Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Name That Prof!

Disgruntled Students Speak Out!

It is no secret that many characters in this little blog-o-world make their careers plying the waters of Academe. Our job is to educate all of those who grace our classrooms, and I think most of us do a fair job of it. What do we get in return, aside from our massive salaries and endless perks and kickbacks? Our ungrateful little students take the time to rave about our teaching at

Reading their comments really gives me pause. I take every one of them very seriously, and I adapt my teaching to match their rants. After all, the students who fail our classes because their parents are actually cousins are exactly the ones we want to be judged by.

So I decided we would have a little test. Let's see who can match the RateMyProfessors entry with the appropriate SailRunClimbRide personality. To the winner: one pair of soon-to-be-retired (387 miles) Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7 runnings shoes, size 11 (you pay shipping and handling):

The Professors
1. GVB
2. The Colleague
3. Al Bangorhard
4. CAG
5. AW
6. RPD
7. MathDude

The Reviews
A. " awesome prof. talks about random stuff to prove a strange point such as making paper airplanes for 10 min to prove some point that was lost in the process."

B. "...willing to give help but then have a quick temper. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY OR DO IN CLASS, wants you to be in totall focus, if not, your gonna hear some things you have not heard from other teachers."

C. "...just a jerk about everything. i really didn't get anything out of this class and the teacher wasn't helpful at all."

D. "...tells us everything we ever learned was wrong...chooses a retarded theme for a hard class and expects to only spend time on this class stuff so assigns a butt load of crap assignments and then grades you horribly. grr."

E. "...NOT recommended. The average grade in this class is, 69%, 1.4 gpa, or considered a d+. That says it all."

F. "...seems to grade based on opinion only. Very little if any feedback is given on formal papers. When you get your paper back, there is no rhyme or reason given for your grade...doesn't tell you why you lost points on any given paper. You just receive the final grade. All our assignments were VERY feminist in nature."

G. "...the worst teacher at this clear as Charlie Brown's teacher....You will only enjoy this class if you are a masochistic english geek. You have been warned."

Happy matching.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Back to the Factory

Spring Break has come and gone. I hope my students had as much fun as I did...Just as I was starting to get used to having the "out of office" auto-reply on, just as I was starting to forget the horror of the previous term, I had to face reality and fire up the CupertinoBookPro and get ready for the next 11 weeks of horror. Though I am sure this will be the quarter where everything goes perfectly and my students are engaged and deeply interested in learning about writing and critical thinking.

My InBox was full of wonderful news and joy. I stand to earn 15 million dollars just for letting the son of a wealthy Saudi oil man use MY checking account to store some money while he travels. I check my account daily. I also have several offers to cure my baldness AND my erectile dysfunction at the same time. These herbal remedies are amazing. The Colleague waits by the door for the discretely wrapped packages to arrive.

And this gem from Forgettable Former Student in The Back Row:

i read the syllabus and it said all major assignments must be turned in in order to pass the class and i did turn in every major assignment. beside, my conference was at 9:30, i came 10-15 minutes late and someone else was already in your office and i'm pretty sure conferences were supposed to be 30 minutes long each. i don't drive and i have to baby sit and work and go to school at the same time. that means my schedule always have to fit my family's schedule so they could take me to school, work, and such. but most of the time things don't work out. if everyone in my family have to work on certain days and are not free to take me to school, that means i cant go to school. i know you wouldn't believe this, but i can provide proof. i really tried to make it to the conference, but i'm terribly sorry i was late, but i wasn't expecting that someone would be in my spot when i make it there. i was also waiting outside, but people kept coming in and i don't blame them because it was their appointments. im also a running start student so i have to be at my high school frequently. what i'm trying to say is that it is extremely hard for me to go around and make it to school everyday. that is why i only take online and hybrid classes (eventhough the only place that i can easily be at to have access to the internet is my aunt's house). so when i actually get the chance to be at school to attend another conference, you weren't in your office. i also emailed you a copy of my draft and you said you would read it and tell me what you think but you never replied me so i had no idea how i did on my first draft. with all due respect, i'm just trying to tell you that i really tried my hardest. participation points are worth 10%, and i looked at the grade book and i saw that most of the discussions that i participated in, i got an above average score, so i didn't think it would hurt me that bad. i agree with you that my final paper killed me, but greg, i had no idea how i did on my draft. please just give me a chance, this class is extremely important to me. failing it also means that i won't be able to graduate from high school. please, if you want me to rewrite my whole paper, i will do it, just give me a day. only 1 day, i will do anything. i respect your decision but please reconsider this. trust me i tried really hard, but this is life and my background and my family sometime make it really hard for me. please, give me another chance, i really want to graduate in june. i will do whatever it takes. i just need at least a 2.2. that's all i'm asking for. i also tried calling you, but apparently you won't be back until the 7th, and that will be too late for me to do anything. if you have the time please write me back, or you can even call me. my number is ________. i have a story, i have hardships, and i have a lot of explanation, and i'm also asking for a chance. please let me know.

Yes folks, this is our student body at its finest. I sure hope her sisters and cousins are in my class this term!

As I liquor up for the first day of classes and get ready for my students to miss every point and over-simplify every concept to the point of using "Jackass" as a "perfect analogy," I leave you with this:

Introduction To Poetry
Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Are You A Douchebag?

The Colleague and I are freshly returned from San Francisco. It was an educational experience. And by educational, I mean that our time in the city reaffirmed things we already knew about people we don't like...

  1. If you are in your early 20s and you walk around with your Powerbook talking about how "killer" your new startup graphic art studio is, YOU ARE A DOUCHEBAG.
  2. If you wear white size XXL button down shirts with lace adornment and the cuffs turned up, YOU ARE A DOUCHEBAG.
  3. If you drive a Ford F-250 with chrome wheels and a lift kit, YOU ARE A DOUCHEBAG.
  4. If you don't realize that it is 2008 and calling two men "fags" is not only NOT offensive but illustrative of your deeply seeded homosexual fantasies, YOU ARE A DOUCHEBAG.
  5. If you have any sticker on your truck that expresses your support of our current president, YOU ARE A DOUCHEBAG.
  6. If you are over 30 and have a MySpace page which you actively update, YOU ARE A DOUCHEBAG.
  7. If you are the two dudes sitting in front of us on Alaska Air flight #333 from San Francisco to Seattle on March 31st, YOU ARE MOST DEFINITELY DOUCHBAGS.
That is all.