Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Speedy Rant from Academic Charlotte Anne



If you can't figure out when the final exam is scheduled after...
a) looking at the college wide schedule posted WEEKS AGO,
b) listening to me tell you in class when it is scheduled (at least 5 times),
c) and looking at the board where I WROTE IT for you at least three times,

...then you should not be allowed to take the tea-partying final. 



14 comments:

  1. The stupid is powerful with this one! Can you IMAGINE what this IDIOT would do in a real JOB, with real RESPONSIBILITY?

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    1. I was going to say "Deanship," but then I re-read the question and saw the phrase "real job."

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  2. Does anyone find anecdotally that back before the internet, students did NOT seem to have as much trouble finding assignments and test schedules as they do now?

    When I first started teaching high school, I wrote homework on the board, and that was it. I just don't remember students "forgetting" assignments and due dates very much at all, and if they did, they were accountable for their own fuck-up. Now, I'd be reprimanded if my assignments aren't available on a web-based platform, and yet I'm expected to go to DEFCON-1 alert status if a kid misses a single homework assignment. Parents are to be notified, study halls assigned, meetings held about Billy's work habits and how to "facilitate his success" etc. All of this of course implying that it's not Billy's own damned fault for fucking up and that the worst thing in the world would be for him to experience a real-life consequence.

    My online campus' platform is lousy with redundancy. The same information is posted in three or five different places on the course page, and yet the students can't seem to get their shit together. My hand to Jeebus, I had a college student last week tell me that his paper was a week late because, in his words: "I must've dreamt that I submitted it. When I looked later, I realized that I hadn't uploaded it."

    My current favorite theory is that when you are a passenger in a car, you don't pay attention to directions as closely as when you're driving because you're not really accountable. This recent crop of students seem like people who have always been passengers in their educational life, never drivers. They are baffled by responsibility.

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    1. but i dreamt i was accountable. That's the same thing, right?

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    2. I like your theory. I also strongly suspect that redundancy only increases information overload, making users of the information feel more overwhelmed, and less able/willing to find individual factoids. But of course I engage in it anyway, because it seems necessary/customary (and allows me to point out that the information was available in multiple places if/when a student complains). Basically, it's the equivalent of an arms race, wasting valuable time and energy, and making no one better off.

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    3. Mainly I'm redundant, like Contingent, for CYA. When the outraged student goes above me to complain, s/he merely points out exactly what I have related to said student.

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    4. I just don't remember students "forgetting" assignments and due dates very much at all, and if they did, they were accountable for their own fuck-up..........the worst thing in the world would be for him to experience a real-life consequence.

      And that is it in a nutshell.

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  3. Students leaving class last week had the classic "where is the final" talk going on. "Oh, it's no problem; it's right there" said Ima Better'n'u while pointing to the room beside the classroom we had. I was talking to another student and didn't think about until later. The room number would indicate she was correct except for one small detail. The letters in front of the room number indicate the room is in another building on other side of campus.
    .

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  4. I'll add a discipline-specific corollary to this speedy rant: If you can't write a coherent sentence in which subjects and verbs agree, can't figure out what the word "thesis" means despite hours of one-on-one hand-holding, and insist on trying to analyze a work of literature without providing any actual evidence from that work of literature, then you should not be allowed to declare an ENGLISH MAJOR!

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  5. I had a student walk in at minute 61 of a 90 minute final. I smiled, passed him the sheet. He was cool as a cucumber. He's been in the room 5 minutes and is just now starting to type.

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    1. it took him five minutes to find his earbuds =-)

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  6. And a corollary: if you are so anxious about how much your textbooks for my spring course will cost that you're emailing me in the middle of finals (while acknowledging that professors are busy this time of year), but can't be bothered to consult the bookstore site (where my textbook order is accurately listed; I checked), perhaps I should just save both of us a lot of trouble, and fail you now? [it's possible, of course, that this student has had bad experiences with professors adding to textbook orders, and/or requiring materials not available at the bookstore, and I answered him politely, but I was still a bit annoyed. An email that acknowledged that the book order was available through the bookstore site, and then inquired if there were any course expenses not reflected there, would have gone over much better.]

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