Too Tired to Be Really Mad
Guess what, folks? I have the answer to the question: Why do students think my class is going to be the easiest A they've ever earned? Even when I say, sternly and repeatedly on the first day of class, "Students in this class seldom earn As." (Like the trick with my vocabulary? Back when I was a NOVICE novice (now I'm an "advanced beginner" as we used to say in gymnastics - wait - maybe I have that wrong. Too tired to care), I would say, "Students don't often GET an A in this class." Now I use the word EARN. Pretty tricky, huh?)
My course is actually required for a few majors at the university. And apparently, every. single. academic advisor in a few of these programs tells students, "It's a totally easy A. It's exactly what you'd expect a sex class to be." Question: What DOES one expect a sex class to be? Dirty jokes and dirty movies? I honestly have no idea. However, the students who have friends who have taken the class get the real dirt: It ain't easy at all. Or to quote one of my students, "Yeah, I heard you've got to like read and write and stuff." (Bless their wee hearts).
I don't want to immediately make assumptions - and I won't - but CRIMINEY! Are academic advisors really encouraging their students to take this class as an "Easy A"? I worked in the advising center this summer - and we were told repeatedly: NEVER tell a student ANY class is "an easy A." You may not know a particular instructor's requirements, you don't know a student's interests or strengths or weaknesses. It's almost a guaranteed method of creating a bad situation.
I know the academic advisors in one of the departments - they all have master's degrees in college student personnel or counseling and they all seem like reasonable people.
I've heard almost universally this past week from all of my students (in one particular department) that this class (not just my section) is touted as "The easiest A you'll ever get". No wonder I get whiny, bitchy evals complaining that my class was "too hard" and "way too much work."
Now: The question: How - if I bother to take this on - do I find out what (if anything) the academic advisors are telling students without coming across like I'm super-sleuth or offending some very nice, very hardworking people who are just trying to make a difference in the world and get paid a little something at the same time? And I'm so loopy right now I just realized something else: I guess, who cares? Because even if I went in with colors flying, I have no control over what anyone says to any student once I'm out of the room. Actually, I don't have control of what anyone says when I'm in the room. On the other hand, I feel a bit as though I'm the victim of false advertising. Unless I'm deluding myself (entirely possible) and all students complain about the amount of work in any given class.
I'm off to bed - I'll leave it up to you to solve and I expect an excellent answer in the morning! Ta!