Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Speedy, if not Comic, Rants. From Proffie Galore.

Cathy: I get it. You’re a very, very hardworking and special proffie. Ack! You give 110%. Ack! You start planning for next year’s big annual student club event the week after the current one wraps up. Ack! This does not mean that you get to complain for an entire year about putting in 110%. Either stop doing the damn event, or shut up about it already.

Veronica: Remember when I showed the class how to compute what scores you’d need to earn the next higher course grade? I gave three examples and said that if students came to my office asking if they had a chance of getting an A, I’d ask to see this math first. Remember the rest of the session, when I presented difficult concepts about hamster behavior and showed relevant video clips? I doubt it, because as usual you didn’t take notes. Remember when, right after class, you walked up with your grade report and announced, “I just want to know if I still have a chance of getting an A”? You never did, honey. And today your chances are even worse.

Jughead: Your office-visit question was carefully written in your planner: “Where do I start with the essay?” My answer was carefully patient: “Let’s look at the assignment prompt and the rubric.” You didn’t understand, because there were four Things that each said “25 points,” but the syllabus says it’s a 100-point assignment. My answer was carefully patient: “Yes, each of these is a Thing your essay will be graded on. See the rubric?” You still didn’t understand, because one of the Things was “Craftsmanship,” and that’s not a topic on the syllabus. My answer was carefully patient: “As the rubric shows, craftsmanship just means paying attention to grammar, spelling, and the format and style guide requirements.” You still didn’t understand, because craftsmanship isn’t in the textbook. My answer was carefully patient: “It’s great that you’re reading the textbook and the syllabus. Now let’s read the rubric.” You still didn’t understand.

Pigpen: You say you’ve never heard before that capital letters don’t belong on random words in the middle of sentences. You say you’ve never heard before that a lower-case “p” dips below the line, while an upper-case “P” is taller than the other letters. You say you’ve never heard before that evaluating the accuracy of a statement means checking to see whether it is correct. What a coincidence! I’ve never heard before of a college student who’s never heard of these things.

Silly Rabbit: The assignment is to evaluate the accuracy of a statement from the web by comparing it to the textbook. You write, “This website has nothing to do with the textbook, but if I am required to choose a relevant chapter, I’d say it was Chapter 15.”
It does, you are, and it’s not.

Pinky: The assignment comes with a handy checklist designed to make both our lives easier. Here’s how a checklist works: 1). Read a line on the list. 2). Check your essay to see if you did the thing on the line. 3). If you didn’t do that thing in your essay, do it. 4). Check the box. 5). Repeat for the next line. Here’s how it doesn’t work: 1). Check all the boxes.


  1. Nice job. It's got me fired up for the day!

  2. Excellent! I also appreciate the comic-character references (and suspect the fact that I can identify nearly all of them reflects my age. I can't identify Pinky the comic character offhand, but one of the sisters of a recently-deceased aunt-by-marriage went by that nickname; I'm not sure where she got it).

    1. Narf!

  3. "It does, you are, and it's not." Bumpersticker of the year.

  4. This made me laugh. And weep.
    Added to the fall syllabus:
    How a checklist works
    Where capital letters go
    What is math

  5. ClasSic! I have alWays wanted to RanDomly capitalize shit just because... and there: that's awful. AWful. Love the smackdown. YOu are a MASTER at this!

  6. Pinky: I checked all the boxes and added up all the points. I got a 100! Yay!

    Derp. I get this frequently... so much so that I started writing snarky notes on their checklist about it when they turned in a self-graded 100.


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