Saturday, January 10, 2015

Misconceptions about the Syllabus

Because I have one more class schedule to put together, I have become very adept at finding things to do instead.
For example: work out and then make a delicious fritatta. Also: attend Son's Lego competition, make a salad, go to Lego after-party. Then: make tea.
So, now I have stolen a blog idea from HTMS's blog, by looking up blog topics on HubSpot.

Here's one:  Misconceptions about the Syllabus (go!)

  1. The damn things write themselves. Truth is: they don't!
  2. Students read them. (Wait! I can't stop laughing! Oh! Ouch! My laughing muscles!)
  3. What they say has a one to one correspondence with reality. For about ten minutes, yes! After that, the text to reality ratio diminishes in direct proportion with the amount of time that has elapsed since it was constructed.
  4. What it says matters. (Again! The laughing muscles! So sore!)
  5. When you write "Don't use your cellphone, idiot!" or words to this affect, students actually take these to mean "Hey, put your cellphone away and pay attention!" No. What they perceive instead is an emoticon of a smiley-winkey face with a voice like Homer Simpson that is saying "Cell phones!" 
  6. I care about them.
  7. You care about them.
  8. Students care about them. 
  9. People in the future care about them. (They are too busy driving their solar powered hover crafts to worry about your stupid class!)
  10. They are the fuel of the academic fire. (If you mean the compost that becomes the fuel, then yes).
Well, I hope this blog post has illuminated the mysterious world of syllabi for you all. 


Nik said...

True true and true.
Also--solar powered hover crafts!

Lisa B. said...

It is both heartening and disheartening how little syllabi matter in the big-big scheme of things, but oh how we labor over them. The schedule parts especially. Good heavens. Of course, I have a syllabus and a schedule still in play. But that is for tomorrow, and good riddance to it. Till tomorrow, anyway. I loved this.

David Hubert said...

I'm trying to more carefully describe in the syllabus a new big assignment for my US Govt class. I HOPE students read it, but I have no illusions.