I Need a New Word….

hobbes_yikes.gif….because “yikes” just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Observe this, submitted as homework for this week’s online class:

hi mrs chili.
im gonna write my speech about older drivers driving over an age like 75 they should renew there licence every year to make sure that they can still drive. They turn that age that they cant drive anymore. its like they forgot how to drive.  the way im gonna  produce my speech is i’m gonna go up there and not worry about anyone also tell them the way it is and to let everyone on my side. i think this will be a good speech to talk about and very important.

They can’t accuse me of not meeting them more than half way, though.  I sent this as a reply to this student:


I think this is a fine topic, but this does not satisfy the requirements for this assignment.  I asked for you to:

 choose your topic for your persuasive speech and write me a short essay – no less than one page, no more than three – detailing what you’re going to talk about and how you’re going to present your argument.  This essay must be comprehensive – include a purpose statement, a credibility statement and support for your claims or arguments.  You must – MUST – have at least three research sources for your speech, and these must be included in your essay (make sure you use MLA format for your citations).

I will mark you as “present” for this week’s online class, but this assignment will receive a zero.  Please feel free to revise this to meet the requirements for the assignment; I’ll accept it in writing tomorrow if you need the extra time.


-Mrs. Chili

What inspired my writing this entry, though, isn’t this student’s response; it’s the fact that she’s not the only one who’s submitted something of this quality to me in answer to this week’s assignment.  So far, I’ve had four students send me a paragraph in response to the exercise, and a fifth student wrote me one sentence.  I’ve made the same offer – to mark them as present and accept a more comprehensive attempt at the essay tomorrow – to all of them so far.

Who’s taking odds on whether or not they come through tomorrow?



Filed under about writing, concerns, General Griping, Teaching

5 responses to “I Need a New Word….

  1. If only there were some way to adequately transcribe the way Peanut says “holy crap!” into the written word…

  2. sphyrnatude

    Yow. Amazing….
    Have you found that the online students tend to be sloppier? I’ve run into the perception that online classes are “coasters”, and don’t require any effort, and was wondering if you are seeing a validation of that?
    It looks like you’ve recieved a total of 6 responses – out of how many students?

  3. Your impression is NOT wrong, Sphyrnatude. I actually received two acceptable responses, and six unacceptable ones, out of a class of 19 students.

    I’ve asked my boss to not give me any more online classes; I much prefer the more traditional, “chalk and talk” format. The students tend to do much better work in those classes – these kids just aren’t in a place where they’re capable of being self-directed learners – and I don’t feel confident that I’m doing all I can within the format to encourage that in those few who might be able to succeed in online classes. My class schedule for the summer is exclusively face-to-face classes, and I’m really looking forward to it.

  4. And here I am feeling compelled to address the content. If she’d done even the most cursory research I believe she’d find that in her state drivers over a certain age (which I think is 70) are already required to submit to retesting for their licenses on a yearly basis.

    It is indeed a good topic, one that her government made a very persuasive speech about many years ago.

  5. Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

    I….just….there doesn’t seem to be…ummm, yeah. Wow.

    Why would my generation even THINK they stand a chance making a difference in the real world??? Why?

    Okay, so this chick may want to be a chef. Fine. SHE’S GOING TO NEED TO COMMUNICATE!!!!! AT SOME POINT!!!! WITH HUMANS!!!! Ugh. It’s this sort of thing that just gets my blood boiling about my stupid generation.

    And you know what’s REALLY scary??? One day these standards MAY be acceptable…when all the baby boomers are dead and buried and it’s only my DUMB generation left to run the planet.

    Do handbaskets have seatbelts?

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