Saturday, May 2, 2015

8 Years Ago Today. An RYS Flashback.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

"I Would Like Students To Turn Colors When They Lie." A Little Flava From The Magic Swipe Call for Posts.

  • I would like students to turn colors when they lie...not subtle ears getting red or blushing, something more obvious--a greenish hue or purple polka dots. That would save lots of time. No more time listening to fake excuses because I'm too polite to say "Bullshit." No more laboring over plagiarism paperwork proof--I could just ask them and take a digital picture. No more pop quizzes to make sure they've done the reading. I could just ask them and take a picture for participation points. And maybe eventually, they would learn to just not bother lying.

  • I'd give anything if someone would just bring us new copiers.

  • I have forgotten how to wish for more realistic things. It has been beaten out of me. I've been teaching 5 years.
  • A thermostat that works.

  • I'd like the ability to eject students out of the room when they say stupid or offensive things. I'm imagining a catapult-desk of some kind and a big red button.

  • I would fire all the employees at the Parking Office. Doesn't matter if you are a student, faculty, staff, custodial service, or provost -- they treat us all like shit. Going there make getting a driver's license a joy by comparison.

  • I'd like a zombie doppelganger who could stand in for me at faculty meetings. (Preferably one who would occasionally fart and burp and fall over randomly - to show more of my disdain.)

  • I would ban the use of Powerpoint for lectures.


  • I would use my swipe on enlarging my office. I know it may not be very useful to the college at large, but I'd be able to actually reach out my arms without touching both moldy walls. (Oh, and I'd like someone to get rid of the mold, too. I'm a dreamer.)

  • Only the students that wanted to be here for the purpose of learning would be here.

  • I'd like the guy who runs the textbook store to have less power than me, so he would stop emasculating me and all of my colleagues.

  • I'd abolish the idea that students must be served whenever some need occurs to them. There's no reason why advising must be reduced to drive-through appointments or 10:00 pm email exchanges. Would it hurt students to learn to wait a day? To develop the patience that, in my day, was characteristic of the average elementary school student.

  • I'd put all of the administrators on a bus, and have them circle the campus indefinitely. They could watch over the university, but would never fuck it up by actually doing anything.

  • I'd resurrect the idea that the university is a place of ideas, learning and hierarchy - not a commercial, trend-of-the-moment enterprise designed to satisfy the customer, a 19-year-old who is "king." This would, of course, require firing of the pricey marketing and fund-raising consultants, who somehow never manage to earn their keep.

  • I'd like to never see another freshman again - except on "Girls Gone Wild."

  • I'd go for students who understand that adding to their human capital while in college has long-term dividends.

  • Video phones to take student calls so I could see if sweet Missy really is at the hospital with her brother and not actually at a bar getting liquored up.

  • I would send the HR Department (and all their supporters) to some as-yet-unknown circle of Hell.

  • In my perfect world, my students would know what exactly my job is and how I am evaluated. They would realize that teaching is only one-third of my commitment to the university, and that the "little" things I do that they think make me great are not my job but what I do above and beyond the call of duty. They would learn what tenure is, and why my life is different than some of their other professors who have it. They would grasp that the teacher course evaluations that they fill out do matter and could cost me my chances of renewal and promotion. They would understand that while I am thrilled summer is here, it doesn't mean that I'm on vacation until August.

  • It would be really nice to have warm water at the bathroom sinks.

  • Close, FREE parking!!!!!


  1. I'd like a Faraday cage around my classroom. No under-the-desk texting for a whole fifty minutes!

    Barring that, I'd like to be able to grab screenshots from students' cell phones and project them on the classroom A/V system. Of course that presupposes the existence of reliable and functioning A/V in the classroom, which is about as likely as flying cars. Maybe I'm better off wishing for the Faraday cage.

  2. I'd like the powers that be to understand either words or numbers.
    Both would be ideal, but seems like a stretch these days.

  3. If students turned color when they lied, it would be especially fun when they asked for a reference by starting with, "You were my favorite professor."

  4. I'd like my students to be willing and able to read and do arithmetic.

    1. I'll send you some of mine, but you have to take our president as part of the package.