Friday, August 23, 2013

Dream-Killer Stops By To Vent on Class Reps.

Ugh – Class Representatives – does your school have them? We do!! And so we have Class Rep meetings once a semester which we bribe the class reps to attend by offering free pizza. Twice a semester, all the reps congregate with all the teachers of the classes taught to give us report on their classmates’ “feedback” (moans, vents and whines)? UGH UGH UGH. How to keep a straight face and look like I give a damn when told solemnly by my class rep that:

"I'm Stu. I need
so much help."
1) The video clips shown in lecture are great but sometimes I forget to move the cursor off-screen and the cursor on the video screen thus really annoys Witchy Wilma and her wicked coven.

2) Stupid Stu and his posse of brain-dead zombies would like more specific guidance on what to read each week – because apparently, “Ch 2 excluding pages 118-132” is not specific enough.

3) Slow Sally and her silly sisters asked more feedback on the class quizzes last semester. But, this semester, Dimwit Dave and his Dumbass Sidekicks are annoyed by the 5 minutes “wasted” on discussing the quiz answers at the end of class, because that’s five minutes more time spent in class. Class rep proposes a solution: can you post the quiz answers before the class (and hence before they take the quiz). Um, sure. Maybe I should post the exam answers before you take the exam too? Now THAT should maximize my teaching evaluation scores!!!!

4) The music videos played in our mid-class break (classes are 2 hours long so we have to give them a 10 minute break in between because the poor dears can’t be expected to sit for more than 50 minutes at a stretch) are great but how come I, Dream-Killer, get to choose the music video of the week, and not the students? Class rep solution: I should institute a formal poll on their Facebook page each week so that they can vote on the song they want to hear the next day. Oh wait, I’m not allowed on their Facebook page. My solution: Can we use the customized class social network which I AM part of? Class rep solution: “No we cant be bothered, we prefer Facebook. But you have to do a poll. Can each student just email you our weekly requests?” Oh sure, I guess I got three degrees so I can be your radio dj and play music you like while you check your Facebook.

5) Irritating Irma wants more information about the exam. Honey I’ve already told you what pages to read and what to not read to prepare for the Multiple Choice section, and the top ten concepts that are likely to be the subject of the two essay questions. Obviously, what you want is the actual questions ahead of time. Oh wait, I tried that with my Gradflakes last year by giving them 5 potential questions, of which 3 would be on the exam. They responded with… no, not gratitude. They responded by asking for model answers for each of the 5 questions. You know, so they could memorize, uh I mean prepare appropriately for the exam.

Who’s going to tell the Class Reps the truth? The University only has this Class Rep system and the feedback meetings so that they can look like they/we care about what the students think. The truth is we don’t care what you think, we don’t care what your classmates think, and we ain’t gonna change a thing.


  1. This sounds like a really frustrating exercise, but at least you're supported (right?) in not changing a thing! Sheesh.

  2. We have the stinking Young Pioneers ourselves. They are another slap in the face from the administration.

  3. What in the world?!? No, we don't have official "class reps," though I do encounter occasional self-appointed ones who declare that "everybody in the class" feels/thinks x, which invariably means that self-appointed class rep (and perhaps, maybe, hir best friend) feels/thinks x.

    Very bad idea. If a professor wants to solicit this kind of feedback, fine. If not (as long as there's some evidence that a reasonable proportion of the class is being taught at a level/in a way appropriate to their abilities and class goals), fine, too.

  4. Oh we used to have them. They had another name and I can't recall it. They were diplomates or something stylishly stupid.

    And, yes, their complaints and "suggestions" were always as stupid as the ones above.

  5. "Who’s going to tell the Class Reps the truth?"

    In my freshmen history class, my prof tried to explain why King Louis XVI of France set up the parliament. "He just wanted the French people to feel like they had power, but they didn't! It's like the university having a Student Government. The Student Government has no power, but it makes the students feel like they have power. THEY HAVE NO POWER!"

    The president of the Student Government was in the back of the class that day. Oh, what a day that was!

  6. Re the music videos: Stop playing them. If they complain, inform them their employers aren't going to provide music videos, much less a break every 50 minutes.

    Why must they have some form of entertainment being piped into their brains all the time. I'd think it was because they're afraid to be alone with their thoughts, if they had any.

  7. I have never heard of the fresh hell of student reps. It sounds just the worst.

    But I gotta say, the blurry graphic is so awesome. I've come back several times just to look at it and smile. It's by far the most perfect, apt, and appropriate blurry graphic ever.

    He just looks so incredibly helpless . . .