Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hilarious and Wrong

Funny day yesterday.

First of all, the squeaking was still there when I went back to school, although not so loud that you could hear it when the classroom doors were closed. I guess the water was off for most of the day after I left, but they had it back on yesterday morning.

So I had my two comp classes yesterday, back to back, and of course we do exactly the same thing in both of them, because I'm no dummy who needs to over-prep things. Yesterday I had a PP slide up when the students came into the class that read "You will need the article I put on the course management software and assigned for today!" or words close to it.

First section, everything went fine. I had them write paragraphs in little groups analyzing how this article included evidence. And we had a lovely discussion about the reading afterwards.  Then I cleaned up my piles of stuff and marked the attendance sheet while the next class filed in --- I even have the same classroom for both classes. So, I sit around and do my stuff the whole "passing period" while students file in and get all ready.

I happen to be going to get something --- a marker? I forget --- when one girl stops me in the doorway, right as class should be starting. I don't have the article, she tells me, but I read it. I can just deal with it from memory, right?

No, I tell her. We are doing an assignment that will mean you have to use quotes from the essay and talk about the statistics. Try printing it out from the computer lab downstairs, but sometimes there is a class in there and you aren't allowed in. Maybe the library?

There is this noise like a damn breaking and I turn around only to be swept out of the classroom by a tide of students. Wha??? Where is everyone going? Almost the entire class files sheepishly past me. Four students are left out of twenty-eight. I stare at them for a minute and begin laughing.

"Gee, if I had known nobody had it at the beginning of passing period I would have improvised some other sort of assignment." I comment to the near-empty room.

"So, how about that weather, huh?" I joke. "How bout those 49ers?" To my horror, one of the students actually wants to talk about how the weather impacted the local games this weekend. I bluff for a minute or two then take roll, and have the students break into two pairs and begin the assignment.

About halfway through the class, students start trickling back in with their copies, in ones and twos, and I can't help laughing again. I give them the assignment and tell them they need to haul ass in order to finish because they need to turn it in at the end of the class period. I realize I should probably not be saying "haul ass" but think it's even worse to start censoring myself on the 8th or 9th time. We don't have time to discuss the reading at the end of class but I collect the paragraphs of varying lengths.

So I think my freshmen have learned something, in a far more valuable way than my lecturing could ever do. Heh. Long live the object lesson! Ahhh, freshmen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG, I got lectured at by a student during the last in-class assignment I did this week because I was annoyed that even though it was part of their homework nobody downloaded the dataset that it specifically said they would need before class before class. So when this student asked a question that I'd just answered with 5 other students, 3 of them in his earshot, that they wouldn't have asked if they read the instructions carefully, I OMG, audibly sighed.

So he lectured me on how I have no right to get angry with them for not knowing what to do when it specifically says to ask when they have questions. Because I *sighed*. So I just walked away because I couldn't think of anything to say that wouldn't make it an *issue*.