Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Augh, papers.

So, as part of Writing Across The Curriculum or some such mandate, we have our non majors gen bio students write papers.

This is more of a pain than it's worth, save for the fact that maybe 10% of them learn something from me about grammar or structuring an argument (the ones who pay attention to my comments and don't just roll their eyes over how "mean" I am).

Anyway, here's today's crop:

1. fewer than half the papers were stapled. "I couldn't find a stapler." "I don't own a stapler" (Um, hon? They're not expensive. Especially not compared to the iPhone you're diddling with during class time. And yes, I see you back there playing with yourself phone).

2. Several came in printed very faintly. "The printer in the lab next door is running out of toner! YOU NEED TO GET MORE TONER!" Um, yeah. I'll do that right in between all my other duties. You could always, I don't know, call computer support, who are the people whose JOB it is to take care of the printers and who ACCEPT CALLS FROM STUDENTS. And I know you have your phone with you, I saw you playing with it during class.

3. Several people e-mailed them to me, rather than bothering to print them out. So I can print them out and staple them. And then they come to me and ask, in a great tone of concern: Did you get my paper? Yes, I did. Check your e-mail in class rather than texting your friends and you'll see.

4. One person emailed me that she was LIKE, REALLY SICK and couldn't make it to class, could she bring her paper to the next meeting? I emailed her back and said, "I really need to get these graded this afternoon, can you email me a copy?" (I mean, everyone ELSE does). Have not heard back. I assume this means paper is not done.

5. Had another person claim printer failure (in another lab) but that they'd e-mail it to me after class, HONEST. They actually did, so that means they actually had it done, rather than what I assumed.

AND: one person, this is the first (of three) papers she's turned in, totally did not follow the format I told them. There is no literature cited. There are no citations in the paper. And this is the Queen of Butthurt (seriously, she rolled her eyes at me when I told her she couldn't hand the last paper in over a week late, because NO LATE PAPERS is class policy). I can't wait to see how she responds to the low grade and the explanation as to why.

I also had someone - the other day - drop the phone they were texting on (holding it on their lap where it was harder for me to see) on the floor. I just looked at them with the giant stinkeye and they got embarrassed and didn't pick it back up until class ended. I also had someone open a book of essays in class today and start reading so I turned off the lights whenever I showed a table or figure or diagram. And I had Hungover Guy ask if I could make the room cooler. And my two Basketball Girls started having a loud convo, I stopped and stared at them until they shut up (for a while)

As much as I hate the idea of online teaching, you know, it might be easier in some ways? At least all the things that annoy me in class I would not actually see.

And if you get the idea from this post that I REALLY HATE CELL PHONES RIGHT NOW, you would be correct. Or rather, I hate the fact that students now feel entitled to play with their cell phones if the class isn't 100% entertaining and to their liking. Dammit, if I had Lady Gaga's talent for being shocking, I'd be making Lady Gaga style wages.

1 comment:

Heroditus Huxley said...

My university has (for the most part) stopped trying to apply WAC. Our writing director discovered that none of the other departments were willing to cooperate, and that even when they did, it didn't do any good in either it's stated or unstated* purpose.

(The unstated purpose--which our director actually articulated--was that finding out how hard it was to teach writing and grade papers would shut other departments up when it came to criticizing the English department for not teaching students how to write perfect papers in two sixteen week courses.)