Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Am I Wrong?

Am I wrong to want to walk into class tomorrow and write on the board in big black letters: I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK!?
Now first, is this true? The answer has to be yes. Having just read their discussion posts which were supposed to be rhetorical analyses but finding instead knee jerk diatribes about the content of the essay (which was about Hispanic-Americans and assimilation), I would have to say, yes, that I don't really want to hear their opinions about the essay so much as what the essay actually said. Not what they think it said, or what their personal experiences with the subject matter of the essay have led them to believe, but what the essay actually said.
Luckily tomorrow we will be talking about a selection from Everything Bad is Good For You, and not the essay about assimilation. I hope I never have to teach that essay again, because I will yell at them. I will. Yell.

Another diatribe in my head that I thought about blogging about was
You know you're not exercising if:
While walking on the treadmill you are talking on your cell phone. Please!! Save me from these people!
You can bench press 300 pounds but you can't see your knees because of your belly (yes, chubby guy with huge arms, I'm talking to you!)
After interacting with the exercise machine, you are not sweating.
After five minutes on the stationary bike, you stop to eat a granola bar and read a magazine.

See? At heart I am really a very mean person. Maybe it is because today is Tuesday, but it feels like Monday. Or maybe it's because I had to read a bunch of student posts. One was so nonsensical that I just stopped reading it. I had to. For my own sanity.
And then I had to watch "American Idol" to remember that the world is really full of idiots. And also that life is funny, just not always intentionally.

9 comments:

Lisa B. said...

May I just say that last night I was contemplating a blog post about an alarming tendency to rudeness and ill-temper I've been noticing in myself. I'm blaming it on the weather, and so, I feel, should you.

susansinclair said...

I get like that a lot. But having just given a mini-lesson on fact/opinion and the GIGANTIC gray area in between, it may be useful to point out to students that it's not that you don't care what they think, but that you wanted them to think using a particular process and supporting their thoughts with textual evidence. (I usually write "opinion" at one end of the board, then "fact" waaaay at the other end, and we try to fill in the middle with examples of gray-areaness. Plus, I remind them that pure opinion is the definition of insanity. I'd *like* to say believing absolutely in FACTS = fundamentalism, but I save that for later in the term. When they're a bit more used to me.)

susansinclair said...

P.S.--I don't mean that you can't bitch and moan about this behavior. I will probably be totally cranky this time Friday when I'm reading all those student mini-essays I assigned...

theorris said...

I'm having problems just getting students to read anything. Commiseration all around.

ErinAlice said...

Ah students who get lost in the eloquence of their own insights. Glad to hear it doesn't just happen out here. Chin up-it won't last forever. I think.

ErinAlice said...

Oh and I too can't stand people who talk on cell phones at the gym . It is one time when it is nice to be able to ignore everything, and everyone, for awhile. Maybe a glass of wine would make you feel better. But that is just my opinion.....

Counterintuitive said...

I've felt a bit angry at students myself. Seems I'm always testier at the beginning of the semester before I know them as individuals. At least I think. I think I am more forgiving as we go along, maybe I "get" what they are trying to do better and maybe, hopefully, they do things a bit better. Still I think it's more about not knowing them as people yet. Of course that doesn't explain why I also get mad near the end of the term when I think they should know better.

Paulk said...

Actually, Lynn, I DO tell them that no one cares what their opinion is. I apologize that this is the case, but it's true. They should start to revel in that fact. What people do care about, I say, is what they can prove. Make an argument; don't state an opinion.

I have no patience for crappy opinions, especially those whose positions I agree with.

Limon de Campo said...

You've just described my entire exercise regime.