16 Responses

  1. monica says:

    hm, for a few seconds I misread the first of Paco's go-to-sleep ballpoints; Mama will sleep with you – the biggest threat ! was a bit puzzled for a short time… :o)) About your student agony: I have always totally admired those who actually have the patience to try guiding our young and promised ones… now with a 17 year old son being a freshman I admire you even more :o)

  2. Jeni says:

    Now I am convinced there is a blogger conspiracy at work tonight! Why else would another of my favorite bloggers -and you -both write of things that are in essence, part of one of my own ongoing problems, that being my son!
    I spent about 3 hours with him late last night, after his call to ask me to come pick him up at a bar, of all places, and take him home cause he was, as he put it, "a little messed up." Stirred up by the substance he's supposed to be not using, aggravated by issues he's had for years about his Dad, confused over trying to figure out how to work out compromises with his girlfriend and her 8-year-old daughter (with whom he just took up residence about a month ago) and being too damned obstinate to realize that things need to change, yes, but the things he wants to change are out of his control as the only thing -or person -he is capable of changing would be -himself! A vicious cycle here! He asks me for help, puts questions to me and I give him my take, my advice and nine times out of ten, he ends up ignoring said advice then. Although last night, one of his issues was that he can't talk to his Dad with the ease his sisters can -or so he thinks -and I told him to call his Dad and then, "call him" on that issue. Learned this evening from older daughter that he had in fact called dear old Dad today, not once but twice, (daughter had called Dad today too) and Dad had told him his timing was impeccable because he and his wife (#5, she is) were fighting today! Now, if they actually talked about something other than cars, I'll know for sure that Son actually did hear a little of what I said last night! Kids! No matter the age, sometimes they all still need a little "hand-holding" or other things to help ease them out of something and into a clearer day and way to deal with life. (Same goes I suppose for students too, who don't follow the path you've tried to steer them to, that will give them an easier route now as well as later in life.)
    And as a matter of fact, last night in the circular conversations I had with my son, there were several times when I really wanted to take a ballpoint pen and stick it in his ear for him -or else in mine -and see if it would/could hit pay dirt there -eventually!

  3. heartinsanfrancisco says:

    I sure dew hope they pays you a lott at that there fansy school you teech at coz iffn you projekt what the werld will be lik when these idjits r running it, it will mak you look fer a high bridj to jump off.

    If it makes you feel any better, Jocelyn, I have a friend who teaches Special Ed and she constantly complains that her students are "so dumb." When I suggest that perhaps that's the point, she simply repeats herself. Which has to make you wonder.

  4. lime says:

    the school is predicated on the business model where students are customers ergo always right? dear lord, i just felt a sympathetic spike in my blood pressure.

    c'mere. i'll share my favorite blanket which i RARELY share even with those whom i birthed. and make you a drink to aid your drifting off into a 3 hour nap.

  5. Shieldmaiden96 says:

    My aunt taught Art History at Gwynedd-Mercy College at one time and I used to sit at the kitchen table reading papers with her. I begged her to let me red-pen them. Or at least color in the vast paragraphs of plagarized material with a bright pink highlighter with 'YOU wrote this? REALLY??' in the margin.
    She never let me.
    This is why I do not teach; I lack the requisite patience and compassion.

  6. Jazz says:

    It's enough to drive a woman to drink, it is.

    Too bad you live so far… we could commiserate over our morons.

  7. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    I think the latter part of your essay should be required reading for all your students.

  8. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    I am SO glad I opted out of becoming an adjuct instructor. Let it out, let it flow, I've felt all those things and I believe with all my hear that student stupidity should be exposed and slapped into submission. There, I said it. And college isn't for everyone.
    As for your son, I have one who wants to sleep with us. I solved that by putting a sleeping bag on the floor beside our bed. He hates sleeping there and then returns to his own bed. Point? Mama!

  9. chelle says:

    ahh how I understand vivid imaginations … blessing and a curse.

    I think all professors feel this utter frustration at students at any given time. My husband teaches only those for MAJOR in his subject 2nd, 3rd year students that cause him much dismay at times.

    I totally think writing. blogging. great therapy. Getting it out.

    Love the phrase thought vomit! hehe

  10. Midlife Jobhunter says:

    I think many of us dream of teaching college students. I do. But often we forget that the freshman English classes are infiltrated with students who HAVE to be there. Who just want to pass the class. A friend who conducted her own classes online found much joy in working with those who wanted to learn how to write. Your pain in this venture is appreciated.

  11. Joan Azarva says:

    I can identify with everything you expressed. I am a community college adjunct, and for many years, I was an adjunct AND the only Learning Specialist (for students with disabilities).

    The situation is complex at community college b/c it is considered low cost/low risk. Well, it's not low risk if you don't attend class or go for help when you need it.

    I think parents feel CC is a good option for their kids to stay on their insurance plan when the kid is not not sure what he wants to do. I wish parents would realize that students have to WANT to go to college to succeed. Learning doesn't occur by osmosis.

    I agree with you– college is a business. A business, however, would have a structured program for which LD students would have to apply and pay,to increase retention. Only one CC that I know of does this. WHY? Because I believe the "business" side of them doesn't want to be too closely associated with LD, despite the fact that those are the students they're attracting en masse anyway.

    For parents of HS students with learning differences

  12. secret agent woman says:

    I get it, even though I'm in a different field. I had to bite my tongue hard today not to say "What the hell do you think I've been telling you for the last several months??" when someone's married boyfriend strangely wouldn't commit. And not in a moral judgment way, just in a a purely logical how-could-this-go-well-for-you way.

  13. ds says:

    Where to start? With the blessing/curse (mostly blessing) of a six-year-old's hyperactive imagination?
    With your classrooms full of "Tiffanys"? Sorry but I do love that Death Person sentence–it is perfect in its irreality.
    Or with this: "the inability and unwillingness of a populace to do its best work…" Raise your standard, hold it high, and keep it there. Because if teachers like you–the ones who care–lower the bar to suit "the suits," none of your students will ever know that it is possible to soar.
    I stand, applauding, an ovation of one.

    Holler when your arms get tired…

  14. jess says:

    My favorite little brother just finished his first term at community college and he was nervous (we did not grow up in an atmosphere that encouraged education) but I kept telling him he was going to be great because he's so, well, non-idiotic compared to the majority of his classmates.

    He works hard and does what the instructors ask him to and even gets creative and has fun with assignments, for criminy's sakes. I wish I could put him in a box and send him to you for a semester.

  15. geewits says:

    I hope it helped to "get it out there." Blogging always does that for me. Vent it and it's gone. Your post really got me to thinking about my junior college years. I had a few teachers that disliked me on sight and adored me by the end of the semester. I used to wonder about that and wonder what changed and when it changed. I think you gave me the answer: Effort. I was always gung ho about projects and assignments and always went all out. I was always an enthusiastic student and relished learning new things. Maybe that's all it took to cause those teachers to discard whatever first impressions they had. Thanks for the insight.

  16. Becky Cazares says:

    What a hilarious post! Had me laughing almost 'til I cried. But so sad, too. Yes, community college is likely where you find the widest variance between serious students and slackers but, if it's any consolation, we have our share of dumb ones at state college, too. Often I suspect I have received a good grade on a paper ONLY because I'm one of the few students capable of writing in complete sentences!

    You have given me a glimpse into the grading lives of my poor instructors and I am astonished at their/your patience with this entitlement generation. Kids who think because their incoherent ramblings filled up the requisite five pages, they "should" get an A on the paper. I *SO* admire the profs who take the time to point out my errors – because even at age 53, I do make some! That means they're being consistent with their grading. Yay!

    Who forgot to tell these kids that an education is EARNED, not bestowed? That passing a class isn't the same as grasping the material. That real life is made up of a whole lot MORE than what's on the test?

    I have to admit, that it occasionally slips into my thinking pattern – that I don't really have to put all THAT much effort into an assignment because I really only have to do better than the dumb ones to get a decent grade! Most of the time I truly try to make enough of an effort so that I learn whatever the assignment was designed to teach.

    Too many of my classmates have what I call the "make me" mentality. Every syllabus notes the course requirements and stipulates that points will be lost if they don't attend class regularly. This is because if it only said "regular attendance is recommended," most students would answer, okay, make me! Make me care, make me put forth the effort, make me actually learn something from this class/assignment. Thus rubrics were born. And "participation points" were invented. And class grades are "curved." And the truly smart students get dumped in with the mediocre ones who simply have learned to make an effort. So sad.

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