Where the Rubber Meets the Road

I’m giving my students their first composition quiz this week. The Monday kids get it today, the T/TH kids will get it tomorrow.

To my mind, the thing is PATHETICALLY easy. I’ve got a section of commonly confused words (and I didn’t even include “lay” and “lie”), five definitions, a few subject/verb agreement questions, a section asking them to recall some of their notes about the writing process, and a prompt for a four paragraph essay. I’m really hoping they do well; I’ve got more than half my hybrid course listed as failing because they’re STILL not turning in their homework, and they really need a good grade.

Today is also the day that the head chef of the culinary school and my department chair will be making the rounds to the Gen. Ed. classes to stress the importance of doing well in these courses. It seems that mine is not the only class in which the culinary students are taking an apathetic stance, and a good many of them are in real danger of failing out of the program altogether if they don’t start doing some work. I’m wondering how much this intervention will help. I’m hoping for the best, but I have to admit to being a bit pessimistic about the overall outcome. As a wise person once told me, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t hold his head under long enough to make a difference.

I’ll be bringing my computer to work today so that I can enter grades from journals and such while the darlings take their quizzes. I’ve also got to start on progress reports – we’re at just about mid-term and I’ll need to have paper trails on bunch of the students – and I may have time to get those going while the students work. I’m annoyed that my school still uses four-part forms for progress reports, though; my grading software allows me to print up progress reports on each student, and having to fill out the school’s forms is time-consuming, redundant work. I may just print out the progress reports for each student, then staple them to the school forms….

I’m off to begin my day! Wish my students luck, please; they may need it….



Filed under concerns, Teaching

5 responses to “Where the Rubber Meets the Road

  1. If you print them, which seems like a good idea, you should print 4 copies each because it’s likely the school does it this way because they need 4 copies for filing or distribution reasons. If you staple one copy to a form you will make the day of some hapless admin asst very hard.

  2. Why, oh why, are college students getting mid-term progress reports? I don’t remember ever knowing my college grades until the class was over with.

  3. These aren’t just ANY college students. Our students are SPECIAL….

    Honestly, the idea of giving out progress reports to college students makes me INSANE. They’re supposed to be adults, but we don’t treat them that way (well, “we” as an institution). Then we decry the state of their personal responsibility. It’s a vicious cycle.

  4. Whenever I read about this kind of thing, I think of all the scientists at the day job fretting about how students aren’t getting enough science. Are they getting enough anything? Are the “science” students equally as apathetic about writing and composition? My friend at work is married to some sort of MIT cognative biologist who doesn’t read fiction. She recentrly tried to break him in with a book about robots.

  5. I’ve met people who don’t read or don’t read fiction. They can be smart but they’re often boring. I knew one guy who only read manuals for electronics and another who only listened to books on tape.

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