I’m a newcomer to the site but have thoroughly enjoyed the sarcasm, wit and good-natured philosophy so many folks are bringing to this site. I finally read a post that irked me, so I figured I’d jump in and muck around a bit too. What can I say, it looks like fun.
Here’s my recommendation (followed by my concerns): RYS’s Chief Correspondent (CC) should be demoted to the mail room (i.e. – disregard all future correspondences). A professor admitting that they “give ‘em what they want for their money” and are offended that “underachieving vodka-cooler guzzling teenagers” are evaluating their effectiveness was... shocking to say the least. Rather than holding students to high standards, arguing with your Department Chair or Dean, and taking a little slack as a “hard professor,” it’s much easier to take the lazy way out and give students grades rather than require them to EARN their grades.
Just to clarify, there is a real difference between giving and earning. Faculty members don’t “give” grades, students earn them. It’s also easier to insult them (which happens a lot on RYS) than engage them and figure out why they aren’t doing the assignments, why they’ve been absent, why they fall asleep in class, etc. How about a short, personal, (actual give a shit) conversation with them before you write off all college students?
CC is so concerned with how a seventeen year old (up through 22-year-olds I assume) could be qualified to evaluate their teaching abilities – YET they haven’t taken the time to critically assess the other skills that they may not bring to college. If they can’t (which I don’t agree with) evaluate our teaching, why have the expectation that they are going to arrive with excellent interpersonal communication skills, time management, professionalism, clarity with respect to future goals, and an innate desire to feverishly memorize and regurgitate enormous amounts of information for numerous classes in a setting that provides no real context for a daily schedule? APPARENTLY teenagers (who aren’t fit to mow lawns) should somehow arrive at college with all these other “academic” skills honed to perfection... and if they don’t and party (which I’m sure CC and none of the other professors have ever done), then they are “underachieving vodka-cooler guzzling teenagers.” Something is awry here.
Finally, I want to discuss the idea that because students enjoy Adam Sandler and have turned to Facebook to communicate with many of their friends and peers, that they ONLY enjoy dumb comedies and don’t read books. Is CC really a professor, or is this just a silly post to incite other professors like myself to write in... I don’t know. But, students are not dumb; they can read our body language, our eyes and the tone of our voice. They know when we’re being condescending, when we think their questions are pointless, and when we are judging them. Rather than chiding them for engaging in practices that you disapprove of, here’s a wild and crazy thought for you – why don’t you watch Adam Sandler, "American Idol," read a few People magazines (you know, lower yourself down to the level of the idiots) and figure out a way to bridge the gap between your high moral ground and the students sitting in your class waiting to be woken up by someone who actually gives a shit about them.
I’ll end with a famous quote from Billy Madison (you know, so I can whore myself out to the idiots that read this site and try and get a good evaluation):
No more studying! No more studying! No more studying! No more studying! No more studying! No more studying! I'm done studying! I'm done studying! I'm done studying!