28 September 2006
A comment from "Schadenfreude... pie?"
Good work, very nice blog. Seems you enjoy working with/ on the internet. And
if something like that even pays off well, it would be even better, woulnd't it?
I chose you because you convinced meby all the effort you put into it. That
really convinced me.
For further information please look up my site www-franco.blogspot.com Please get more information
Yeah. Because I'm spechul. Because I have tons of free time, what with all the teaching and GRE prepwork and homework and all. Bitch, please.
27 September 2006
Mumbling Boy opted to drop my class.
And before you give me the "you can't reach everyone" speech, let me just say this. I went in and spoke with co-workers about it, kind of down-faced. And they gave me that speech. I pointed out that I was feeling guilty. More of the speech. Then I pointed out that I was feeling guilty because I feel so relieved that he's dropped.
Finally, the class can move forward with a standard pace.
Finally, I can stop feigning that I care about the woes of a student. Because I really don't. I'm here to teach you. Not to be your friend. Not to be chatty. If you want advice in the field, great. If you want to tell me about your issues outside of school? Don't care. Go 'way.
*sticks fingers in ears* lalalalalalaalalalala!
Here's the deal. If I don't get that paper from Student Disabilities that states the accommodations you need, I can't treat you any differently than any other student.
Even when you get all pouty.
And I don't care how special you were in high school. How mommy and daddy say that you're not different, you're unique.
Get me the paper and I'll work with you. Tell me that you're as normal as anyone else, and you get treated as such.
...We'll see who votes themselves off the island next.
26 September 2006
Dear Benevolent Dictator;
I am writing to introduce myself.
Really? Is that what this is about? We're in week 5. Don't you think it's a little late to be saying "hiya!"?
Im Cool But Late, originaly from Somewhere, ST, and I am meant to be taking your Western Civ class this term. I am XX years old, and have been working as a flight attendant for the last XX-19 years. This is the beginning of my attempt to go to school and complete my degree.
Is this a cultural thing endemic to this part of the country? Does your place of origin matter? Is it spiffy and cool like "I'm originally from Iceland!" or is it 45 minutes up the road and not much more impressive than the location of Small State U? Also, does your place of origin keep you from properly using punctuation marks?
You are meant to be taking my class? I'm not sure if this means I'm supposed to add you (which is unnecessary because if you're able to email me, you're able to access the course), or if it means you're trying to take the course. I'd suggest that you just take the course and see how it goes. As Yoda said, "do or do not. There is no 'try'."
Congrats. You've hit XX without being in a prison web course. And, you know, I really preferred the term 'stewardess' compared to 'flight attendant'. At least then my expectations were suitably lowered. And good for you for coming to Small State U Online to begin to finish your degree... Planning on taking any English courses?
Im glad to be doing so, but Ive been in the process of moving, which has been much more complicated than I expected, and I am now getting a very late start with your class.
You're happy. I'm happy. We're all happy! (The banister's happy!) Yes. Moving is a bitch. Moving cross country even more so. Hey, here's an idea. Move cross country, have a new course dropped in your lap and realize you're going to spend the rest of the semester winging it for that course. Honey, Murphy has set himself up in my guest bedroom... Life sucks. Get a helmet.
This is all new territory for me. I have never done much reading, and have never written a paper or done formal research. I am continuing to fly full time, and although im only taking one class it's still a little overwhelming for me. I am serious about what i am doing, though, and will do my best to continue forward. This week, Ive tried to do as much reading as possible to catch up quickly.
o/~Don't know much about his-to-ree.o/~ It's a 100 level course. If you're thinking there's formal research aside from my Nazi-esque requirement to use Chicago/Turabian citation... You're sorely mistaken. My online course is kinda like being in the National Guard, except you can't get sent over to Iraq. 6 hours a week. 16 weeks a year.
However, you are indeed light years ahead of your classmates. You see, you said the magic word. Read. Reading is impressive. It makes me happy. And for someone to put forth the effort... Makes a world of difference. Hell, I might even cut you some slack.
I finished Assignment X this morning, and am forwarding it to you now. I understand it may be late or even unacceptable, but id like to send it to you anyway for your thoughts.
A week past deadline is 'late'... Anything past that, I don't accept. However, since you're putting forth effort and said the magic word, I'll review it. I hope there's proper punctuation. Oh, and welcome to the slack.
I will get started on Assignment Y as soon as I get through a little more of the reading
Meh. Do you know what it means to me if you don't turn your assignments in on time? It means one less thing for me to grade. This makes your classmates happy because I don't critique like I'm an anorexic hippopotamus on crack.
I like your powerpoints : )
Oh my. Does this mean you're really *not* reading?
Thank you; Cool
You are ultimately welcome.
I put the high, average, and passing score up on the wall-o-whiteboard and was very quiet until they all came in and class started at the designated hour.
I then pointed to the scores and said in my best Disappointed Instructor voice (booming, no less)... "This should never happen again."
...Shocked look on the students' faces
"You have priorities in life. I understand this. This course should be a priority. If you cannot pass my quiz, you will not be able to pass Relatively Easy Certification Exam. So, it's up to you to rethink your priorities... Or explore your options."
...Stunned silence. Kinda like I'd just told them the truth about Santa and what he really does with the reindeer and elves up at the lonely North Pole.
You see, I'm not allowed to encourage any students to withdraw. Or drop the course.
Not even Mumbling Boy, with his IQ of 80. (I'm not saying that to be cruel, my supervisor agrees that he either has a severe LD or an IQ of around 80... I love the people I work with!) Oh, and today in class? Mumbling Boy announced his grade to the class - well below passing - and wandered in and out during lab... Guess who's not getting full points... Three guesses and the first two don't count.
So, if you read the posts from yesterday, you know I had a day. I got home and my brain was broken. Shattered into a million pieces broken. And then a good friend of mine links me something that caused me to give the response of "if my brain wasn't already broken, it would be now."
I present to you...
Yes. There are officially fetishists for everything now. Of the two, for sheer humor I would encourage you to watch Pterodactyl Porn. It includes pointless pterodactyl puppetry along with costumes.
...And my mom thought furries were odd when she found out about their existence via CSI. I shared the concept of Dino Porn with her this evening while we were talking about the way the
Back to the teaching thing. I think my students are going to believe I have a mental disorder because I started class with a stern lecture, made them laugh during the informative lecture, and then berated them for their quiz scores at the end of class. Then we had lab. A lab that really should not have taken as long as it did. But they were scared. And way overthinking everything.
Of course, there's talk about canceling my class and refunding my students because the certification exam they have to take is being changed. Now, because it's past the add/drop date, and my class made, I think they'll still have to pay me my contracted amount. Especially because the class would be cancelled for things beyond my control.
1Look, I remember when 'retard' was a proper term for someone with a mental handicap. The mental/emotional growth (and sometimes physical growth) was retarded (retard (v): to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment) and it was the best descriptor. Now, everyone and their brother has a mental handicap or disability. But you know what? When I say 'retard,' you know exactly what I mean.
To hell with being all politically correct. I fear political correctness and its implications far more than I fear terrorists/the radical right/the radical left/the Shetland Islands.
25 September 2006
I have a question.
Do you ever long to start a class by saying the following to your students?
Look, I'd rather be sitting at home in my PJs, watching trashy TV and swilling beer. But I'm not. I'm here because I have a contract, because I actually *gasp* enjoy teaching, and because I am interested in you having a higher level of understanding. I prepare for this class. When you come into class unprepared, it makes me want to give a quiz. Assign hellish homework. Do anything that might drag your asses into something that resembles a gear that isn't marked 'reverse'. But, hey. If you don't want to be here, let me know. Because I have a pair of PJs, trashy shows on TIVO, and a six pack waiting for me.
...Or is it just me?
I am sending you my assignment that was due last week2. I know it is late, but I hope I can still receive any type of credit3. I am sorry it was so late, but I have not have any access to a computer because mine has not been working4. I also had trouble finding the Chicago Style type of format so that I could cite my references in my assignment. If there are other sites that will help me find this please let me know. Finally I was wondering if I could still take a quiz for chapters One through Four5. If I cannot let me know. I know this assignment is due past its deadline, but I sent it to let you know that I am still making an effort even though I am in the position I am in6.
Idiot R Procrastinator
¹Strike 1: I am not a Mrs. I am a Ms. or a Miss. Do not assume that I am a Mrs. Do not ma'am me.
2My department (Lawd bless 'em) has a policy that we are required to accept papers up to 7 days late. No more. After 7 days, that's it.
3RTFM, d00d. I clearly state in at least a million places on the course that late assignments are accepted for one week after the due date. Nothing past that. Asshat.
4So sorry your computer is not working. Guess what. You signed up for an online class. It is your responsibility to get the assignments done and turned in on time, regardless of what your computer is doing. Go to an internet cafe. Idiot.
5I'm guessing if my policy for assignments is hard-ass, my policy for re-opening quizzes is going to be in much the same vein. Get a fucking clue, dipshits. I ain't yo mamma. I don't care about your problems.
6All that effort still won't get you a cup of coffee. All that effort and about $2.50 will. I have another stumper for you... Guess who doesn't give out grades based on effort. Oh, that's right. ME!
Adjunct Slave's Actual Response:
Idiot R Procrastinator:
Websites to help you with citing in Chicago format can be found in the Assignment Format document under "Course Documents" on the main page.
The policies of my department disallow me from accepting any assignment in excess of one week past the original due date. I cannot re-open the quizzes for chapters 1 through 4, either.
I need to find a new smoking area.
For the third time in two weeks, someone in the area has felt compelled to share their life story with me. This time it was a girl in her early 20s.
What I she told me about herself:
- Her mother is the mother from "Mommy Dearest"
- She was born in Sicily, Italy
- Her grandfather named her in Italian
- Her Italian name means "The pretty girl that will poison any young gentleman that falls in love with her"
- Her grandfather is in the Chicago Mafia
- Her grandfather used to invite people over for a card game where she would serve drinks and receive $100 'tips'
- Her grandfather also used her to poison the drinks of people he wanted bumped off
- She is originally from Chicago
- She used to do heavy (i.e. heroin, cocaine) drugs
- She was slipped something at a party when she was 15, raped, and bore a child that was the result of the rape
- She used to have a job, while she was in high school, where she earned $10,000/mo under the table running a cafe
- She lived on her own when she was 9
- When she was 16, her mother stole $30,000 of her savings from that job from her
- She's ex-bi-sexual
- She's married, kinda. She divorced her husband so she could be on her mother's health insurance to get gastric bypass surgery, but she still lives with her (ex)husband
- She received and screwed up a full ride to Northwestern through the PhD level
- Her essays are the model essays found in high school English texts
- She gave her grandfather a heart attack by telling him she was bisexual at the dinner table
- Her grandfather beat her grandmother
- &c &c &c
I was gobsmacked. It was like being fifty feet away from a train wreck. You sit there thrilled that it wasn't you, but at the same time, you're just shocked that it happened. And it wasn't this girl's story, it was the mere fact that she was telling me - like I was her best friend, therapist... Something. All I could think when it was happening was "I have to blog this when I get home. I have to. If I don't, I'm going to explode."
Did I mention that she told me all this before I even knew her "Americanized" name? Yep. That kind of special.
Granted, I wasn't wearing my nametag that said "Instructor" on it, but most of the people around there know that I am a teacher-type person.
In other news, I spoke to one of my students today on the way to lunch. He's 17. 17! When did they get so young? While he does speak Southern/Texan (it's a blend, I know they're different accents), he's fairly bright, so I wondered why he was at Small State University. He's finishing up his senior year of homeschooling.
And then he wants to go to a TV Vocational School because he thinks it'll get him far. I hope I talked him out of it. I suggested that if he wants to stay in the state, he should look at Big State University or Medium State University. I pointed out that I started off at Medium State U (and look where I am today!), and that I knew a few people in the engineering program that he wants to go into... And they did quite well for themselves out of college.
Please, Lawd, save me from "accredited colleges" that advertise on TV.
Tomorrow, I get to go in and be Disappointed Professor (TM) and give my students a stern lecture, then an informative one.
Oh, remember Comm/Theater/English Co-worker? He asked me the question I went in to ask him. "It has to get better, right? When is the last day they can withdraw?" In the hopes that those who really should not be attempting a higher education would, oh, leave.
Then we found out.
Two weeks before final grades are due in.
Two freaking weeks!
Maybe I should change the name of Small State U to Mickee Maus U. It's feeling like it.
24 September 2006
I love that if you fail the bar in SD three times, you have to get special dispensation from the courts to take it a fourth time... What about a fifth?
Last week I gave my non-history students a quiz. A quiz that I gave the comm/theatre/english guy in my main department and he did better than the mean.
No student scored perfect on the quiz. This is four weeks into the semester. Granted, this is not a subject that is covered in high school, which is why the first quiz was given 1/4 of the way through the semester - give the students a chance to become accustomed to the material. It is all shiny and new for the majority of them.
High score: 19/20 (A)
Low score: 7/20 (F)
Average score: 13.46/20 (D)
Passing score: 12.2/20 (D)
Exams given: 14
Passing scores: 8
I get to go in on Tuesday and proclaim how this is unacceptable. And if SSU would allow me, I would say that some of these students either need to study more and find out where they are running into a hitch, or consider moving into a different program. And it's not like the quiz I gave was subjective. It was multiple choice and terms!
Granted, some of them failed to read the instructions on the terms section, but given the subject, if they can't read the directions, they shouldn't be in the program.
I refuse to drop my standards any more. I suspect a number of them will start to consider withdrawing from my course, and a good portion of those will withdraw after the midterm.
Summer session. Lasts 8 weeks. Basically, summer session is that lovely time of the year where my paychecks double, and so does my use of Pepto Bismol.
Now, for my online courses, I don't care if you show up. I don't care if you ever log in. I'm not your momma. I don't care if you pass or if you fail.
And I sure as shit don't care about your woes.
Week 6, I get an email from a student. He writes me and explains that he needs to pass this class with at least a B in order to keep his scholarship to Big State U. Crisis McWhiner then decides that I'm the person that he should share his and his family's financial woes with. Mr. McWhiner won't be able to attend Big State U if he doesn't have this scholarship because his parents make too much money for him to take out loans. (Uh... Dumbass. You won't be able to take out non-private loans. Private lenders would LOVE to give you money... Learn how Financial Aid works.) And he's young enough that he's still considered a dependent.
Did I mention that Mr. McWhiner hadn't turned in 3 out of the 4 assignments that were due at that point? Hadn't completed 10 out of the 12 quizzes? Oh, and the kicker? Didn't even bother with his midterm. Oh yeah. We have a whiner on our hands.
I like to consider myself a compassionate person. However, when you tell me you need a certain grade and you haven't earned it, don't talk to me. I hate. Loathe. Despise with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Those students.
Say it with me.
I don't give grades, you earn them.
I have been in so many classes where I have busted serious ass for a "B" and others where I could have walked in, slept, and still gotten an "A". This is the nature of the game.
I've never taken so much joy in entering an "F" for a final grade.
Sideways bitch: I hate it when grapes are labeled as seedless and they're not.
It also makes me thrilled to know that it's not just me. My students are not the only 'special ones' that cannot read a syllabus. That need to be carried around the campus.
It also makes me realize that I really need to start taking care of business. So, while I go and do that, read her blog. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
21 September 2006
I just take the cell phones away until the end of class if they ring while I'm lecturing. I also answer them and tell the person on the other end that the person they were trying to call is in class...
Perhaps I should show this video and allow my students to see what a benevolant dictator I really am.
19 September 2006
Another day of people not reading. Another day...
So Thursday, they get a quiz. And homework. And wow was I cranky today. Maybe it was the allergies. Maybe it was something else, but me = ubercranky.
Did I mention that I threatened a student with bodily harm today? Whoops! Did I mention that I miss the days when you could threaten students?
Yes, I already emailed an apology and explained that his undermining my authority was unacceptable and how if it continued I'd have to go fill out a form about it... And I hate filling out forms.
16 September 2006
...By base logic, doesn't granting me the freedom to assemble also grant me the freedom not to assemble?
Yes, with the implementation of Constitution and Citizenship day two years ago, there is a requirement pursuant to Section 111 of an initiative that requires all educational facilities receiving money from the Department of Education to perform some educational program for constitution and Citizenship Day on or around the day (if the 17th falls on a weekend).
At my university, they're also 'requesting' a mandatory wardrobe of red, white, and blue for the instructors. How about I just drape a flag as a cape... Will that work?
I need to find out if the Department of Education provides funding to the school in a way other than financial aide. You see, I contacted my mentor from my undergrad school and they're not requiring their instructors to do anything for Constitution Day. I also checked the email from my former law school and they're not doing anything for Constitution Day, at least not anything that's required for students to attend.
I'm just irked. It's absolute crap to pull students out of classes to do something around the flagpole and enforce an appearance of patriotism for some unknown reason... Wouldn't it be easier to take five minutes and allow the individual professors to incorporate the constitution into their coursework?
And, of course, no one is saying 'boo' about the stupidity of this, or even pointing out the utter logical fallacy of making an assembly to 'celebrate' the constitution mandatory. I swear, it's like watching the inception of Nazi Germany. "It does not impact me, so I will say nothing."
Those who lose out are the students and the instructors. The students lose part of their Monday class-time, when we already lose two Mondays a semester that are not matched by a Tuesday/Thursday loss. And when the students get pissed off about having to go do something other than what was planned, it's the professors that are going to get the irate students. Even if we encourage them to e-mail the responsible party for making this decision, we instructors still get the cranky ones.
And no one wants to say anything because the person responsible for this takes offense SO easily, that you will likely be fired for even breathing a contradictory opinion.
Wherever I am when I get tenure... They're gonna hate me. I refuse to stand by and be silent. I have been requested to at the moment by other members of my department, and I will respect their request, but when I'm tenured, my wrath will be felt.
No one is thinking of the students and what is best for them.
Dumbassedness all around.
11 September 2006
Munch paintings recoveredBoth of the paintings by famed Norwegian artist Edvard Munch that were stolen two years ago have been found and are now in the possession of the police in Oslo.
Both The Scream and Madonna were found Thursday afternoon in what police described as a "successful action" by the Oslo Police District.
Police wouldn't say where the famed artworks were found, but said they think the paintings have been in Norway all along.
The paintings are, according to police, in much better shape than they had feared.
Iver Stensrud, who heads the Oslo Police District's organized crime division, claimed no ransom had been paid, nor had any reward been paid out to tipsters.
Expert examinations of the paintings must still be carried out, but police were confident they had recovered the masterpieces that were spirited out of the Munch Museum in Oslo's Tøyen District on August 22, 2004.
No arrests had been made as of Thursday evening, and none of the men convicted of the theft of the paintings is said to have contributed to the recovery of the paintings.
The theft of the Munch paintings has long been thought to have been part of efforts to divert police attention from their investigation of another armed robbery earlier that year, in which a police officer was killed.
"The Scream" has been valued at NOK 500 million (USD 81 million) and "Madonna" at NOK 100 million, but both artworks were also considered priceless in many ways and difficult if not impossible to sell.
The paintings Madonna and The Scream were torn off their walls at the Munch Museum on a quiet Sunday morning in August 2004. The armed robbery shocked the art world and the country, and meant the loss of two national treasures.
City and museum officials were jubilant that the paintings are back in safe hands.
"I am, on behalf of Oslo's entire population, both relieved and happy," said Gro Balas, director of culture for the city of Oslo, which owns the paintings through the will drawn up by Edvard Munch himself.
Balas said the paintings are owned "by everyone," and that "the whole world has an option on these paintings."
She said she'd experienced being in Germany and having people "come up and offer their condolences after the paintings were stolen."
Ingebjørg Ydstie, acting leader of the Munch Museum in Oslo, told news bureau NTB that experts will now make a comprehensive examination of the paintings, to determine whether they've been damaged. She stressed that the experts so far have no doubt that the paintings found are genuine.
"I feel a great sense of joy on behalf of the museum and a whole world of art lovers," she said. "This is a big day."
Ydstie said she expected the examination to be completed relatively quickly, so the paintings could be put back on exhibit again.
This is an article from www.aftenposten.no.
|Publisher: Aftenposten Multimedia A/S, Oslo, Norway. Telephone: +47 - 22 86 30 00.All rights, including copyright and database right, are owned by or licensed to Aftenposten Multimedia.|
© Aftenposten Multimedia.
The school that I teach at has about 2500 students. The town that I'm in has about 50,000 people. Granted, we have a program for mentally disabled students to teach them how to function in life skills... But the percentage of mentally disabled and physically handicapped students at this small school is astounding. And apparently there's a number of mentally disabled people in this community (aside from just the school)... It makes me wonder why.
Is this another Woburn, MA deal? Too many kids licking lead paint from the walls? Higher levels than usual of mercury in the food/water source? It's just bizarre.
I'm always curious when the percentage of non-accident disability is so much higher than the norm.
10 September 2006
Now that I've switched out for a good hard drive and have all my goodies reloaded, I've done the wise thing and started doing massive conversion. Right now, I'm listening to Der Kommisar by Falco... Yes, I'm reliving 80s EuroWave. Leave me be.
Today's supposed to be my powerpointing day. I'm trying to get in the mood. I also have to do a translation of The Little Prince for my French course which is starting to overwhelm me.
I also need to do the breakfast thing. Lawdie, but things all start to get piled on if you don't do them during the week. I suppose I'll have to make better use of my time.
Oh, and so this doesn't go too off topic... Today in History, thanks to The History Net.
|1419||John the Fearless is murdered at Montereau, France, by supporters of the dauphine.|
|1547||The Duke of Somerset leads the English to a resounding victory over the Scots at Pinkie Cleugh.|
|1588||Thomas Cavendish returns to England, becoming the third man to circumnavigate the globe.|
|1623||Lumber and furs are the first cargo to leave New Plymouth in North America for England.|
|1813||The nine-ship American flotilla under Oliver Hazard Perry wrests naval supremacy from the British on Lake Erie by capturing or destroying a force of six English vessels.|
|1846||Elias Howe patents the first practical sewing machine in the United States.|
|1855||Sevastopol, under siege for nearly a year, capitulates to the Allies during the Crimean War.|
|1861||Confederates at Carnifex Ferry, Virginia, fall back after being attacked by Union troops. The action is instrumental in helping preserve western Virginia for the Union.|
|1912||J. Vedrines becomes the first pilot to break the 100 m.p.h. barrier.|
|1914||The six-day Battle of the Marne ends, halting the German advance into France.|
|1923||In response to a dispute with Yugoslavia, Mussolini mobilizes Italian troops on Serb front.|
|1961||Jomo Kenyatta returns to Kenya from exile, during which he had been elected president of the Kenya National African Union.|
|1963||President John F. Kennedy federalizes Alabama's National Guard to prevent Governor George C. Wallace from using guardsmen to stop public-school desegregation.|
|1981||Pablo Picasso's painting Guernica is returned to Spain and installed in Madrid's Prado Museum. Picasso stated in his will that the painting was not to return to Spain until the Fascists lost power and democracy was restored.|
08 September 2006
Hopefully, after this weekend is done, I'll be in a better headspace and be back on the posting jag.
Remember, next weekend I get the first round of assignments in, so there may be snippets of inadvertant student humor being posted in two weeks' time.
And remember... I'd never tell you not to do anything I wouldn't do... I'm just going to tell you, "don't get caught."
Teaching 3 courses, taking 2 classes, one of which requires me to work and pay attention (whee, French), and I'm bloody exhausted by the end of the day. Hopefully the face-to-face will get less up-down as the semester wears on.
Back to powerpointing goodness. Oh, and to the author of my instructor's cheatbook for my text:
Love volume II less, and volume I more. 2 page outlines for volume I and 5 page outlines for volume II is obviously textism!