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Real Questions, I Think

April 7, 2009

Some questions are printed in the student paper each issue, some to be funny but in others, the humor is faulty or missing. I don’t think any of these questions are meant to be funny and are painfully revealing:

  • Why do teachers give you Bs and Cs when they don’t teach? So shouldn’t you receive an A for effort?
  • Why does my teacher leave a note on his or her door stating he or she will be out for the day and call?
  • What is more important to the administration: money or academics?
  • Why do some professors lack compassion toward students attempting to pass a class, constantly falling back on the fact that they already have their degrees?

An honest and ambitious teacher, at any level, does not “give” grades but adds up and evaluates what students can and cannot do and have or have not done. If you do not turn in a 200-point assignment or fail to turn in any work for 8 weeks, an A is not possible or merited.

The note may mean that he or she isn’t in and you should call if you have a question or need help.

Question 3 seems too obvious to bother with.

When I tell students I already earned my degree, it’s when they expect me to do the work for them, or half the work, or to assign no work at all and spend class time chatting. I WORKED for my degree, took far more classes and read 4 times the books and texts they do and yes, I lack compassion for the student who didn’t buy the textbooks, doesn’t complete assignments, sleeps through most of the class if the student bothers to come even if I have seen this student in the hallway multiple times all day, who doesn’t participate in any activity or discussion or project…And where and why am I to be compassionate?

D’oh students really do not get, and have failed to get the many years I have been there, that office hours mean you are in your office during those hours. Every week, a student goes to the division office to complain that Dr. __ isn’t in his or her office and someone has to explain that Dr. __ is teaching or is not holding office hours because the posted hours are _ to _ and it is nowhere near _ right now, or office hours are Tuesday and Wednesday and this student insists the professor is fucking with him because s/he’s not in the office all day Thursday. They don’t get it. And badmouth professors for their own obtuseness. I’ve gotten looks from students, after explaining the concept of office hours and course schedules, that say, What kind of fool you be thinkin’ I am? You’d think in the many hours they spend as freshmen in orientation, someone would explain the whats and whys of university life.

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