Monday, November 20, 2006


1. I think it is some of the particular students rather than teaching in general that raises my blood pressure.

I issued an assignment 5 days ago, one that was rather simple and echoed a past assignment. 3 of the responses I got are not assignments but single-sentence emails. One section of students submitted NO assignments at all.

I guess I better get Dear University Student #19 printed on a t-shirt for daily wear.

2. Second peeve: people who attend planning or community meetings and snippily, or politely, say that the people who aren't there (displaced folks, black folks, low-income folks, you name it--whoever isn't there) "must not care" and "must not want to be here/there."

If every group, nation or individual who needed social justice had to show up individually to a meeting, there would be no social justice.


Blogger brownfemipower said...

If every group, nation or individual who needed social justice had to show up individually to a meeting, there would be no social justice.

amen to that. I here the same thing about poor folks who attend my kids' school (of which I am one)--um sorry, not all of us are lucky enough to have jobs where we can just randomly take a couple of hours off to drive kids on a feild trip. but apparently, if you can't, then you shouldn't even be sending your kid to that school as only parents who *care* send their kids there.

and in regards to teaching--i'm having a really really REALLY low point in my teaching carreer right now, and am very thankful thanksgiving is coming around...i sure to need the break...

Mon Nov 20, 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger G Bitch said...

A student looked at an assignment sheet yesterday that I gave out last week like he'd never seen it, or the English language, before. This is the kid who is usually twisting his locks and gazing around the room while I am talking and explaining assignments. I am ready to strangle the majority of them. When I record grades for assignments, most of the grades are 0s.

Yeah, it's time for a few days off, dammit!

Tue Nov 21, 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger G Bitch said...

OOOH! The whole school thing burns my ass, too. Only people who drive SUVs to field trips and bring snack in the middle of the day and hang out at school love their kids or "care" about education. !!!!!!! It's part of the "debate" about public schools here--lots of parent blame and wide assumption that these parents (largely black and many poor) don't care. They DO care--they have to WORK.

Tue Nov 21, 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger oyster said...

Again, I think there is too much "pedagogic inflexibility" on display here. A paucity of heart, and an abundance of uncharitable assessments of student behavior, if I do say so myself.

First: what the hell's wrong with a "single sentence email", anyway? That's not necessarily invalid, is it? If carefully crafted, one sentence can encapsulate the wisdom of a Delphic aphorism. Also, have you ever stopped to consider that the other students who didn't submit anything are protesting how simple and repetitive the assignment was? Perhaps they are unsatisfied with the current workload and are begging for something more challenging. I see many possibilities here, that might merit your careful investigation.

Btw, I'm joking again (like last time). That "pedagogic flexibility" line never gets old. Funny stuff, right? Heh, heh...


(I think I'll just say that #2 is right on and I will now shut my fucking mouth.)

Tue Nov 21, 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger The Combat Philosopher said...

The Oyster,
Although you may be joking, we folks are not. Dealing with idiots is time consuming and a pain.

We call this part of the semester the 'whining season'. Listening to the first sob story may be amusing. Listening to the umpteenth is not. When faced with grading piles of so-called paper that are written in 'IM speak', we get cranky. There is a good reason for this. Most real professor would rather be spending time with their families, or writing up and publishing their research. Not everybody has this luxury. However, most people do not like to have their time wasted. So, it might be a good time to quit with that attitude.

The CP

Wed Nov 22, 01:33:00 AM  
Blogger oyster said...

The CP:

Sorry to make an attempt at humor in the comments of a blog.

Fwiw, back in the day, as a stinky little graduate assistant, I remember those times when I had to grade 80 or so horrendously awful philosophy papers in a matter of hours, hoping against hope that 1 or 2 of them would show some evidence of thought or genuine effort. Then the latecomers and excusemakers would track me down with their "stories". Yes, it was a magnificent pain and yes, I wished I could be doing other things.

But I remember being able to finish the shitwork and relax with some professors and friends and commiserate over a beer or two about how crappy (and seemingly hopeless?) the whole experience was. Believe it or not, "us folks" were able to joke about it once or twice as well. And that included some tenured "lovers of wisdom".

Perhaps I wrongly assumed this was a similar forum for such "humor". My apologies.

Wittgenstein once wrote that a rather good philosophical work could be created consisting entirely of jokes. Perhaps I'll just concentrate on fashioning one that would make the cut, and not afflicting the CP with my unhelpful "attitude".

Luckily for me, after I left the academic life I never encountered another whiner or time-waster again. I guess I forgot what it was like.

Wed Nov 22, 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger G Bitch said...

If the students I had showed any promise, comprehension or adherence to anything, I might challenge them more. They've shown nothing to merit such. I start hard and shift downward if I have to. And where I am now, I always do, except for a few students who I talk to, push harder individually. When students haven't bought the textbooks, what next?

Lucky you, out of the classroom. It is a luxury to be able to forget.

Wed Nov 22, 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mister said...

Nothing wrong with jokes. But you've got to keep them coming and not circle the wagons--don't cede that ground if the joke is what matters. And you have to work the audience (the one here is a stressed, cranky and articulate bunch). I've seen many a joke here--even in the comments section no less! I know you know all this, Oyster. I'm just saying.

Wed Nov 22, 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Dambala said...

hey G,

American Zombie: check this out....homeys

I know these guys who made this and I think you're really going to enjoy this film. I hope you can make it.


Tue Nov 28, 09:37:00 PM  

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