Sunday, November 11, 2012

Speedy Rant: "Popular Class"

Dear Colleague:

You claim that students love your class because it's a very popular subject. That's nowhere near the truth. No one, in the history of the world, has ever loved that subject, not even those doing dissertations on it. It's renowned for being an unpopular subject.

The reason they're lining up to take your class? Solely because they know you will give them an easy A for simply showing up to class, or not. Let's face it: students who have disappeared for three weeks at a time have not only passed, but earned an A- in your class. That's IT, the only reason they want to get into your class.

So don't stand in the hallways gloating about how the waiting list for your class is 18 miles long and that everyone loves the subject.

You have tenure, so you feel you can slack off, but seriously, we all hate you.

21 comments:

  1. I would like to hire Strelly to "talk to" colleagues like that...

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  2. Not mentioning any names, but it's right up there with those who boast about having well-behaved students (who aren't so well-behaved).

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    1. Good luck managing that wee pet peeve of yours!!

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    2. And YOU can go take a flying leap through a rolling donut!

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    3. I don't need to do that. I run a tight ship. I can get my class to do it.

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    4. Maple with walnuts are my fave. That and the apple-filled.

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    5. I like plain ones, so if I get a maple, I lick off the outside first. Sticky goodness!

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  3. This is the real reason they are lining up for your class:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7mv2b_animal-house-smoke-some-pot_fun

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  4. I know someone who brags no one has ever dropped his class after attending the first day. Of course, my reaction is "Poor you--so many more papers to grade!" (I regularly get about 4 students to drop after the first class.)

    Other people I hate: those who talk constantly about how their students find them attractive, hit on them, etc.

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  5. Ha. I have tenure, but no one wants in to my classes, and I gloat about that. It takes all kinds. Well, they actually DO want in, but then there's a mass exodus by the last day to drop without getting a wp/wf.

    But no one hates me, because let's face it, the real reason we all loathe those "popular" colleagues is because they lower the bar. It's harder to teach students who have been the recipients of the "popular" colleague's largesse. They teach students to slack off. Come to class late. Miss class entirely. Turn work in late. Do whatever they like in class. Etc.

    Then those of us that don't play that shit get the stinkeye. It's pretty galling to me as a tenured professor, though, to see other tenured people just sliding through, not giving a shit, and patting themselves on the back for it because not giving a shit makes them "popular". Tenure is for bringing down the wrath of God on every student within your aegis, because tenure gives you the power to not give a shit whether you're popular or not.


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    1. Hi Stella. I have a friend who feels just as you do----he brags about being disliked by the students. This guy takes it one step further. He even goes onto the site that shall not be named and gives himself bad reviews! He says he does not want any fucking wimps taking his class, so he tries to make sure he always has a rating of 1 or tops, 2.

      I am not saying you'd do THAT, of course.

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    2. Your friend is hard core. I never even thought of doing that.

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    3. Wasn't there a guy on here (the blog) that we saw who was doing that? I recall an article about that. I don't even show up on the site that shall not be named because I have one of those weird names that students never know what to call me (Contemplative or Cynic), so they don't do either.

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    4. FWIW, my significant other, does not go on the site that shall not be mentioned, but simply goes more hard core to make up for colleagues' deficiencies. I don't have that in me. I don't view it as a competition.

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  6. What sucks worse is being in a department in which the sympathy is with the deadwood. Thanks to enrollment being the new be-all and end-all, I'm starting to wonder about mine.

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  7. I wrote about our "Papa Paul" a while back. This guy has his students write paragraphs in his Comp I and II classes, and teaches grammar, has them correct their own grammar quizzes. He's a real popular guy among the students. When I took over his class, BOY did I get some hatred thrown my way....and I even mostly followed his lead! I just did not let them correct their own shit.

    I cannot bring myself to hate this person though. He is a nice person. He is just clueless, I think. I'd like to see him retire though.

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    1. Because this colleague is a gloater, it's easier to hate her. Plus, she's patronizing. If someone says, "I'm struggling to get them to read X," she will talk about how her subject is SO fabulous that she NEVER has any trouble getting anyone to read; they all LOVE her subject so much that no one ever doesn't read. But she doesn't quiz or even require that the projects they do relate to the subject matter, so there's no way to even know if they actually HAVE read.

      "Papa Paul" is a nice person; harder to despise.

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    2. I hear ya, CC! My guy does brag a little to boot, but not in a super obnoxious way. We have a guy like you are describing though, and he is insufferable. I just manage to never see him so hes mostly off my radar.

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  8. Yes, yes, and yes. My own Popular Colleague is, like, super kind to students who show up late. The final exam is literally a game. Pictionary. I kid you not. And while we don't all hate this colleague, I don't know anyone who respects hirm. When my colleagues' kids need a class in this tiny discipline, guess whose class they take? That's the best validation I've ever felt.

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