Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Short Play in One Act With Several Sighs

Scene: On campus, early afternoon, a slight rain falls.



Professor: Yes?

Student: Hi! I'm in your class!

Professor: Great, um, which one? (It's a new semester, I have a lot of new students!)

Student: I don't remember. It meets at like 4 in the afternoon!

Professor: Ah, Hamster Ranching!

Student: (frowns) No, that doesn't sound right.

Professor: OK, Gerbil Fur Dyeing? That meets before my hamster class.

Student: That's it!  What books do we have to buy?

Professor: Well, there are two, "Into to Gerbil Fur" and "Diary of a Furrier."

Student: (looks confused) No, those aren't right.

Professor: Were there three books? "Furs Chicago Style," "Hamsters For Fun and Profit" and "The Big Book of Hamsters"?

Student: (rifles through book bag) No, that doesn't sound right either. But I want to make sure I bought the right books!

Professor: (sighs to self) Tell you what. Bring the books to class tomorrow and we'll see what you have, OK?

Student: (smiles) Great!  See you then! (runs off to class)

Professor walks to car, a bit more slowly than before, sighs softly to self.

Curtain falls.


  1. Will you LISTEN to the state of this fool's BRAIN? I hate being required to responsible for people who utterly refuse to take responsibility for themselves.

  2. I don't know how to do it except to say: "Act like adults or I'm not going to help you." I swear that today's students don't know how to do the simplest tasks without someone instructing them.

  3. Overheard on campus yesterday---
    "Are you going to buy the text for Dr. X's class?"
    "Well, I heard you can take the course without reading it."
    "That's what Sally said."
    "Oh. I don't know. Maybe I'll go get it and we can split the cost and share?"
    "Oh. Umm, yeah, ok."

    Ironically, it cheered me up to think that someone *did* find a text useful.
    It would be intresting to compare the grades of the 2 students in this exchange at semester's end...

  4. I can't convince modern students that they ever need to THINK after reading. They seem to think passing their eyes over the text moments before class is what I'm saying when I want them to do active reading in preparation for a discussion.

    It's harder and harder to get them to think. They are used to doing things, filling out worksheets, giving back info. But actual cogitation of the brain pan? You might as well ask them for a linen handkerchief.

  5. I get students who ask me if they are required to read the textbook. I've realized from experience that I had to be really careful with the wording of my response (my gut reaction was to state "no, you don't "need" to do anything, you can stay in bed if you want to, you're an adult and can make that choice.") when I noticed that students would repeat the question over and over in about half a dozen ways, and I realized that they were trying to get me to respond with "no, you don't have to read the textbook", so that they could head off happy that no readings were required, and they had grounds to appeal their grade if they didn't like it ("the prof said we didn't have to read! he was wrong, it's his fault I got a bad grade!")

  6. Student: *Shows up to class the last week of school and wants extra credit to make an A.*

    1. Professor: HaHaHaHaHaHaHa! <snort> But seriously, here's the way your grade looks right now. Here's how many points you would need to get an A. It's not possible.


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