Thursday, October 1, 2009

Communicator Connie from Connecticut Goes Old School.

I know you’re all Communication majors, but there are still things you need to learn outside your specialized sub-fields. Yes, even if you are going to be a broadcast news reporter, advertising professional, or PR wonk, you still need to know the history of the mass media, the various professions in the field, and how the media affect society. This is a university, not a trade school. If all you want to know how to do is play with Photoshop, try an art school; they’ll also make you learn some art history, but at least you won’t be bothering me! Do you really wanna be like the dumbass I had in my sociology course who had no idea the FCC and PBS were not the same? Oh, you thought they were the same too…

You were assigned a relatively straightforward (if not easy) assignment to learn 3 related terms, define them, and then apply them to examples you chose yourself. I have used it effectively in a variety of classes, yet at least 20% of you cannot do it properly. From the bile you spew at me after seeing your grades, you seem to think this assignment is beneath you…or is it just beyond you?

To wit, some flava:

Missy, Bette, Robby: The assignment was a paper. A list of bullet points constitutes NOTES, not AN ESSAY. Likewise, a college-level essay is supposed to be type-written, not hand-written. And, since I hadn’t specifically said it couldn’t be hand-written (a change I made in all future instructions), at the very least submit it on standard paper, NOT NOTE-CARDS!

Julie, Barton, Skeeter, etc: The assignment was for you to define the terms in your own words. Why then did you go to the Internet for definitions? I posted notes online to remind you of the definitions. Have you never had to define words? Has your education been so bankrupt that you cannot define a word without using a reference work? And, even worse, why didn’t you at least cite your Internet source? Not only have you failed, but I get to write you up for plagiarism. Yes, you must cite dictionaries and encyclopedias and glossaries. Why don’t you know that? I mean, I told you -- I even have a DON’T USE INTERNET SOURCES FOR YOUR DEFINITIONS clause in the instructions. Can’t you read? Or did you just think I wouldn’t know the difference between that expertly worded definition and the barely literate scrawl of the rest of your paper?

Todd: We spent a week practicing this assignment in class. I lectured one day, we practiced as a group on the second, and you practiced in small groups on the third. Remember when I chastised your group on day 3 because you were all goofing off? Why are you shocked then that you SWITCHED 2 OF THE TERMS? Dude, you got two-thirds of the assignment wrong simply because you didn’t take notes and refer to them when writing your paper. No, I won’t let you re-do the assignment. YOU DID IT WRONG. You failed.

Gil: The assignment specifically said to write in complete sentences, using proper paragraphs. That you indignantly yelled at me that I couldn’t take off points for you dropping a definition into the middle of a paragraph means you didn’t read the instructions. That in your next breath you also yelled at me for failing your dumbass buddy Todd reminded me you were also in the goof-off group. After you stormed out of the room when I refused to give you back the 3 FUCKING POINTS you lost for not writing out the definitions, I remembered why your wording looked so familiar: you copied the definitions straight from the notes I posted online for the class (notes sweet Toddy ignored). I should have failed you for plagiarism. Be grateful you kept your hard copy of the assignment.

Mouse: The point of the assignment was for you to explain why your example fit the term. You didn’t do that. At all. You didn’t even define the terms. You spent three-quarters of a page writing about nothing. You didn’t describe your example well; you didn’t connect it to the term. You just sort of rambled for lines and lines. You should have gotten zero points for that part, but I gave you some just to get you off my back. Yet, you filed a grade appeal. No good deed goes unpunished. In the future, I’ll be less lenient with pricks.

After the massive clusterfuck I've seen from assigning essays, I think I know why so many proffies LURVE multiple choice exams. Except the flakes bitch about them too. Every question is a TRICK QUESTION! Duh. That’s the point.