Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dirty Looks, Snow Days, and Other Bits of Fluff

Oh my god, I've never gotten such dirty looks from my students after an exam! Several of them were seen to either glare at me and roll their eyes or even mumble in response to my "have a good weekend!", "Um, I'll...try..."

But this is what I've come to expect from the new breed of students who blame their professors for the fact that they haven't done the reading or taken notes during the lectures. Quick hint, little dudes: when I talk about the genre of a certain CT and write "romance" on the board and then define it? That's not just to work out my left hand. It's not just so I can feel the intense tactile pleasure of chalk on skin. I'm not Prof. Dickens - I do not get paid by the numbers of words I write!

I have a new word for these students: baby-slackers. They slack, but they're infantile about it. If you're gonna slack, then do it. Own it. Accept that it was your decision to slack and not something forced on you by...me, for instance. Of course, there's the usual cadre of students who ace the exam because they studied and they rock and they're smart (or at least thorough) and they're the reason I still love to teach.

In other news, we had a snow day yesterday (as did so much of the Eastern seaboard - I could be anywhere! Mwahahahahaha!) - but, even better than the fact that I now only have to teach once this week before jetting off to sunny, tropical Dutchmanlandia for Spring Break on Friday: TD was trapped here for an extra day this weekend! So, yesterday we went to the diner for breakfast, went to some friends' house to hang for a little while, graded, ate leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and went to see a movie. Joy.

I've accepted the fact that my life is largely boring at the moment and highly unblogable. "Pulling at the plow" is not a fun topic for a blogpost, but that's what I'm doing. Oh, I had an article rejected, but in a very nice way, so I'm sending it out again with no muss, no fuss. I'm convinced that this was because the day before I had not recommended another article for publication for another journal - bad karma! Oh well, that's wackademia...


What Now? said...

I really needed to read this post tonight. I've had not one, not two, but THREE plagiarism cases in the last three weeks, and apparently when all three of the students went separately to the Disciplinary Committee, each of them said that they couldn't talk to me with their difficulties in the because I'm just so intimidating. I was quite distressed about this earlier today, until a colleague pointed out to me that most students aren't mature enough to say, "Yeah, I didn't go to Dr. Now because I always wait until the last minute and can't be bothered to burn any calories for this course." So that made me feel a little better, but it was distressing to be blamed for their dishonesty. (Not that the DC took this approach, you understand.)

Sisyphus said...

Yay! you're back! I want to hear about pulling the plow! Can't you hitch up your lazy students and have them pull this mysterious "plow" for you? I would!

And how do you have a "nice" article rejection? Such a thing is not possible! Explain?

Have fun in the snow!

Belle said...

Yay! You're back! And it's funny that you write this today, the very day that my colleagues and I were bemoaning this very thing! Baby-slackers, lying slackers (oh yes, there are definitely too many of those chez moi), too few honest slackers. Not that they're particularly welcome either.

We had some similar reflections: the pathetic vocabulary and writing are because they don't read (anything, apparently); we're now seeing the students who are coming out of 'yay for effort, everybody gets cheers for trying and quality isn't important' generation, they don't read and they think a university education is (or should be) a training for BugPoo career and that is all. Math, gen ed, philosophy? Not needed for BugPoo-ing.

Phul Devi said...


That's all -- like everyone else, I've missed you!

Flavia said...

. . . so I can feel the intense tactile pleasure of chalk on skin. . .

Mmm, baby! Chalk on skin! Love how it gets into all the grooves in my fingers and just STAYS THERE. Gives me a little thrill all day long.

Oh, wait--were you saying something?

* said...

I was so grateful to read this post that I nearly cried...thank you for raising this topic! I've been so frustrated lately with this very issue. I even have some people who haven't bought the book for class...and acted kind of affronted that I'd dare ask them about bringing the book to class because, you know, it's *expensive*.

This Ro(a)mantic Life said...

Thank you for this post. I think it's that time of the semester -- my students are showing their overdeveloped sense of entitlement to good grades and it's beginning to get to me. They're in for a bit of a shock when they get their first papers back next week ... after which I am running away on spring break where they can't reach me. Except by e-mail. And I can be much firmer by e-mail when I have time and privacy to think about how to word responses that would otherwise come out poorly in spoken form.

Earnest English said...

As others have said: yay you for being back! But yay you for this post and the most excellent term: babyslackers. I am dealing with this in one of my courses. It was pretty clear to me that few had read for the day so I gave a pop quiz. I have never read so many answers that were totally full of BLEEEEEPPP in all my life. I appreciated the slackers who owned their slackitude and didn't bore me with their made-up answers, a la "Uh, I think he died because everyone dies. It was just his time." Uh yes, and it had nothing to do with those shots that rang out in the night. Good call, idiots.

I also got notes on the quiz that said: "now I know to read the stories." Uh, what do you think the schedule was all about? Just an idea of how you should spend your time? F***ers!!!!

I hate reading quizzes. I heart reading quizzes. Oh by the way, we're having a quiz tomorrow. And the course meeting after that. Until I'm no longer pissed. Which may be never.

Ooops. I think I just spewed venom on your lovely blog. Just sayin' i hear ya, sista! Them there students are LAAAAAAA-ZEEEEEE. (1 out 25 students who showed got a 5 out of 5 on my reading quiz.)

In better news, my verification word is champay, which clearly means i should be drinking and clinking a toast. To MW!