It’s nearly mid-term (well, technically, it’s exactly mid-term – somewhere between week five and six is mid-term for an eleven week course) and, in accordance with the “deal” I struck with my boss over my hybrid class, it’s just about time for me to offer them an extra credit assignment. I’m looking to you, Dear Readers, to help me decide what to give them.
Here’s some information for you to ponder as you consider the possibilities for the assignment: the students are working toward a degree in culinary arts – they’re all chefs-in-training. The topic of Monday’s class will be “the research paper.” I want whatever they do for me to be substantial and for it to require a commitment of time and effort, because I will be willing to erase up to four zeros from their grades. I want a one-week due date (that will be firm – they miss it, they lose it).
I’ve discussed this with Kizz already, and she’s given me a lot of good ideas – have the students research a local restaurant or write a review of a meal, among other things – but I want to make the students work a little more than that. I’m trying to figure out how to include that kind of thing in the assignment, though, because I do want for the work to be relevant to what they think is important in their lives.
When I asked my husband to help me think of appropriate assignments, he came up with asking them to argue either for or against the value of English classes to their future careers. While I love the implications of that assignment, I’m not sure I want to invite that kind of academic argument into my classroom. If ever there were a group where the majority of the students resents the hell out of having to be in my class, this is it.
So, what do you think? Give it some thought and leave me some ideas, please. I don’t want to kill the kids, but I don’t want to toss them a softball, either. I look to my friends and readers to help me reach middle ground on a lot of things, and here’s a perfect opportunity for me to make good use of the community I’ve created here.