Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Abe From Ass Licker College - POW! (Pinata of the Week.)

A number of folks wanted a crack at Abe, but there's only so much time and so many sticks for the pinata, folks. So, let us enjoy the flava below:

Here's what's wrong with your college:

Your professors are weak-balled, weak-willed, and idiotic. At my own school we had to do away with the A+ grade because too many students were, uh, earning it (read: too many profs had their scared heads up their asses and adoringly plopped down A+ grades on the shit our students regularly turn in).

The point of college is not to have all the profs and students in silent, sycophantic, pathetic collusion with each other, but all too often, that's what happens. Profs and students agree to a sort of ridiculous detente: we will grade like you're in pre-school ('Look, he made a doody in the big kid toilet!!! Let's have a party!!!') if you agree to 'grade' us like we're your pre-school aides ('She made class so fun and easy, it was like I didn't even have to attend and could still manage to have fun doing the two book reports she required!!! She even let me use Wikipedia as my one outside source!!!').

Some profs are tired - teach 7, 8, 9, 10 (lower level) classes a year every year and get totally burnt out - and have a modicum of an excuse for poor conduct in the classroom. Some profs are frightened of you. They have PhDs or the equivalent but that doesn't mean they have a clue about how to teach, how to be a presence in the classroom, or how to deal with the realities of a bunch of 18-22-year-olds, many of whom should never have gone to Sleep Away School Year Camp (aka, your college and many others).

Two ideas for you, my friend.

One: the best way to get over on your professors is to fuck up their inane plans by actually learning something, particularly if you learn something beyond the boring, narrow, safe, pathetic confines of their intended curriculum. Don't get over on your profs by doing as little as possible and then bragging about how little you did for your A or B+. Fuck them up by doing ALL the reading and then reading more - from the footnotes, citations, or bibliography. Bring them totally proofread, spellchecked papers that you actually wrote and edited several days before their due dates (and for fuck's sake, turn them in on time). Spend time thinking about how ideas meet, synthesize, go together, and diverge...think about how big ideas apply to your own circumstances, to people unlike you, to other times and places.

Two: seek any and all classes where A grades are not guaranteed. Going for the A grades is weak-balled. Maybe the 'A' translates into 'student already knows everything.' What a dumb waste of your money and time then. Take the classes where you can't predict the grade, where you know you will have to think, learn, create ideas, write and reason well, etc.


Okay, first off Abe, I count no fewer than eleven spelling errors in your little rant. This is not to mention the number of times you use a lower case "i" when you need a capital one. There are also some usage errors; for example, you write "ban together" but the correct expression is "band together."

Do you realize how your readers will be disinclined to take you seriously when your writing is so full of careless mistakes? It also seems that you have not really applied yourself as a student very effectively if you can't even be bothered to learn basic spelling and grammar. This makes me think the problem is not with your instructors, but with you.

Here is what you need to do: Grow up, stop your whining and finger-pointing, do your work and make a goddamned effort; maybe this will address your boredom. You feel like you have time on your hands and aren't "challenged" precisely because you're not putting the requisite time into your studies, and by your own admission are doing the bare minimum to get by; this is all too evident from your sloppy, poorly-written rant. How dare you blame this on your school or your teachers! In reality, your teachers are probably just fine. But you: you're an underachieving slacker. Grow a damn pair of balls. It's not too late. You can change; but it will take some effort.


Number 1: By the time you're in college, the quality of your education is dependent entirely on yourself. You're not limited to reading what's on the syllabus. A lot of professors include optional readings - go ahead and read them. Or go ask for more to read on a topic you're interested in. Go to office hours and talk about them. Try to get other students to talk about them. Hell, talk to other students about education, in general. Try to change the way they approach school. If you want to learn how to write better, get together with a buddy and critique each others' papers. (A surprising number of students think doing this is cheating, unless they have been told explicitly to write this way. These same students don't cite their sources. Go figure.)

Number 2: Personally, I don't think my students are idiots. However, there is a huge gap between what they learned in high school, and what they are expected to know in college. Most profs/TAs have a full course worth of material to get through, which doesn't leave us time for grammar, writing mechanics, and library skills. We think you should already know this - but let's be honest, most of you have never been taught, which makes the whole thing slightly unfair. So let's take the easy road and blame the system.

Number 3: Most of the folks I know would rather die than look at RMP. A lot of us get frustrated with our campus evaluations, because even though we genuinely care about our students and our teaching, the poor evaluations never include any constructive criticism.