Saturday, September 14, 2013

From now on, I won't assign any text longer than 140 characters

Gee, all the fun stuff happens while I'm home sick. Next time the Alien Commander pays a visit, could you put him in quarantine until we're all present and accounted for?

Meanwhile, I'm still puzzling over an encounter with a student who came to my office the other day to complain about the reading assignments in my class. He made the usual complaints and I made the usual suggestions about reading strategies, time management, and tutoring, but it was clear that he wanted something specific but just couldn't spit it out.

Finally I understood: he wanted to be excused from doing the reading assignments in my class. Because they're too hard.

And what about all those papers that respond to the reading assignments? He wanted submit the papers he wrote for another section of the class last year. Even though that section of the class focused on an entirely different topic. And even though he had failed the class.

I was tempted to tell him to just concentrate on reading his cereal box every morning and not bother with anything else, but I suspect that he's already mastered that strategy. 



  1. I was going to comment on a different post, but I'm putting my comment here instead. I hope I get credit for it. I just wanted to say I completely agree with that Gordon Presto fellow. But Cassandra also made a good point. It's important that the author intersects synecdoche and syncope. Can I get extra credit for this comment since it's under 140 words?

    1. Somebody needs to send this post to the online-education evangelists. It's the best example of a typical online discussion-board post that I've seen yet.

      One of my students (in a hybrid class) this semester seems very puzzled by the fact that I'm not just asking for a "reflection" on some reading each week. The students in this class actually have to do things online (different things each week, as they work toward completing a couple of major projects). This apparently does not match his expectations of how classes with online components work.

  2. This is where sports analogies (much as I hate the extent to which our culture is saturated with sports-everything) sometimes work. Just because you practiced shooting baskets/place kicks/serving last season doesn't mean you get to skip doing it again this season.

  3. Don't underestimate the power of a well balanced, nutritious breakfast.

  4. How many times do we get students write something completely unrelated? I'm always convinced it's something they wrote in high school that they earned a good grade on and now want acknowledgment of that in college.

    I assigned an analysis of the article, not a long poem about how you felt when your father returned from active duty. I am thankful he returned safely, but I cannot give you credit for it! Sheesh!