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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Dear Proffesor, plase do my work for me..."

Two, count 'em, two emails from students have arrived in the last few hours, essentially asking me to do the work for the student. One reads, "I'm having trouble understanding what Grouping 2 [a topic regarding a specific grouping of poems] is asking me to do. I was hoping that maybe you may clarify what it's asking me to do." (I thought I did that. It's called the assignment sheet.) The second reads, "For my essay I would like to write about grouping 4 (the women poems) and I am having a little trouble on identifying the strength of women in A Women's Issue. Could you help me depict the poem?" (First, we don't "depict" a poem in an analysis essay. Second, you can't write an essay about how I see the poem...)

Neither of those, however, is as infuriating as the comment a student from one of the 102s left on her homework: "My personal opinion, I feel as though their is too much emphasis on really analyzing and breaking down the ideas. Sometimes its very stressful at times."

Well, heavens to Betsy, we wouldn't want you to be all stressed out by having to actually THINK, now, would we. Here, let me remove any actual thinking requirement from the work so you can continue to float along on bullshit and vagueness as you have up to this point, because, no no, we can't have you be stressed by being a college student. And of course I won't point out the problems with how you wrote those two sentences. "My personal opinion, I feel"? "Sometimes ... at times"? Never mind the difference between "their" and "there" or "its" and "it's." (and I could go on)

(Breathe, Prof. P. Breathe: cleansing breath, cleansing breath.)

The irony of all this is that I was about to write another post about how much better the 102 students are than the students in Nature in Lit, because I've trained them to read with some attention and to think in some detail...

I grant you, a number of the 102 students are struggling, and some are starting to go down the tubes. But by and large, they are at least trying to see details, trying to "really analyze and break down the ideas," even if they're not quite succeeding. By way of contrast, there is the vague, generalized bilge I've been bitching about in the essays from the students in Nature in Lit.

I wish I could find an article I located once--absolutely brilliant--about the struggle to get students to actually look at the words on the page, not to simply glance at them and trampoline off into their own blather. Paul apparently does a humorous bit about this that works with his students. I have yet to find my own way to make the point clear and funny--but I'm almost ready to set aside a whole class period in which I first rant about it, then we work through something word by word...


Shifting gears, I managed to grade one essay for Nature in Lit today; I got all the assignments marked to return to the 102s (and it was a near thing; I was, in fact, a few minutes late to the 5:30 class--because P&B ran almost 30 minutes over time), and I'd really hoped to have only four more essays to mark for Nature in Lit, but alas, no. As I mentioned, however, I have completely rebooted the schedule on revisions for the class--and I realize I'm not going to run into the head-on collision between finishing those and starting grading the 102 essays, as I won't get the 102 essays until Thursday, and even if I can't get much done in Advisement tomorrow, I may be able to squeak something out between the end of Advisement, a meeting with a student, and racing off campus to get to my physical therapy appointment on time.

And speaking of racing off campus: it's 9 p.m., and I'm not entirely sure where my brain is, so I'm going to drive home (being cautious, knowing that I'm tired enough to be arrested for Driving While Stupid) ... and then, well, there's tomorrow, doncha know.

1 comment:

  1. Talk about stressed out! I'm like, I feel in my opinion almost like this students are sort of 'yo, teach. let up on stressing my punk ass out!' Which lead me to tell them put a sock in there mouth. Nome sane ? I'm like, analyze this! God don't give a student what they can't handle.