Monday, October 30, 2006

student panic

Always, two weeks before the paper is due, I get the crazed students in severe panic mode, mostly because they've waited to start their papers. But they express their panic in terms of 'I don't get policy, so I'm lost.' So this is when I start getting requests to review papers before the due date. I'm happy to, but I find that that the ones who submit a paper early for review actually do 'get it,' and it's the ones who think they 'get it' and don't submit a paper for a review that actually don't 'get it.'

And this time around, I have a student with 'severe concerns' about her group, and she wants to address it confidentially with me. She can't change groups this late in the semester, so this could be interesting. One purpose of the group work is to learn to work with people who have very different work methods and attitudes, so group hopping defeats the purpose of learning to work together. We'll see what she says.

What really killed me was getting an email from the assistant dean about how students are getting stressed at midterm, and she recommends a midterm evaluation along the lines of 'what do you like, not like, want to change about the course.' I should mention that this semester, I'm teaching on a satellite campus with completely different staff and faculty, and a completely different attitude/mentality. They molly-coddle the students too much on the branch campus.

I mean, it's freakin' grad school, it's supposed to be hard. It's finishing despite the challenges that lets you know you did it. If it were a cake walk, everybody would be getting the degree. How can students even apply for, and enroll in, grad school and not think it's going to be grueling.If I can get a course on the main campus for spring semester, I'm going to go back there.

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