Monday, August 22, 2016

I. Can't. Even. Olympic Recap: ENG 1101, 9:30 am.

It is not in my nature to rag on students, but in my first class today:

1: oh my god did you see the Olympics?
2: yes it was so much fun. But where were those other countries from?
1: what do you mean?
2: like which countries were those other countries from?
1: which ones?
2: the ones that weren't America.
1: all over. Did you see those women that looked like men?

And then I passed out the syllabus.


  1. You passed out the syllabus but you didn't pass out yourself. Sometimes, the little victories really matter. Yikes, what a way to start the semester.

    1. Oh, I can't even go into the Olympic conversation I overheard last week. Conspiracy theories about international judges scheming against Americans. They couldn't defeat Simone Biles though because it would have been too obvious, but lots of other athletes, especially track athletes, were penalized for being too successful.

  2. Hah! NO ONE in two classes could tell me the country directly across the channel from England--NOT ONE.

    1. Ireland?


    2. Hmm. . .when I took a ferry, back in the day before there was a chunnel, I landed in Belgium (Bruges, to be exact). But if I had to answer without consulting a map, I'd probably say France.

      At least I'm quite certain it isn't Mexico or Kenya or even Germany. I'd probably pass a multiple-choice test if you didn't make the choices too tricky.

    3. Wales? (If you consider the Bristol Channel, that is.)

    4. I think it's spelled "funnel."

  3. Well, at least they're getting a college education. Little as we may feel like we're succeeding in expanding their worldviews sometimes, having a college degree does seem to lessen the chances that you'll support a certain xenophobic presidential candidate. Or maybe that's just correlation, but I think I'll continue believing in possible causation, if only to cheer myself up. Like Fred, I prefer to look on the bright side when possible.

    Of course, since one of the issues I face at the beginning of the semester is students who haven't quite made it back from visiting grandma, the cousins, et al. in one of those "other countries," the chances that a student enrolled at my university who hasn't yet made it beyond U.S. borders will learn at least a bit about the rest of the world are increased even before (s)he enters a classroom. It's certainly possible to get a degree from us and still remain a xenophobic idiot, but it takes a bit more conscious effort than at a place with a larger percentage of 2nd-generation-or-higher U.S. citizens.


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