Is it Summer Yet?
Because I am THIS close to seriously injuring my students.
Today was not a good day. For starters, I had to read these two sentences. In one paper. I have crowned these two sentences: The most poorly written sentences, EVER:
Feeling guilty about the event as well as being poor in the fact that her parent-in-laws owned and funded the house that she lived in as well as paid her bills, Claire came to the realization that having a baby would not be a good ideal financially-wise as well as the fact of how disappointing it would be to the family to find out that she had sex with her deceased husband’s brother and harbored a child by him.
In viewing this video it made me realize that the issue of abortion is a two-edge sword type situation: one who is pro-life would argue that abortionist try to play gob, but on the other end of the spectrum it can be argued that it says primarily in the Bible that god gives us choices, So a lot of the arguments made for and against abortion are religiously filled more so than morally (in my opinion.)
Okay, first things first. A good friend of mine, who happens to be an excellent writer and in fact should have her own blog (hint, hint!) said that people should not be allowed to use words they don't quite understand. Agreed. And then some. The last time I checked, pregnant women do not harbor fetuses. People harbor fugitives. And maybe secret grudges.
Next: I am beginning to wonder if any middle schools in the U.S. teach about run-on sentences because never in my life have I seen so many run-on sentences as the number of run-on sentences I have seen in the past semester which reminds me of this thing I saw on Oprah the other day called "Schools in Crisis" which brings me back to my point about run-on sentences that I think schools are no longer teaching about and also I have concerns that my brain cells die a painful, shrieking death with every run-on sentence that I read and my own writing just gets worse and worse and worse and worse. (I really hope you realize this last sentence was a parody.)
On to worst sentence ever written Part Deux: Who, exactly, is gob? Is this who Tom Cruise worships? That would explain a lot. Also, I like how the student capitalized the Bible - she seems to know that much. But even when gob transforms into god, still no capitalization there. Maybe gob and god are brothers who, for reasons unknown to us humans, don't like their names capitalized?
That was just one paper. THEN we had class. The end of the semester is nearing, and students are officially panicking. I may have mentioned at least once or twice that my students have to write FOUR reaction/review papers about speakers or videos. Since the beginning of the semester, I have given them the following "reaction opportunities":
- Clips from the movie Kinsey (a must-see, AND Liam Neeson was robbed by the Academy if you ask me)
- The first vignette in the HBO home movie If These Walls Could Talk
- American Experience: The Pill (a PBS documentary)
- a lengthy clip from And the Band Played On
- a video I borrowed from the university called Labor of Love, that shows - you guessed it - a real birth
- A very old Dateline episode about the case of John-Joan and Jade Cox - individuals with "gender issues" (to say the least)
- I had a panel of gay, bisexual and transgender students speak to the class about their coming-out stories
- I had Dr. L. (who inspired the "White Witch" paper written by Inappropriate Sister) come speak about birth control
- I had my advisor come do a fantabulous presentation about sexually transmitted infections
- I had another colleague come do a presentation on the human sexual response cycle
- I have also shown a few CNN news clips about various topics - female circumcision, sexual dysfunction, all really upbeat, fun stuff like that.
And at the end of class today, I had half a dozen students crowding around me, wanting to know if I had planned at least FOUR speakers/videos beween now and the end of the semester because they hadn't done any of their reaction papers yet. The class meets EXACTLY four more times. I have scheduled the last class as a review for the final. One of the students (male) was borderline indignant with me!!! "Well, what am I supposed to DO if there aren't four more speakers or videos?" Since saying, "I dunno. Bite me, I guess," didn't seem very professional, I went with the standard answer I use when I don't know what to say, "Let me think about it."
And guess who was one of the other ones in line whining about not having completed enough reaction papers? Inappropriate brother. Who also asked me, "Do you have a grade book you carry with you?" Why, yes. Yes, I do. My whole life is nothing but you and this class and personally, I never leave home without it. Our university has an online grading system, which I use as my only gradebook. Cuts down on paper AND students can check it regularly so there should be no unpleasant "end of semester surprises." Well, I got quite the unpleasant surprise when Inappropriate Brother told me today (after he woke up from his hour-long nap) that he had not been able to access the online gradebook for quite some time now and didn't know how he was doing in the class. This is not good news. Inappropriate Brother, as it happens, is borderline FAILING my class. He is hovering in the D- range (which is what happens when you choose to use the Bible as your textbook in my class, instead of the actual, how should I put it? TEXTBOOK!) which might as well be an "F." I have been suffering under the delusion that he has been aware of this and alas, no. I expect that when he does finally figure out how to break that crack web of security that surrounds the university website and looks at his grade, I will be on the receiving end of a torrent of badly written, poorly-spelled e-mails explaining why he needs to not fail my class. I will keep you posted.
And last, but not least: A little lesson for anyone in school: Speaking for all college instructors everywhere, I can say with some confidence that if you want your instructor to make some kind of special exception for you, it is in your best interest to not ASK for that exception in front of the entire class. Because you have put your instructor on the spot, and the answer will be "no." And also? College is supposed to be hard, you whiny little fuckers and it's not my problem. Female student says at the end of class today: "I have THREE finals on the same day as this one, so I need to take this final another day." Well, you know what? I NEED to not have cystic acne all over my face right now. I also NEED three months off from paying my bills.
I'm not sure when or how this happened, but apparently, college is the new Club Med. Just ask, and you shall receive. Don't study. Don't go to class. Don't stand for a stressful finals week. You deserve MORE. You're paying (or your parents are) for this education, so you should be treated like you're on a four-year vacation. Somethin' got ya troubled? Just complain! We'll fix it. The last thing we want is for you to have to strain your brain cells. That would be bad.
I managed to refrain from such a sarcastic outburst and said something about the department chair being pretty clear on not giving alternate finals. That is true, but I was still flabbergasted. I have 50 students in that class. I imagine that means there could be 49 other students who would rather take my final at a more convenient time. You take a final. You don't schedule it like a tee-time. But I was even more taken aback by her reaction: It was the same reaction I've seen people have in stores when the sales associate doesn't understand the return policy. She was pissed. At me. And clearly thought I was really quite the idiot. She spoke to me slowly and clearly like I was just a little bit on the slow side: "But. What. Am. I. Supposed. To. Do? (Long pause coupled with evil stare). I have another final right. before. this. one. (Now extra-evil hexing-stare). There is a chance I'll be LATE for your final." I told her that was fine, and then I got the hell out of that classroom as soon as I could, looking over my shoulder all the way back to my office. I'm scared.