Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Forget critical reading, get them to read at all.....

Ancillary Adjunct's conversation with student: 

AA:  Yes, I'll be happy to wait in my office where you think I sleep for you to come and make up your quiz.

Slacker Sam:  You keep sending out emails about office hours.  I keep telling you I have a class at 5, but you say you're only there from 5 to 6.

AA:  No, if you read the email you'd see I'm there from 9 until 6, so you can come in the morning.  (Trying hard not to roll eyes or facepalm.)

SS:  You're there in the morning?

AA:  Yes, and have been for the last four weeks.

SS:  Oh.  I guess I'll see you in the office tomorrow, then.

AA:  See you then.  (Thinking, probably not, since you haven't come for the last four weeks.)

SS leaves.  AA sighs deeply and thinks maybe it's time to go back to Corporate America. 

****My schools all want us to get them to read, write and think critically.  I think it's time just to make sure that they actually read and understand the words at all.*****


  1. Only as long as it's under 140 letters.

  2. Reading and listening are apparently skills we need to teach in college.

    1. But how in the world do we reach them to teach them if they have neither skill? Mime? Charades?

    2. Twitter and Facebook??? Like CrayonEater suggested???

      No idea. Clearly, we're not equipped for this. I want to start doing 'listening tests' like I used to do when I taught ESL.

    3. @Cassandra: Interpretive dance is a fun way to teach physics!

  3. No joke about "listening tests" and the connection with ESL. I've often wished our grade schools made students take dictation to improve their listening skills, the way we used to have "dictee" in French class.

    Recently I asked my students why so many of them write "scientist" for both the singular and plural, as in, "Many scientist say that . . . " The students said they don't hear the difference between "scientist" and "scientists." For a minute, let's take that at face value and ignore the subject/verb agreement issues. My enunciation and projection are very good (due to theater training and performing), so the onus is on the students. Would having them take dictation for a few minutes each class help them learn to listen more carefully? Would that mindfulness help them to learn more?

    Maybe I'll give that a try next semester.

  4. ADDENDUM---Slacker Sam showed up....but not in the morning. He actually cut out of his class early! If that doesn't take the cake and show exactly what he truly thinks of his education......