Watch out for the soon-to-come doctor's note from this dipshit."Please excuse David Dipshit from properly formatting, punctuating, and capitalizing his future papers due to ligament damage suffered in his thumbs caused by extra word spacing.Dr. Darryl Dumbass, DC"
At the college level? Jesus Christ I did a dozen papers in HS that had to follow MLA format and I didn't even go to a private/magnet/AP Happy one.Really just confirms my theory that more than half of the people who get into college only achieve this because ad coms look at them as cash cows.
Yeah, that's a private school problem, from what I can tell. I'm an English major who went to public school, and we had thesis statements and MLA format drilled into us from an early age. Meanwhile, it's usually the private school kids at my SLAC who come to college having no idea how to write a paper. This year, in my senior-only creative writing workshop, we've got at least two private school fiction writers who don't understand such basic grammar rules as how to use quotations properly and how to avoid comma splices.
Runner, that is disheartening. My private school students vary in their abilities, but they write often, in all of their academic subjects, and generally range from competent to strong writers when they leave us. However, the private school world has been a gullible consumer of scams such as Jean Orvis' "schools of the future" movement, which emphasizes heavy usage of technology, project-based learning, and group work. (Their motto "We don't know what the future holds for our students, but we are certain that you teachers aren't preparing them for it. Now buy this software/consulting service I'm selling.")There's nothing inherently wrong with any of the above techniques, of course, when thoughtfully applied. However, I have noticed over the past decade or so a tendency among some teachers to, with breathless excitement, opt for flashy-looking gadgets and "neat-" looking or sounding projects that don't seem to contain much substance. I swear to god, I have a colleague who has her high school students put on a puppet show. The administration absolutely can't get enough of this shit, because it looks "engaging" and "innovative," so the teachers who do it become the campus golden children and keep doing more of it in a disturbing combination of earnest zeal and cynical self-promotion. More often than not, these projects and blogs and puppet shows are used in thoughtless, intellectually shallow ways, which leave me wondering: how much writing are they doing now compared with 10 or 15 years ago? And are we trying so hard to make everything they encounter "relevant" to teenagers that we're hobbling their ability to look outside of themselves, consider other worldviews, and develop empathy?I think I've strayed from the original topic, but it was a cathartic stroll.
That's hilarious. Although the student did not follow your directions, you should feel a little bit happy knowing that he spent a lot of extra time screwing up.
I've had students do the double-spacing MANUALLY before. They almost all missed one line in the middle, thus cluing me in.
The way I catch that is by making them hand in their work in electronic format. There's always at least one line that wraps.
The thing is that the Harpies Junior, who are still in elementary school, and neither of whom is very bright, know how to do basic layout shit in Word, like double spacing, or like putting page numbers in headers or footers. So why does this present such a challenge to college students? These kids never operated a typewriter, so it's not like they are my grandma trying to type in a word processor.Conclusion: they are just dumb. D-U-M-B dumb. Or, as they would probably say, D-U-M dumb.
I ask students to use one-inch margins on their papers. I cannot tell you how many times students think this means moving in one inch from the pre-set margins. The result is a paper that has a landing strip of text down the center bit of the page. I mean, come on. Really?
What about printing their paper then measuring the margins. If they are 1.25 inches, grab the scissors and trim the excess off.
Ha, Ben, do you remember the mean lady in the dissertation office who measured all your margins with a ruler? Now I'm going to have nightmares about that!
Harpy, c'mon ... Did you actually take the student by the hand and demonstrate HOW one accomplishes this mysterious double spacing?You do know that is how they learn, right? /sarcasm
Similarly-themed snowflakiness:"Read sections 1-5"Dear Prof, does this instruction mean to read just only sections 1 and 5, or sections 2 to 4 (the numbers within the range), or sections 1 to 5? I don't know which one to do.
Hopefully they are internally consistent and are equally confused by stores that are open M-F.
1-5 = -4....at least they didn't ask where that was!
Hah--I had a student only write on one side of a page (as in the left half of a page) because I'd told them to write on one side of a sheet of paper if their ink bled through to the other side. But never this. That's one for the records!
Ah, Surly, the private school I went to had me writing my first 15-page term paper with primary and secondary historical sources, footnotes, and bibliography, in Chicago stye, typed, IN FIFTH GRADE. We spent a full year on it, from choosing a topic, to learning the Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal systems, to locating secondary historical accounts and taking notes on notecards (coded, so they then became the material for an outline), to reading microfiche, to learning to handle paraphrases and quotations, to footnotes. So I fully intend to crank my daughter through that very project in fifth grade, if her private school doesn't. It was the single best educational experience I had ever had. I was pretty much set till graduate school.
See, but in fifth grade, this probably felt at least a little bit like adventurous fun and not so much like learning. Or perhaps I was (am) just a dyed-in-the-wool meganerd.
Hi-LAA-rious, Harpy! And Cynic's is a very very close second.One of the advantages of having non-native English speakers as students is that they make sure to clarify quickly and in class what I mean by "double spaced" or "margins" or whatever other format requirements I set forth. But I have to admit, since I'm lucky enough not to have a physical need like Dr. BugEye's that would justify requiring a particular format, I have abandoned pretty much all format requirements save the double spacing. I figure my energy is better directed at policing deadlines.
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