Re: Syllabus Time

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It's not that I have no idea what to do. I just didn't want to necessarily color the solutions proposed by outlining potential ways of handling it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 11:40 AM
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Also, I'm being glib when I say I haven't done anything formal in the past. What tends to happen, though, is my formal accounting systems get rather useless about 2/3 of the way through the semester, as I get to know the students.

In other words, the shy kid who is forcing themselves to participate a lot ends up registering in my brain as a high participant, while the noisy kid who slightly takes the easy way out gets registered as doing so, as well. So the accounting systems never have those subtleties and I end up ditching them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 11:43 AM
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Put up a survey! Maybe have the students do a survey


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 11:46 AM
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What tends to happen, though, is my formal accounting systems get rather useless about 2/3 of the way through the semester, as I get to know the students.

This puts you ahead of me. Generally, I get overwhelmed with other things, and stop using the accounting system about 1/3 of the way into the semester. Then, at the 2/3rds mark, I think that I should actually do something about participation grades, and discover that I have a rough intuitive sense of who my students are, so I decide that I don't need to revive the formal system, except for a few students who show up rarely and I whose faces I never learned to associate with names.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 12:19 PM
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You could give a participation grade most simply by just calculating one divided by the number of days from the start of the term before you can connect a student's face with their name. This might be an unfair advantage to people with really unusual names or great big scars, but that probably just balances out some of the shit they may have taken earlier in life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 12:26 PM
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So is it justifiable to begin the semester without a formal system?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 12:31 PM
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At one point, I had a large (11"x17") piece of paper with all the students names on it, spaced out approximately the same way they tended to sit. I had a big counter in front of me (this was a chemistry classroom) so it fit on the counter next to me. Every time a student 'participated' in a positive way --asked a question, made an insightful comment, volunteered for an activity--I made a tick mark by their name, 2 if it was really good. Everytime they were negative or disruptive (these were 10th graders) they got an x. I kept this up for all of 3 or 4 weeks b/c I'm not very organized (hence I do not teach any more) but it worked well while I did it. I had to be careful to be subtle with the tickings and to fold the page up before any of them came up talk to me or use the board, so they couldn't see it.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 12:46 PM
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I keep trying to find different ways to integrate notes on participation with other things that I do, so that it is really little effort to make the notes or keep track of them. All my official grades are kept in the course management system where the student could access them, but maybe if I set up a separate database with their names, little bits of personal information and physical identifiers, and then notes about how often they volunteer, I could both get to know my students better and more quickly and have more objective participation grades. I bet this will seem like a good idea to me all the way through March this year.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 12:53 PM
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I had a teacher in tenth grade who gave an A, B, C grade for each student for each day of class, and posted them publicly (pinned up a sheet of paper on a bulletin board) at the end of class so you could go look at your grade and everyone else's. Her rubric was that the bulk of the class started at a B, went to an A for any significant participation and a C for any significant disruption. A select group of good kids got As for silence, which only dropped to B's for disruption. And one or two punching bags got mostly C's, regardless of silence, which could be pulled up to a B but never to an A. It was really hilariously unfair.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 12:53 PM
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We do the mandatory presentation thing where I teach. Other profs tell me that back in the day they used to try to have voluntary participation, but it was too subjective to assess, and you'd often end up with one or two people (or none) reluctantly contributing and the other 30 starting at you or their phones/laptops sullenly.

I also think there's a value in making them stand up themselves and see how it is from the teacher's perspective.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 1:20 PM
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I had an excellent seminar-style class where we were all supposed to have done the reading before class but two of us per session would have to write up a 2-page response to the reading that our classmates would also read and then the responding students would sort of be discussion leaders. If the responding students were unprepared, which happened, it was totally obvious.

If you tell everyone in your class to sign up for three class sessions where they will be the person who asks you questions or talks about three things they found interesting in the prep material, would something like that be enough to get the discussion that you need going? Having a schedule can help keep the pressure lower and also lets you evaluate a few students at a time rather than total participation over the semester. But I have no idea what sort of class this is.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 1:37 PM
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I remember overhearing a guy in my high school history class arguing with the teacher over getting a C in participation, which brought his overall history grade to a B. The conversation was quite involved and heated but basically went something like this:

student: "Ms. X, how can you give me a C? I talk every day in class!"
Ms. X: "I know. That's the problem."

I felt sorry for the kid on some level, since it sucks to get a bad grade in something you thought you were doing well in, and only figure it out once it was too late to do something about, but the teacher had a point, the kid was a jackass (little pretentious neocon in the making), and I'm glad she stuck to her guns.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 1:45 PM
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Accounting for participation always seemed like a lot of work to me, and counterproductive for encouraging the kind of exciting conversations I'd like to have in the classroom. In my experience, students who don't talk report, upon being asked, that they are intimidated or afraid of not sounding smart enough, not that they are insufficiently motivated by a ticking-off or point-based system. So I tell them that the participation grade is (depending on the course) 10% or 15% of the final grade, and it is determined in the following manner:

If you show up to all but 3 or 4 classes, come on time, seem engaged, and have something interesting and relevant to say most days, your participation grade will be set to reflect the same as your average grade for written work.

If you are consistently present, contribute more than once a day on most days, come having thought out the material at home, engage with classmates, and are a generally helpful person (sharing sources, organizing study groups, etc.), your participation grade will be used, if possible, to bump up your grade, especially if you're on the cusp of, say, a B+ rather than a B.

If you are absent often, silent, sleepy, poking at your phone, unhelpful, not generally up on the reading, whatever, then your participation grade is going to be used to bump you down--like a B- rather than a B.

That is, you're never going to fail or pass my class on the basis of participation, especially not on any particular day, and I really don't pull trigger #3 except for particularly egregious cases, but it seems to work, for the most part. Around the middle of the semester, I ask them to ask themselves what they can challenge themselves to do better for the rest of the semester, and it's usually a good time for everyone to start doing the readings a bit sooner, putting their hands in the air a bit more often.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 1:52 PM
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12: That really seems lousy of the teacher, if the kid wasn't literally being unmannerly (speaking out of turn or whatever). If she was calling on him, or not telling him to be quiet, than dinging him for overparticipation is rotten.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 1:54 PM
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The only exception to my 13 is that I won't bump someone to an A- from a B+ if their written work doesn't reflect A-range quality. It's usually not possible to use participation to bump someone that close to the A range, but I can imagine it happening. Since I work in a literature department, I am pretty careful about not letting A's slip through without really consistent strengths in writing.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 1:58 PM
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14: It sounds rotten to me too, but it's possible that his participation was also shitty. Quality should matter too, right? I frequently have motormouth students who are almost constantly responding to direct questions with, "Oh hey, Professor, you know what I want to do after college? Can you guess? Hey Professor!" It does not make one think of a student as someone who is meaningfully participating.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 2:00 PM
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Bleg: Our building secretary sent out forms to five of us. All the men's forms were labelled Dr. So-n-so, and the two women's forms were labelled Ms. So-n-so. And the other women is in fact a lecturer who does not have her PhD.

What's the appropriate way to respond without shitting all over a hapless secretary who was not trying to be a jerk, and is also 15 years my senior? Just let it go?

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Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 2:56 PM
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Send it back with "Ms." crossed out and "Dr." written in. I don't think you should let it go completely.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:00 PM
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It's an email attachment - there were five attachments, one for each of us.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:02 PM
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I think you do need to say something. You can couch it an all kinds of nicey-nice, but it has to be said.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:03 PM
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That just seems weird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:03 PM
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21 to 19.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:04 PM
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You can go on about not being offended, totally not a big deal this time, bla bla, but point out that you're really a stickler about using the title for both men and women, especially since you've noticed some students who tend not to use it for female professors.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:04 PM
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It is weird. I'm trying to figure out if there's some way the forms might have come from someone before her, and she just forwarded them on...they're renewal forms for professional membership orgs. But other things about it are very much in her style.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:05 PM
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Ok, then I will. It did irritate me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:06 PM
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17: "Ms! How dare you! I'm married and proud! I even told my mom!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:07 PM
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Would you have signed up for a professional membership organization without your title? That seems weird.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:07 PM
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Also in sexism, my friend had a note from her daughter's kindergarten class, laying around from before the break. It said:

"All girls should bring a GIRL book, and all boys should bring a BOY book, for the book exchange!"

It pissed me off way disproportionately that they have to be like that about books. Just let the boys read a book with a female protagonist, should they get one, and vice versa.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:09 PM
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What's the appropriate way to respond without shitting all over a hapless secretary

It's hard to answer the question when up front you rule out the only appropriate response.

I guess you could just shit all over her desk--she'd probably still get the message.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:09 PM
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27: I bet they asked explicitly for highest education attained, and then just first/last name, so they'd have all the pieces. And anyway it seems extra bizarre for the national math organizations to call me Ms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:10 PM
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"All girls should bring a GIRL book, and all boys should bring a BOY book, for the book exchange!"

Jesus. What the fuck does that even mean?

This makes me insane.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:11 PM
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While they are still giant douchebags, I'm starting to have some sympathy for those parents who didn't tell anyone their child's gender for several years. It seems to be practically a rite of passage when you're having a kid to get all appalled and pissed off about how gendered everything is now, but holy crap it's terrible.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:15 PM
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31: I guess it means most books are off-limits for the book exchange. If you don't have any books that are clearly boy or girl, you have to go get one. Heaven knows your face would be red if you show up with what you thought was a boy book and a girl has it too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:18 PM
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Do we know yet what Storm is? We could send s/he a Welcome To Your Gender care package!

The gender indoctrination is absolutely relentless, more seriously.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:18 PM
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I couldn't remember the kid's name - I was thinking Sky!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:19 PM
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I have named the child Stratocumulus in accordance with your wishes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:21 PM
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Yeah, the teacher's point was that quantity =/= quality, and participation was based on making meaningful contributions which were not offensive. So again, it sucks for the kid, but I don't think it's wrong to penalize someone for being consistently obnoxious in a class environment, especially because loud obnoxious kids are worse for total classroom environment than really silent kids.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:23 PM
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Actually, it appears the forms did come from the Math Association of America labelled that way, once I stopped to look more closely at the email.

Much easier email to send!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:40 PM
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The MLA does this to me, too. It's very puzzling: surely, if any organization should know that I have a PhD. . . . I wonder if there's some UChicago-style reverse snobbery going on in both cases?


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:46 PM
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You could call them MAAssholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:46 PM
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I always get email addressed to Dr. Hick. I assume they are just defensive and/or lazy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:48 PM
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28: Nia's school does that. I sent three books with animal protagonists, one from Nia and two with large GENDER-NEUTRAL post-its and blank gift tags for kids whose parents didn't or couldn't buy books. The harder part was finding books that cost less than $3 and I think I failed at that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 3:55 PM
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Just got the first report card from my kid's French middle school (in North America, but most definitely a French school). His grades are listed as X out of a possible 20 for each class, along with the class average AND the highest and lowest grade in each class. This is a follow up to the chart freely shown to his father and I at the parent-teacher conference showing his average grade thus far *along with the grades of every other child in his class, clearly labeled*. I knew this about the French school system, but it has been surprisingly disorienting to actually experience it in connection with children I know.

On the other hand, I am once again so incredibly thankful that we got out of the suburban paradise we were living in and moved to this deity-forsaken West Coast city when our kid was 3, I remember the completely bullshit policing/enforcing of gender norms in his suburban preschool, less than 50 miles away. What a nightmare.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:01 PM
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28 is so fucking ridiculous. I hate everything.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:15 PM
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No wait, let me add on. I was looking at a website selling baby clothes the other day. The banner at the top of the section of boy clothes said "fun boy styles for active crawlers." The banner for the girl clothes said "fresh styles for the season."


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:25 PM
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I always like it (that is, hate everything) when people post reviews for toys where you don't get to pick the color moaning about how their BOY got a hot pink ball, how awful, what is an eight month old BOY supposed to do with a PINK ball?!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:30 PM
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43: French education seems to combine an inspiring commitment to universality, a belief in a classic broad education, and a truly scary up-or-out, rank and yank competitive ethos. It turns out some great people*, but then I mostly meet grandes ecoles PhDs.

*tightly wound, though. like the copper wire in a 400KV transformer.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:33 PM
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Fuck it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:33 PM
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48 to 46, obvs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:34 PM
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49: I was thinking jam it up their parent's ass.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:35 PM
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Have I mentioned that the UK doesn't really have a concept of being top (or number x) in your class? There are special cases (I think the armed forces' academies do that, and I can't speak to the private education world) but it's not a thing.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:36 PM
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I don't like participation grades full stop, tbh, because I never quite got why they exist/always suspected that they probably rewarded kids who didn't really need rewarding.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:47 PM
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47: Very accurate observations. It is refreshing to see how personally proud his teachers are of their success in fostering a very strong sense of solidarity among the classmates in his year. Their willingness to use the word solidarity is itself a wonderful thing! However this comes in the same package as a culture of frank, public assessment of individual attributes and (lack of) achievements. We are very, very far from the "everyone is special! everyone gets an award!" tradition of UMC US parenting.

Also enjoying observing the increasing amount of effort directed at forming the students' sense of civic responsibility, explicitly aimed at producing proper citoyens/citoyennes, so that for example the maths teacher launches into a little soliloquy about the importance of learning to respectfully debate abstract principles.

Math instruction in French schools, btw, is *radically* different from that in US schools.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:52 PM
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I have never figured out a fair method that I could stand for more than a week, so I don't count participation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 4:54 PM
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When I have had participation points, I just took them away for unannounced/unexcused absences (also for sleeping/texting in class). Everybody who showed up and watched me got full points for participation.

But I haven't had any, the last couple of semesters, because I'm pretty sure that in my classes at least, it's not a thing I need to measure independently. People who aren't participating get crappy grades on everything else anyway because they didn't learn it.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:18 PM
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Participation grades for discussion based classes also introduce a level of collective accountability. Often someone's participation grade will go up, not because of their individual effort per se, but because they wound up in a group of people that worked well together and that dynamic encouraged useful contribution from other people. Further, it gave the instructor a general good feeling about the whole class, which brings up all of the more subjective grades.

I don't think this kind of collective accountability is good or bad. I just thing it is worth noting.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:28 PM
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A couple of people have mentioned sleeping or being sleepy in class. Is it really so bad if someone sleeps in class? Sometimes, people are really sleepy because they are busy (or have poor time management skills, or party too much, etc.), or they may have a sleep disorder. Although I can see how, as a speaker, that someone sleeping may seem like the person doesn't care enough to pay attention, but falling asleep is often not a willful decision that people make, but rather something that happens.

On the other hand, I find things like reading the newspaper, texting, or carrying on an aside conversation to be extremely rude to the instructor. These seem more like voluntary behaviors of not attending to a speaker.


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:48 PM
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I don't care why you're sleeping*, it's rude, and it's distracting. Go sleep in your bed if you're that tired. I'd much rather have you be absent than sleeping. You're not learning anything anyway, and now the rest of us don't have to pay attention to you.

*A documented sleep disorder where I know what's going on would be very different.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:54 PM
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I don't care much if someone sleeps during lecture. College students never get enough rest. But this is a class where all students are expected to be working at the board in small groups, or presenting to each other, and so it's not okay for someone to sleep.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:55 PM
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Also, whether or not the instructor cares, you don't get participation points for being asleep. You aren't participating.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:56 PM
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The thing is, I was completely unable to stay awake at about the 40 minute mark of nearly all my classes. I'd fight it unsuccessfully and snooze for about 5-10 minutes and then be alert for the last five minutes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:56 PM
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Of a lecture, at least. Not of small group work or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:58 PM
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The worst was a student who blatantly read a novel all through class one time. Why bother to show up at all? Go read in a more comfortable chair, you weirdo.

(I think I have a very different attitude about attention in class than hearing people do, because it's so immediately obvious whether or not someone is paying attention to me. When I have guest lectured to hearing students, or hearing audiences, it's really disconcerting to have no one be looking at me ever. This semester is gonna be weird.)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 5:59 PM
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I've never taught a class with more than 18 students, thus far, and they've all been either heavy discussion/practice classes or (last semester) language classes. So the setup is very different than a big long lecture.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:00 PM
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I really like pretending that 61 is about your classes that you teach.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:02 PM
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E. Messily: We have a deaf family member, and your story re: being given the Braille safety instructions card on airplanes was met with outright hilarity around the house. Appalling, but absolutely hilarious.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:02 PM
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That has happened to me more than once.

A friend wins though: when the check-in counter people realized she was deaf they called for a wheelchair.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:06 PM
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61 gets it right. In almost every lecture class, in an auditorium whee I was stuck in my seat, I could not stay awake. Obviously not the case in small classes or discussions.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:15 PM
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in an auditorium whee I was stuck in my seat

At least you had fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:17 PM
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Oh hai, is dairy queen a new commenter, and does s/he need a fruit basket? Or am I totally behind the times? (possible)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:21 PM
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I started to say that I've always been dismally bad at staying awake in morning classes, but I don't know that it has been "always". I remember an episode in 9th grade when it took the teacher three tries to wake me; I don't remember anything similar from earlier years.

I can't decide whether to conclude that my memory is failing me here or that at age 13 I became more vulnerable to falling asleep in class.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:28 PM
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dairy queen isn't brand new, but doesn't comment very often.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:42 PM
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Sort of on topic: What's a normal reading load (per class or per week) for like a history/cultural studies type class?


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 6:55 PM
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But joyslinger is new! Or at least out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:08 PM
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I remember falling asleep on the first day of sixth grade. My teacher kept me after and was genuinely concerned that something might be wrong at home. Which is probably a good inquiry for a teacher to make with that age student, but I was super embarrassed. I'd just stayed up late, reading in bed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:10 PM
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Which is to say, to 73, I have no idea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:10 PM
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Welcome, joyslinger. I'm not sure anybody knows where the fruit basket is any more, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:12 PM
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73 depends on the class, but if you expect students to be taking 2-3 papers at a time, I would say one or two core articles (texts) a week plus optional material would be pretty standard.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:14 PM
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I also don't get why unexplained absences are a Bad Thing at university. The students are adults and get to make their own choices about time management.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:15 PM
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For a lecture class, sure. But if there is a discussion element to the class, or group work or other mandated participation (like in language classes), then they have to get docked after a certain number of absences.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:20 PM
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||
My dad just told me that he read half of Fifty Shades of Grey because he was curious why people were reading it. Then I explained fanfic to my parents. Only I left out that it's usually sexual and sometimes about things like male pregnancy. Then he started talking about Moby Dick and delivered a doubtless well-known spoiler that I nonetheless did not want to know because I am four and am basically reading the book to find out if they catch the big fishy. Ok not really but sort of.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:26 PM
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There's a spoiler in Moby Dick?!? I didn't know that, and haven't read it yet either. Jeez. I'll tell you another thing: you see some interesting portions of the fucking archives here if you try to find the fruit basket.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:31 PM
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Have a fruitbasket!


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:38 PM
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"Out" is a reasonable word to use, sure. Or perhaps I've just been asleep in a corner the whole time?

(Truly, I've been lurking for years, and my first comment was a same-day RSVP for the Boston meet-up. I do intend to comment now that I'm visible, but it remains to be seen exactly how talkative I'll actually be.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:39 PM
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37

Yeah, the teacher's point was that quantity =/= quality, and participation was based on making meaningful contributions which were not offensive. So again, it sucks for the kid, but I don't think it's wrong to penalize someone for being consistently obnoxious in a class environment, especially because loud obnoxious kids are worse for total classroom environment than really silent kids.

If his other work was A level and he consistently participated I doubt the C participation grade was legitimate. It looks to me like the teacher didn't like the kid and screwed him over because she could.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:39 PM
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I was very amused by Larp Trek when someone linked it at the other place the other day, but then I read down below the comic where the author puts all their thoughts about the episodes it's based on and what their intentions were with this particular comic, and it freaked me out.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:40 PM
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Of course, I used to make up Sherlock Holmes fanfic (without overt sexual content) and tell it to my little brother when we shared a room as kids. Haven't reached that level of fandom since, I think. And fandom strikes me now as essentially childish -- the ability to vanish into a fictional world almost completely, the urge to make that world express your very own wish-fulfillment rather than experience another person's reality.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:43 PM
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For those concerned about precedent, although the meet-up had no apparent fruit baskets, I was offered the chance to take a homemade pork rind from a basket-like vessel.

(To those concerned about the sanctity of off-blog gustation, I apologize for the lapse.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:44 PM
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89

Who stole the fruit basket?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:45 PM
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90

The chain of links starting in 83 and its ultimate payoff=life.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:46 PM
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89: Damn, you noticed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:47 PM
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Huh. I bet Apostropher has an extra copy he can upload.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:47 PM
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93

Fetch!


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:48 PM
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Hm ... I have an educated guess about Bave's fruit-basket link, but if I'm right I probably ought not click ... this would be a good time to be on a computer where hovering over links works, and not an iPad.

(On preview: I infer from heebie's comment that my discretion was justified!)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:48 PM
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So now I have to go back to 2005 in the archives and change Apo's link to link to comment 93 so that the chain is unbroken?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:50 PM
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If you're gonna do all that, better to take the pic from 93, put it on the unfogged server, and change Apo's link.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 7:53 PM
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Given the existence of this and repeated jokes about Riker's space herpes, I don't think LARP Trek is going quite in the direction of fannishness that Bave thinks it is, but maybe I'm wrong.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:23 PM
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And fandom strikes me now as essentially childish -- the ability to vanish into a fictional world almost completely, the urge to make that world express your very own wish-fulfillment rather than experience another person's reality.

I agree with this. But I also notice that fandom is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the lives of adults. Does this mean the culture generally is getting more childish?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:23 PM
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My sister and I played some utterly bizarre LARPy fanficky Star Trek game when we were kids. I feel like I have mentioned this here, though I can't imagine why I would mention it anywhere.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:34 PM
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97: Agreed, it's not standard fanfic because it's far too knowing. And of course it could only be made by someone with the author's vast knowledge of Star Trek. I just didn't need to see the mechanism; I'll now just read the comic part and be happy.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:36 PM
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95, 96: There's a better home a-waitin'


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:37 PM
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My sister and I played some utterly bizarre LARPy fanficky Star Trek game when we were kids


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:38 PM
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My high school friends would play this but it was a bridge (no pun intended) too far for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 8:43 PM
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63.1: Sometimes the prof says something important and non-obvious and I have to listen and take notes. I can't do that if I'm not present, but I'm not listening to all the boring repetitions of things that I can figure out for myself given 5 minutes.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 9:16 PM
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12 could be fair if this wasn't the first time the student had heard there was a problem.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 9:17 PM
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Re 83: For the record, curiosity got the better of me, and I did the assigned reading. I think I'd followed it before, while lurking, and actually, I rather like the method of a garden path of links (regardless of the destination).

(Yes, the above is a bit earnest, but that will probably be S.O.P. for me.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 10:12 PM
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Re 16: "Oh hey, Professor, you know what I want to do after college? Can you guess? Hey Professor!"

Annoying Student: "hey professor. Professor, hey professor. Hey.

KNIFE!"


Posted by: Simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01- 9-13 10:43 PM
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OT bleg: anyone know good books/websites/other resources for pre-teens who want to learn about sex?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 12:05 AM
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Anyone but apo, I mean.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 12:06 AM
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re: 78

I used to [when I taught] assign quite a bit more than that to undergrad philosophy students, for their weekly tutorials.* Although I didn't expect them to read all of it, so it was often a fairly long list but with the most important stuff highlighted. I expect in practice, it didn't work out much different as most people would only read the core things on the list.

* working from standard reading lists, most of the time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 12:59 AM
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VW: We tried this book on the advice of friends. I have no strong feelings about it good or bad, which probably suggests I'm just too checked out. The authors have one focused on puberty called It's Perfectly Normal.

http://www.amazon.com/Its-So-Amazing-Families-Library/dp/0763613215/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 2:03 AM
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110 --- yeah, the ones am most familiar with were art history courses where the readings were commentary (?) on the subject matter. So you'd have so much reading, and then you'd also be expected to be keeping up with the substance of the course material. So if you didn't have as much content you could ramp up the readings a fair bit.

Law, of course, was just cases and cases. And I actually can't remember what Religious Studies was like.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 2:15 AM
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108: I've heard good things about www.scarleteen.com but my kids are still too young for that so I haven't given it an actual evaluation of it.


Posted by: wink ;) | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 3:38 AM
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I only had a couple of courses in university that had readings other than textbooks. There wasn't all that much, really. I expected more. Maybe 150pp per week.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 6:14 AM
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re: 114

Not, I'm assuming, someone who studied a humanities subject? I don't know how many pages per week I read as an undergraduate but it would certainly have been a LOT more than 150 pages a week. Several times that, at least. Maybe more, even. It's hard to remember exactly in retrospect. Although pages can be more or less dense, obviously. Some of my reading was fiction, and reading a novel, even a fairly stolid one, isn't the same as reading very condensed gnomic academic papers, or full primary text (in philosophy, say).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 6:38 AM
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I read hundreds of pages a week as an undergrad. The peak was probably a politics in literature class that was basically a novel a week except they gave us three weeks for The Brothers Karamazov.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 6:43 AM
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Yeah, a novel a week or so was about standard for my first and second year English lit classes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 6:51 AM
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Darkness at Noon week was easy. It's short and you can pretty much see where it is heading after the first quarter of the book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 6:55 AM
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On the earlier topic of pointless sexism: Mommy Blogger that I read is taking her 3 year old to the doctor, and is also pregnant with a boy, due this summer.

To paraphrase, "At the end of her check-up, the nurse let her pick out a toy, so she grabbed a car. It's like she knows her brother is coming and wants to get ready!"

OR IT'S LIKE SHE WANTS A CAR, YOU DOLT.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 7:21 AM
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And fandom strikes me now as essentially childish

I agree, but see this as a good thing. Adults tend to be overly serious, too stressed out, and often obsessed with douchey materialism. Getting out of that headspace every so often and just having a blast is healthy and wholesome. There are certainly people within the fandom community who are dysfunctional and use fandom as a way of expressing or handling their dysfunctionality, but they are a minority.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 7:35 AM
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119: I think you misunderstood, heebie. She's saying that the 3-year old is getting a car so she'll be ready to run over her little brother.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 7:37 AM
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115: You are correct. I think the peak of non-science or math subjects was two courses in a semester. In each class, about 150pp on average. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

I did more than that in high school on a per-class basis.

OTOH, I did hours and hours of problem sets per day as well as lab work. So it isn't as though I didn't have a row to hoe.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 8:20 AM
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re: 122

Yeah. My experience as an undergraduate was that I both wrote and read a lot more than many of my peers doing non-humanities courses, and more even than some doing other areas of the humanities as their courses weren't quite so essay heavy. But the trade-off was that science/maths friends were doing long hours of labs, and lots of non-essay format work, like problem sets, and so on. I expect it mostly evens out with a few end-of-the-curve exceptions either way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-10-13 8:24 AM
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