she knew the people at the disabilities office. They knew her.

    She failed the class. Of course.

    Then *BAM!!!* next semester she took the same class with me again and failed it again. Spectacularly.

    I would rather have a classroom full of Wonderful Wilmas than half of the snowflakes I have now.

    It makes me feel good just to know she's alive and still trying.

  4. SnarkyGeekChick, though I share your concern over an instructor passing along unprepared students to you, I've received enough student teaching evaluations containing factually erroneous assertions about my practices that I would refrain from forwarding a student's complaints about a colleague to the Chair, Dean, etc. Given a serious student with a serious complaint, I would prefer to inform the student of the appropriate channels for grievances.

    The department generally comes to know which members are desecrating academic standards. You hope it's not the full profs.

  5. You should be ashamed for believing hearsay and passing it along as fact.

    That's unprofessional and you deserved to be smacked down. It will happen to you soon because, you know, karma's a bitch that way. (see CDP above re: students lying on evals)

    On the flip-side, I've had to TA (and grade!) for profs who pulled that shit. It just makes those of us who grade honestly look bad by not inflating the students' egos/grades.

  6. You read it on Facebook? On Facebook I read that the Possum from Hoarders is on a road trip to Jersey this weekend. Possums can't type.

    I also heard my students tearing down Professor Of Class I Wish I Taught saying they wish I taught it too because he "Only likes Chinese students". He's Korean.


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