Thursday, May 22, 2008

Grumble grumble thankfully it's the quarter system...

Yeah, I know, when do you hear that coming from me? Well, I'm so ready to not be dealing with this lecturer any more. If I could find some way to just not go to lecture from here on out I totally would. I'll skip the details, but we have just suddenly dropped an assignment from an already cheezy-easy course and totally revamped the take-home final. Great. Totally revamped as in now it is a research project and as of yesterday it was not ---- if this had been consistent throughout the class I would have been a good little TA and scheduled library sessions and given them extra credit to go, and have talked in section about what peer-reviewed sources are and helped them out with finding academic articles. But because she has said multiple times that all they would need to do was summarize the textbook articles, just like the other essays, I haven't been doing that! Gah!!!!

I'm not a control freak; I just want it run like a tight ship. And I hate slackers. I don't fucking care how little you are paid and how overworked as an adjunct you are, I hate slacker teachers too. Don't tell me that because you're feeling tired and burnt out the students should have it easy and not work ---- you could take a rest and still ask them to put their noses to the grindstone, you know. I'm so fed up with this class and how suck-ass easy it is, I don't even care that the students are loving it ---- yes, when you lower the bar all the way to the ground and then tell them they have the option of stepping over it, or not, they love your class. Big fucking deal ---- they love doing Cuervo shots until they puke, too, which doesn't make it a good idea or mean they are learning anything useful from it. And when some, or a lot, of teachers at a school have no standards and a "ooh ooh let's be nice to the poor widdle kiddies they deserve a break not a challenge," they are training them --- like operant conditioning, they are training students to expect a certain level of (completely unacceptable for college) effort and work and then the students bitch like holy hell when they run into an actual hard-ass teacher. Every single fucking thing you do in the front of a classroom, every assignment, every essay comment, every syllabus and reading list, is training the students in how to behave and what to expect. And when you give 10 percent because you just don't feel like it? That means you've trained the students to expect to get away with that amount of effort, that amount of thought, that amount of caring all the time.

Great. Way to hold the line for the rest of us, folks.

And I won't see any of my students next week because of the holiday. And then they have one more class and that's it. If I could I would just fucking bail on all the rest ---- why even read this stack of essays I have? The lecturer is expecting all As to stack her evals; the students want them too. Why should I even grade any of the rest of the assignments if there's no way to spin them towards anything actually useful?

Oh, and in other news, I just got offered a summer course in my department! Yay! Ironic, given the spewing you've just been witnessing, no?

Well as long as I'm digging my own hole and fucking up according to my own system, I can live with it. Control freak, pot, kettle. Whatever you wanna call it.


Ancrene Wiseass said...

Amen. This kind of thing is exactly why any instructor who dares to issue grades below an A- can bet on angry protests, even from students who wrote their papers during the two hours before class, turned the assignment in late, and/or did whatever they felt like doing rather than actually following guidelines.

Also, congrats on the summer teaching--and here's hoping that class will be less infuriating.

Renaissance Girl said...

YES, YES, YES. your rage delights me. all instructors should read this post, so that those of us who do insist on some degree of rigor and have high standards aren't the objects of student contempt just because we (to my thinking) RESPECT THEIR MINDS.

and i'm glad you've got teaching this summer. income is always good.

Breena Ronan said...

I am so familiar with this situation. I hate TAing for lecturers who either don't know what they are doing (in terms of setting up their syllabus and assignments) or just don't care. Then I have to do a ton of work and yet students learn very little. I have wondered about the utility of grading assignments that were so poorly constructed that it's difficult for me to provide students with a clear description of how they will be graded.

Sisyphus said...

Aw, I'm glad my rage pleases all of you. Unfortunately, it's making starting on this stack of papers very very difficult. Sigh.