Sunday, December 4, 2016

S U N D A Y. O P E N. T H R E A D.

Just type 
yer mizery in 
the region

😒

17 comments:

  1. I am definitely coming down with something. Yet, we have another week of classes, and I will be there every day. Am I crazy?

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    1. And/or you know that it will be more work to find some way to compensate for the missed classes than it will be to simply teach them. (Sorry for the cynicism; I also agree with Bubba's diagnosis).

      One balancing factor, which might allow you to give yourself permission to do the minimum: you won't be doing your students any favors if you pass on germs to them just in time for finals week. Either fortunately or unfortunately, it's probably possible to teach a class without doing that, as long as you're careful about one-on-one conversations and other exchanges that bring you in close proximity to students. Also, you probably caught whatever it is from your students, anyway (or, if your little people were the vectors, it's probably already circulating in the student body as well).

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  2. I think you should take some of the open forum comments and then turn them into full posts for the next week.

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  3. This semester has felt like a marathon run at sprint speed. I really do hate to wish away time, but I cannot wait until this one is over. The atmosphere at LD3C gets more toxic by the day -- from the top down -- and it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep it in perspective and carve out time for a life outside of the office.

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  4. Front page of the local paper details discussion at my college regarding shift from liberal arts to need for practical skill set. President quoted as saying English majors need hard skills to survive. I was an English major, who easily found work in the business world. Why? I knew how to write, and could problem solve. I have had several careers, learning required hard skills on the job.

    My fear? The brief paragraph describing future plans to eliminate and add new majors to our college, based on this evolving shift to " professional skills." The admin is quoted as saying the consideration of majors which may be added or dropped will be easy because it will flow from the mission statement."

    Will be easy. Right. For whom?

    Having previously experienced the rough transition of having my discipline under fire and eliminated because of perceived fluffiness, I am now nervous about my future.

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    1. The MLA needs to be a much stronger voice on this issue, since English majors actually have quite good employment track records, for exactly the reasons you name. I know my own department chair, and others in my department, have tried at various times, including the present, to nudge them in that direction, but they're apparently resistant, or at least uninterested. It's a real issue, and not only for those of us in the humanities. We teach skills that the nation and the world need.

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    2. I have my doubts about the effectiveness of MLA advocacy on this issue.
      I don't work in career services and I've never worked in the business world, but I'd be really interested in knowing what skills businesses say they are looking for in college graduates. I mean, what does the average job ad say they are looking for? Do they prefer certain majors? Etc. The answer to these questions, if we have concrete data, might help us better address the "crisis" in the humanities.

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    3. I'd have to look for it, but a couple of years back a student did a review on this, and "ability to write clearly" was right at the top of the list.

      Hard to imagine that texting and tweeting has improved the situation...

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    4. Given the recent events ( election, Brexit, Standing Rock, fake news, Feguson, etc),a classic liberal arts education is vital to our democracy. The question of an educated public goes beyond employment to matters of civic engagement.

      I would also say that I have had, as students, police officers,who remarked on how this generation have weak social skills, which make for weak police force. Many states now require at least a 2 year degree in order to ensure law enforcement who have some sense of sociology, history, etc. And boy, do police have to have good writing skills for reports. nearly all fields require decent writing skills more than any other skill.

      I have both a professional degree, and a humanities degree. Which have I used more in various careers? My humanities degree.

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  5. I have now caught 40% of one of my classes plagiarizing on multiple assignments after much more extensive, and much more problem-based, active, education in what plagiarism is and how to avoid it than I have ever given before.
    I'm baffled, in the manner of Hiram, and turning my rage inwards as depression. 'Tis the season!

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    1. Ugh. I'm sorry. And despite the result (this time, at least), I wish there were a way to share your assignments, which I'd love to see. Maybe it's just one of those classes? Hope you find a way to direct the rage,and the consequences, where they belong, and find some respite for yourself.

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    2. How about assigning them a paper where you make it clear that they will be critiquing each other's papers and you will be grading how they do the critique. Note in bold face that you will award and extra 5 points or something to any student who finds and documents plagiarism in another student's paper. Now look at them go!

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  6. "I'm having troubling believing that any human could be as STUPID as you seem to be."

    I'm thinking this is not okay to email a student right now.

    I think I will just put this whole thing aside and go for a walk with the dogs......

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  7. Part-Time Professor JenDecember 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    Ugh -- I hear you. Don't take it personally; students gonna do what students gonna do. I think this is because they just want to pass the course any way they can.
    I've recently started creating assignments that are unique, require them to connect their personal experience to the topic, and include some sort of "watermark" from the assignment prompt not mentioned elsewhere. We do a fair amount of scaffolding in-class and they write in Google Docs so I can see the revision history (some have even tried to game that by pasting the plagiarized paper a few lines at a time, changing a word here and there). I'm lucky to have a department and college that actively support instructors dealing with plagiarism.
    Earlier this semester, about a third of my "Hamster Literacy" students plagiarized essays available online. They were shocked when I pulled up five of the essays in class and asked them for detailed feedback. Then, in small groups, students had to devise a protocol for dealing with someone who plagiarized these essays. None of them have dared plagiarize again -- so far.
    For me, some yoga and a good stiff drink helps with the rage. At least we have winter break coming soon!

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  8. Part-Time Professor JenDecember 4, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    Attendance has fallen off the proverbial cliff, just like it does at this point every semester, shortly before the Big Project is due. Just like every semester, I will get panicked, desperate emails from students who haven't attended, wanting to know what they can do to raise their grades from failing to "A"-- days after the Final Deadline. It's getting harder to not type the snarky, sarcastic responses running through my mind.

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