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whiterose
11-19-2008, 03:59 PM
The sad, sad state of college English (http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Michael_Olesker/The_sad_sad_state_of_college_English.html)


You want more examples? How about these beauties:
• “The person was an innocent by standard, who just happened to be the victim of your friend’s careless responsibility.”
• “Society has moved toward cereal killers.”
• “Romeo and Juliet exchanged their vowels.”
• “Willie Loman put Biff on a petal stool.”
• “Another effect of smoking is it may give you cancer of the thought.”
• “The children of lesbian couples receive as much neutering as those of other couples."
Or, when asked to use the past tense of “fly” in a sentence: “I flought to Chicago.”

crimsonnyx
11-19-2008, 04:23 PM
“Romeo and Juliet exchanged their vowels.”

hahahahaha.......

Alpha Echo
11-19-2008, 04:37 PM
Oh man. Wow. So sad. I wish I didn't believe it, but I do.

Deccydiva
11-19-2008, 04:42 PM
Now that's one thing spellcheck CAN'T do for you...
I look on the bright side - it cuts down the competition when I submit to Agents and publishers! :)

K1P1
11-19-2008, 04:42 PM
Romeo and Juliet then becomes: Rumie and Joleot.

selkn.asrai
11-19-2008, 05:55 PM
Please see http://employees.cfmc.com/adamb/humor/56bc.htm, an essay called "56BC and All That," by R. Lederer. It is a melding of real essays written by students in high school and undergraduate studies.


Excerpts from it:


The American Revolution:
The English put tacks in the tea. The colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The colonists won the War and no longer had to pay taxis.
Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin invented electricity by rubbing 2 cats backwards and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Lincoln: Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address while traveling from DC to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.

Beethoven / Bach:
Beethoven took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Bach practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic, and died from 1750 to the present.

Shakespeare:
Shakespeare was born in 1564, supposedly on his birthday.

selkn.asrai
11-19-2008, 05:57 PM
Having proofread and edited my fellow students' papers in college, talking about this is like having war flashbacks.

One out of many examples: We got a number of people who were illiterate. How in the world did they get into college when they didn't know how to read?

Appalachian Writer
11-19-2008, 06:04 PM
Some of my favorites:
I received a research paper titled: Boarder Control and the Immigration Problem
A line in an essay: I've lived a fast paste life.

There's more but I keep remembering the "I flought to Chicago" and I keep laughing.:D

Clair Dickson
11-19-2008, 06:25 PM
Having proofread and edited my fellow students' papers in college, talking about this is like having war flashbacks.

One out of many examples: We got a number of people who were illiterate. How in the world did they get into college when they didn't know how to read?

Many colleges today aren't so worried about learning as they are about money. You don't have to be able to read-- only to sign your name on the check with the appropriate number of zeros. INHO.

Many schools don't even require students to have finished high school (no GED or h.s. diploma required!) If a student doesn't have the requisite skills in, say, math, the college can put them in Math 098, charge them for 3-4 credit hours BUT it doesn't count towards graduation requirements.

Darzian
11-19-2008, 06:41 PM
Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
:ROFL:


“Romeo and Juliet exchanged their vowels.”


At least it's vowels and not bowels................ewww...............

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 06:46 PM
I don't want to know how someone exchange their bowels...

donroc
11-19-2008, 06:49 PM
Anal transplants?

CaroGirl
11-19-2008, 06:55 PM
Ah, me. Physician, heal thyself. If these young adults don't care enough about their own education, the education they're now paying for, to get these things right, it is indeed a sad commentary on their generation.

I read a recent article about this generation of college students that claimed college professors are being driven up the wall by their students' sense of entitlement. They claim their students send them emails appealing their low grades claiming, "But I attended almost all your classes. Surely that gets me at least a B grade."

Let's quit coddling these kids now and try empowering them to learn properly, simply for the sake of learning. Let's try teaching them the importance of diligence, hard work, accomplishment and achievement instead of teaching them that simply "doing their best" is good enough.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 06:58 PM
They say the state of our educational system is such that college is now the new high school. You'll have to go to grad school to find serious students.

dclary
11-19-2008, 07:02 PM
I've seen similar stories over the years. It's nothing new.

Yes, college is the new high school. But only to a degree.

Get it? GET IT?

LOL.

Red-Green
11-19-2008, 07:03 PM
As a former freshman English teacher, I got a whole rant about the problem, but a lot of it boils down to the horror of average these days. Kids who should have failed get passed and C students get As, because parents and administrators don't want to deal with the fallout of honest assessment.

At a large, respectable college I was regularly called into the dean's office to discuss my semester grades, because students and their parents called to complain. "My son never got anything but As in high school, why did his teacher give him a C?" Like a C was shameful. When I told students, "C means average and you did average work," you'd have thought I'd slapped them from the way they reacted. Yeah yeah yeah, everybody's a fricking unique, special snowflake.

Same thing in first grade, second grade, third grade, which my sister teaches. Only in elementary school, they don't give letter grades. It's all pass or fail, and only kids whose parents are uninvolved get failed. The other kids get passed, so their parents won't pitch a fit.

Insidiously, then, children who can't read, multiply, or name the fifty states get passed onward. It all repeats in high school, where angry parents override teachers, until...voilà! College freshmen who are careless, functionally illiterate dolts.

/rant

Soccer Mom
11-19-2008, 07:08 PM
I have to say, though, that it isn't fair to tar all students with the same brush. They aren't all illiterate dolts. The exerpts aren't a fair cross-section of the whole. It's like the first round of American Idol. You notice the great and the horrible. There's no fun in showing the merely competent.

To think all college (and high school) students are illiterate idiots based on the anecdotes above is like saying all writers are precious nujobs based on the rantings of Anne Rice and LKH. Not so.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 07:20 PM
As a former freshman English teacher, I got a whole rant about the problem, but a lot of it boils down to the horror of average these days. Kids who should have failed get passed and C students get As, because parents and administrators don't want to deal with the fallout of honest assessment.



"No child left behind" means the below-average are all going to college. Nothing wrong with that, but that means we're delaying the real learning to college, or even grad school, while kids in other countries are learning quantum physics and advance literature in high school.

And Soccer Mom -- I know there are exceptions. But the generalization here is about the trend, and the trend isn't good.

Clio
11-19-2008, 07:20 PM
Some great posts here. But don't think you are alone. Exactly the same thing is happening in li'l old England. There seems to be a general philosophy, no doubt brought about by political correctness and our Nanny State, that every pupil is worth as much as the next (not saying that's wrong), and rewards and achievements are deserved by all on an equal basis. Gods forbid that we should encourage division between more or less able pupils! That wouldn't do at all in our modern society, where you or I must not think ourselves less of a success than the boy who gets a double first at Cambridge. Of course I understand the ideology behind it all, but sooner or later, when our kids go out into the world of employment, it's going to hit them hard when they can't spell.

As for me, I'm crap at Maths. I have always been crap at maths and will continue to be so. I do not possess a numerate brain. Giving me a C pass to reward my crap maths would be an illusion. I failed my Maths GCE centuries ago, and deservedly so. I think I've managed to get over it and get on with my life without feeling I'm a failure, or have been 'let down' by the system. :)

Clair Dickson
11-19-2008, 07:57 PM
You know-- most of these kids will do just fine in the business world. Sadly. I can't tell you how many business memos and such I've gotten from corporate offices that are written with simply atrocious spelling and grammar.

As a whole, I think our society is tending towards placing less value in education. This is not true in all areas as some do require higher knowledge and training, but in general, I think there is less accountability in the workforce that mirrors the lower accountability in the schools.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:05 PM
I think technologies have something to do with it. There was a study showing that some kids now can't communicate without some kind of gadgets (computer, cell phone, PDAs, etc). They text more than they talk. Their writing is all leet speak. But they're also very good at what they can do with computers and technologies. So who cares if the computer whiz can't spell?

Email (and bulletin boards) has also lowered the quality of writing. It seems like people are more casual with email, even in business settings. Gone are the pristine grammar and spelling, and people don't really care, as long as you get your message across: broken sentences, spelling errors, wrong punctuation, weird formatting, etc. It's all over the workplace.

And for business execs, they have their assistants and speech writers and consultants.

myscribe
11-19-2008, 08:06 PM
At least these are readable. I've had students unable to write complete sentences. One in particular was completely incoherent - no complete sentences or thoughts even. At first I thought it was a joke, but sadly not. I scheduled him for tutoring and tried to give him the skills needed to write a sentence. This was Comp II, no less. He never understood how he passed Comp I with an "A" and was failing my class. I didn't understand it either (the passing Comp I with an "A"). He was the one student that I couldn't reach or help improve.

And all I have to say is that I don't want "cancer of the thought." That would really suck.

Tirjasdyn
11-19-2008, 08:07 PM
Having proofread and edited my fellow students' papers in college, talking about this is like having war flashbacks.

One out of many examples: We got a number of people who were illiterate. How in the world did they get into college when they didn't know how to read?


When you get college presidents like Hank Brown, it's not that unbelievable.

When he took over UNC (Colorado), he held a meeting. He actually said, "We don't need an English program. We can write sentences." Needless to say I was part of the exodus.

He has since sat in major positions at various colleges in Colorado. However we can't blame only him. At CSU they didn't care how we wrote but WHAT we wrote (broken relationships and dead grandmas being the only acceptable fiction topics).

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:12 PM
When he took over UNC (Colorado), he held a meeting. He actually said, "We don't need an English program. We can write sentences." Needless to say I was part of the exodus.

Again, I think a lot of schools place their emphasis on technologies, sports and science. Who needs an English program when people learn how to read and write in high school already? But we need computer scientists, physicists, physicians, football stars...

Even lawyers. I'd think they put emphasis on oral and written communication, but sometimes I wonder if what they write is actually English.

TerzaRima
11-19-2008, 08:32 PM
Yesterday I got a thank-you note for a wedding gift from the daughter of a colleague. This young woman just defended her doctoral thesis in plant genetics. "Thank you for the pillows. They will make a lovely edition to our home!"

I blame whole language and creative spelling. The elementary school students in our local school district, which is supposed to be the best in the state, aren't corrected when they make spelling or grammar errors in composition because that would stifle their creativity, or so the logic goes. Nobody learns diagramming or is drilled in grammar anymore. /geezer

Darzian
11-19-2008, 08:49 PM
“Jogging is excellent exercise anywhere, but I prefer to jog in a warm climax.”


omgomgomgomg.

Kitty Pryde
11-19-2008, 08:58 PM
One of my coworkers is a youngish college grad (as am I). Yesterday I heard the following gem escape her mouth (it's delightfully racist as well! I won't tell you what nationality she is talking about.): "The moving guys came this morning. They looked like gangsters, but all I cared about was whether they could talk good English. And they could talk good English"! I wanted to pop my head in and make a snipe about the importance of "talking good English" but I held back.

kuwisdelu
11-19-2008, 09:06 PM
:(

Well this is what happens in a culture that sees an Ivy League education as "elitist."

:Shrug:

I'm in college right now, and fortunately I haven't noticed quite as much of this. My classes are pretty difficult and our grades are pretty fair. But then, I'm in honors physics and grad-level stats, and the only English classes I've taken were electives (passed out of Comp I), so I'm a bit shielded from it. My friend takes ENGL 108 next semester....I'll see what he has to say. shiver.

MissKris
11-19-2008, 09:06 PM
This is nothing new (is anything ever new?). I work as a college admissions essay reader at a large state university and you'd be rolling in fits of laughter at some of the doozies I get to read. Bad grammar and spelling are to be expected. The funniest I've gotten are statements written in text speak and ones that blatantly criticize the school (example: "I've also applied to x,y and z school and I really hope to get into one of them, but if I don't I guess I'll go to your school cuz anything is better than nothing."). But, there are also applications that astound me. Kids that spend hours and hours pursuing their advanced scientific interests, pursuing community service, graduating high school with straight As and twin infants, study three and four languages, have triumphed over the foster care system, etc. The good ones are out there and they will be our future leaders.

Interestingly, our educational system is changing to try to meet the needs of the workplace. Is is succeeding? Probably not (and that's why I homeschool), but we have to remember that the workplace is changing and the folks that are being left behind are the ones that aren't much for book learnin'. In the past, kids that weren't academically stellar were prepared for careers in industry or labor. Those jobs are disappearing and all kids are expected to go to college, even if that particular type of learning doesn't suit them. There needs to be an alternative. We should expect all students to work hard, but there are different kinds of intelligences out there. Most of us on here have a common one, but we shouldn't discount others. I'm grateful for those who understand math (since I suck at it) even if they can't write. (Just an example - I know many math folks can write).

And for those who think we are being left behind re: world education, be sure to read the study methodologies carefully. It isn't as bad as it seems. In some cases, the countries that are doing well are doing so at the risk of creative thinking and compassion. I would rather have one creative genius than one hundred drones who can recite the multiplication tables forward and backward.

CatSlave
11-19-2008, 09:07 PM
...We got a number of people who were illiterate. How in the world did they get into college when they didn't know how to read?
No Child Left Behind?

Shadow_Ferret
11-19-2008, 09:10 PM
What are you guys laughing at? Those all seemed fine to me. :Wha:

Shail
11-19-2008, 09:11 PM
My experience was this. Asked to crit a classmates research paper I discovered that he had no idea that 'there' and 'their' had separate meanings. Same for 'to' and 'too', 'hear' and 'here' ect, and his paper was liberally sprinkled with the phrase: "Man, I mean . . ." His topic was "Why polotics is destroying Captitalism in the United States". He frequently misspelled "President of the United States" as "that illiterate f***er". No joke. This was a college research paper. Comp III. *face in hands* Can anybody tell me what 'polotics' are? I thought they might be blood sucking insects that feed on polo horses.

Clair Dickson
11-19-2008, 09:16 PM
Unless the kids that can't read actually have a disability-- such as dyslexia or another reading comprehension problem. They may have been offered assistance at the college level. I had a student who was so severely dyslexic that he couldn't read anything. Only the simplest words,and then only if he worked at it (yes, no, stop.) He was smart-- and with help, he could complete the work.

Of course, there are some kids for whom reading is difficult and they default to saying they "Can't." I can't read that, the kid claims, when really he can, it's just hard.

eLfwriter
11-19-2008, 09:24 PM
Oh boy. Don't even get me started.

*little do they know, it's too late ... I've already ranted at the computer screen and now I'm typing out the coherent parts of the rant ... run for the hills!!*

Since all of my highschool friends knew that I was the 'crazy eLf-obsessed psycho who writes books on the back of her math notes' (or just eLfy for short), I was continually asked to 'edit' or 'proof' essays before they were handed in to a particular teacher. I can't even defend my friends -- their essays looked like text messages. Encoded. Don't even bother asking about the short stories and poems in creative writing. *shivers*

Part of the problem, from my experience, is that the teachers are no longer allowed to 'fail' any student (at least, that's the new policy in our district). A student that can't write a coherent sentence or add three and twelve will still be passed along with your Honor Roll class because it would 'hurt their self-image' if they were to be held back. Likewise, the school system here-abouts has decided, in the infinite wisdom, to abolish the Honor Roll class and integrate the 'gifted' students with the 'failing' students. Why? So that you can partner a 98% average with a 46% average, and give them the same mark. This, they believe, is ultimately fair -- since they both get, say, a 78/100, the lower GPA will be raised, and the higher GPA will drop. This gives them a nice flat line on their bell curve. And it's apparently fair to the gifted student who worked their *** off over the holidays to get the stupid project finished, only to return to school and find out that their blinkin' partner didn't do ANYTHING ....


*spirals down into momentary inchoherency, cursing the homework Gods and all the partners she was ever landed with in school mumblegrumbleprofanitygrr*


Grrr. It's not just the 'pass along the problem' policy that angers me. One of my favorite English teachers fought for three years to have myself and a few other English-addicts passed ahead a couple of grades simply because he was forced to do Coles' Notes of everything in our regular grade. He felt it wasn't fair to the handful of us who were snoring in the back because we'd already read, understood and written the essay for the novel or play we were currently studying. The board here-abouts wouldn't allow him to bump us up. Their brilliant reasoning was that, by passing five or six students ahead of their peers, their peers might feel 'lesser' or 'discouraged'. So .... where does that leave the kids who can read?!

I guess it's a double-edged knife. They're bumping up students that don't deserve it, then they're holding back the students who work hard and actually want an education since they have to dumb-down the class to accomodate 'everyone'.

Huh. I feel marginally better now. This is an awesome ranting board.

*sigh* The world is a crazy, crazy place. At least we have AW! :)

BarbaraKE
11-19-2008, 10:21 PM
I really don't think the situation is as bad as many people think. I know lots of people in my generation (I'm 48) that are terrible in English. And - speaking of math - I once saw a Vice-President of a Wall Street financial firm use a calculator to subtract 100,000 from 160,000. (Of course, given the state many Wall Street firms are in now, that might not be a surprise.)

"The world is passing through troubling times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress."

(Supposedly an extract from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274.)

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers."

(attributed to Socrates by Plato)

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless
beyond words.

When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of
elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise (i.e. disrespectful) and impatient of
restraint.

(Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.)

Travis J. Smith
11-19-2008, 10:48 PM
No wonder my English class in my first and only semester at community college this year makes me feel like I'm back in elementary school with the teacher going over the parts of speech, starting us off with an expository paragraph (before we could move on to a full length essay; I kid you not . . . and his definition of an essay for the class is two pages . . . ), explaining how and when to use a semi-colon (not a single person, save me, knew, far as I could tell), making us decide between a contrast essay and a comparison essay (because doing both is above us, I guess . . . ), going over MLA guidelines in detail (including how to cite, for Pete's sake), etc.

Sorry, that was a mini-rant on my part. I've been hoping my time at Pitt, starting in the spring, will be better . . . and now, after reading this article, I'm not so sure. :cry:

JoNightshade
11-19-2008, 10:49 PM
I'm with Barbara here. I've graded papers in all grades - from elementary through college level. Not to mention adult ESL. Yes, there are always those who come out with doozies, but I don't think it's as bad as all that. We're talking about the general population here... in that article, notice it's a COMMUNITY college. Most people who attend English classes at a community college are just trying to get it out of the way for GE. As are most people who attend general English courses at a university.

Often I am tempted to think "Oh my goodness, the world is going to hell in a handbasket!" But then I would remember those college papers I was grading were written by math and computer majors. And I wonder what they would think of me if I ended up in one of their classes? I would probably get laughed out of the room.

The great majority of mistakes made in all of those listed in this article are AUDITORY mistakes. When you say the sentences aloud, casually, the incorrect version sounds exactly the same as the correct version. They're homophones. The only way to learn the difference is to read. Extensively. Even then, you're not guaranteed to catch all of them. I meet well-read people all the time who use the phrase "all the sudden." It is actually supposed to be "all of a sudden," but when you say it out loud it's nearly impossible to distinguish the difference.

I'm not saying it's not an issue, and I'm not saying some of these mistakes aren't idiotic, but the truth is many of these people probably come off as pretty intelligent face-to-face. And I don't think it's the end of society. Some of us read. Some of us just don't. It's not the end of the world.

CaroGirl
11-19-2008, 10:57 PM
Yes. Like the ever popular, "for all intensive purposes". Maybe people need to speak more clearly. But that's a rant for another day.

Medievalist
11-19-2008, 11:09 PM
Ah, me. Physician, heal thyself. If these young adults don't care enough about their own education, the education they're now paying for, to get these things right, it is indeed a sad commentary on their generation.

Let's just hold off a minute. Students really haven't changed that much in terms of writing ability, nor have the standards for acceptable work.

There's a composition exam that all students entering a California state supported college (including the UC schools, all of them) must pass before they can graduate; it's been administered as an essay exam, with the same criteria for creating and grading the exam, since 1898.

The standards haven't changed.

I still fail students. So do my colleagues.

Medievalist
11-19-2008, 11:22 PM
"No child left behind" means the below-average are all going to college.

Umm . . . no it doesn't.

I've served on admissions boards at a state university and a community college.

We selected students based on test scores, grades, essays, recommendations and social criteria (are they native English speakers? First generation to go to college? Artists? Musicians? Athletes? Non-traditional students? Etc.)

maxmordon
11-19-2008, 11:27 PM
I really don't think the situation is as bad as many people think. I know lots of people in my generation (I'm 48) that are terrible in English. And - speaking of math - I once saw a Vice-President of a Wall Street financial firm use a calculator to subtract 100,000 from 160,000. (Of course, given the state many Wall Street firms are in now, that might not be a surprise.)

"The world is passing through troubling times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress."

(Supposedly an extract from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274.)

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers."

(attributed to Socrates by Plato)

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless
beyond words.

When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of
elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise (i.e. disrespectful) and impatient of
restraint.

(Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.)

"Our earth is degenerate in these latter days, bribery and corruption
are common, children no longer obey their parents and the end of the
world is evidently approaching."
--Assyrian clay tablet 2800 B.C.

maxmordon
11-19-2008, 11:46 PM
In High school, two of my teachers had a nervous breakdown out of this. Saying they couldn't take it anymore.

We had some essays, all of them were to be taken out directly of the book and not many on the class figured this out so they made things up. Others simple copy and pasted from Wikipedia without noticing the font change and the the six times they send us to read a book none of them times everyone read it; the teacher had to lower the level to the point our last book was a children's book with illustrations. Yet, nobody read the whole book. a friend of mine never read a complete book since "it makes him sleepy".

The classes where we need to think more (math, French, Latin) were the ones most students couldn't pass to the point only 8 students passed math the first year. The rest was pretty much a copy and paste of what we had seen. "Name two philosophers", "Who's the writer of One Hundred Years of Solitude?" and whatnot.

The older teachers were fed up with students and were counting the minutes to their retirement and openly admiting they did not care about their subjects anymore while the youngest ones tried to give points out of anything. In the final term of Psychology 20 porcent of my grade was on base on how many words I could find in a Word Search... on the same time, the Literature teacher was dismayed how students answered their examples with leet speech...

So, it's a bit of fault in both sides.

Cybernaught
11-20-2008, 01:00 AM
My Literary Research professor doesn't take any of this crap. He has no problem failing students. He once failed a student because they forgot to add a period in their MLA Works Cited citation.

We need more professors like him. He's awesome.

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 01:11 AM
Part of the problem, from my experience, is that the teachers are no longer allowed to 'fail' any student (at least, that's the new policy in our district).

My teacher friends said the same thing. Their hands are tied. The worst they could do is give a C -- that's still a passing grade. 10, 20 years ago they were able to fail students and make them retake the classes. Now, they have to pass every one, or else the "school" looks bad. Or they will be called in and reprimanded as being a bad teacher. The thing is, some students simply are unteachable and if they should fail. A lot of students really do believe that if they show up at class, they should at least get a C. And if they get a poor grade, they and their parents think the teachers are not doing their job.

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 01:14 AM
Umm . . . no it doesn't.

I've served on admissions boards at a state university and a community college.

We selected students based on test scores, grades, essays, recommendations and social criteria (are they native English speakers? First generation to go to college? Artists? Musicians? Athletes? Non-traditional students? Etc.)

Maybe at your school. I mean, I can't explain why some college students couldn't write a complete sentence or do simple arithmetic. Did they somehow fake their way through college admission?

blacbird
11-20-2008, 01:56 AM
• “Another effect of smoking is it may give you cancer of the thought.”

Actually, I kind of like this one. Though I suppose it depends on what you smoke.

caw

blacbird
11-20-2008, 02:02 AM
In addition to the unintentionally hilarious use of the wrong word, you can also get cause-effect idiocies. My favorite, from back in my teaching days, came from a paper describing the Sahara Desert, which, among other jewels, contained this:

"Vegetation is scarce due to the lack of plants."

caw

WittyWordsmith
11-20-2008, 02:27 AM
That's it, I'm homeschooling.

I, myself, was home schooled for elementary school, and I am thankful for it daily. It seemed to me that everything from 6-12th grade and on was just about a repeat of what I learned at home, and I went to some good schools. Private schools, Department of Defense schools, and then public school for 10-12th grade. I saw the upper echelon of education and I still witnessed plenty of unbelievable things.

It is soooo hard not to judge people who don't write correctly. I have to admit that I feel relieved every time I log in here at AW because I am confident that my brain won't be assaulted by most of the posts; I appreciate that.

"A" grades in school aren't much to brag about anymore, but they haven't been for a while. One thing I have to say is that the way things are going, the future will be quite a ride!

inkkognito
11-20-2008, 02:40 AM
"No child left behind" really means "force the brightest to be held back to the standards of the hindmost." I think that's why I really love the movie "The Incredibles." It contained so much truth:

"Everyone's special, Dash."
"That's just a way of saying no one is."


"When everyone is super, then no one will be."

Or my favorite:

"Why do schools keep finding new ways to celebrate mediocrity?"

Those quotes pretty much sum up my viewpoint in a nutshell.

LOG
11-21-2008, 05:42 AM
Never knew about any of this, I always just kind of assumed it was just because of my school-both Junior and Senior schools had semi-bad reps.
Now I'm scared that I'll end up at a not so good college.
Anyone know if we have a 'Finding Colleges' thread around here?

P.S. Is there a book/collection of real spelling/grammar mistakes? I could probably crack myself up for a whole day if I had something like that to occupy me.

NeuroFizz
11-21-2008, 06:41 AM
My, my, my. There are certainly some misconceptions floating around here about college students. And many of the posts here are aimed at high school, not college. Not allowed to give lower than a C? In a university? That's more hilarious than any of the quotes of mangled English posted here. And colleges doing away with their English requirements? The university would lose its accreditation.

That said, there is accuracy in the horrible writing abilities of some college students. I could easily add to the list presented here. But that kind of performance comes from a small minority of the total student body at the university level, and those particular students don't remain university students for long. To condemn an entire student body (or the college system in general) for the performance of a few students is not only unfair, but insulting to the many students who are well prepared for college, who are conscientious about their studies, and who continually rise to the challenges the professors present in the classrooms. Some of the students I teach (and have taught) are scary smart--people who would put the vast majority of us to shame in terms of intellectual abilties and academic performance. Many of the students you lump in with the dimwits whose quotes appear earlier in this thread are an absolute joy and pleasure to teach. And I suspect the last thing they would do is to generalize the behavior of a bunch of axe-grinding posters here to the overall sense of fair play and objective evaluation that most AW people espouse.

Nivarion
11-21-2008, 07:46 AM
oh my god YES proof of what i have been saying.

i have seen it said on here that we need to quit babying my generation. and we really do, we are getting stupid.

the problem is the no child left behind crap. it is crap. it is screwing over the majority because it forces teachers to cater to the minority. it ignores the fact that some people have potential and others don't.

i know people who are getting blown off in high school because the guy who cant figure out how to get a spatula under a burger is getting the attention, when these people could explain highly complex physics after seeing it only once.

i am not the smartest guy i know, and i am frustrated because me and the others who could be something are being ignored for those who choose to be nothing. (or just cant do much better than flipping burgers)

english is also taught wrong. they are just now, just now in my senior year, getting around to teaching syntax. were going to be as bad as the brits before too long (no offense brits)

a short on topic rant, i hope.

DamaNegra
11-21-2008, 07:52 AM
My Literary Research professor doesn't take any of this crap. He has no problem failing students. He once failed a student because they forgot to add a period in their MLA Works Cited citation.

We need more professors like him. He's awesome.
No. We don't. It's difficult enough to write 3 or 4 essays (each 4 or 5 pages long, of course) in a day. At 2 a.m., no one cares about the stupid periods. I've lost loads of points for this before, and I hate it.

Medievalist
11-21-2008, 07:57 AM
. . .

My heart bleeds.

Mind, it's the heart of someone with a 42 IQ.

Who can't flip burgers.

mscelina
11-21-2008, 08:00 AM
Everyone's education is what they make it.

Polenth
11-21-2008, 08:28 AM
My Literary Research professor doesn't take any of this crap. He has no problem failing students. He once failed a student because they forgot to add a period in their MLA Works Cited citation.

We need more professors like him. He's awesome.

That's taking it too far the other way in my opinion. Overly harsh punishments for mistakes don't help people learn. I had an English teacher who was prone to that. I ended up with a collection of unmarked pieces of work because they had 'too many mistakes'.

My solution was to stick to very simple words and constructions. I made fewer mistakes so my work was marked. I didn't learn anything in that class.

mscelina
11-21-2008, 08:31 AM
I disagree, Polenth. This was a Literary Research professor--where meticulous attention must be paid to details.

Polenth
11-21-2008, 08:50 AM
I disagree, Polenth. This was a Literary Research professor--where meticulous attention must be paid to details.

It's fair to remove marks for mistakes. But failing someone for a single mistake is extreme. It's unrealistic to expect students to achieve perfect results every time, in any subject.

Medievalist
11-21-2008, 09:38 AM
I suspect the missing period was the last straw; colleges have stringent standards about how, and why, and when you can fail a student.

Heck, I've had students who wanted to spend days (and did) arguing about the difference between a B and a B+.

Clair Dickson
11-21-2008, 10:47 AM
the problem is the no child left behind crap. it is crap. it is screwing over the majority because it forces teachers to cater to the minority. it ignores the fact that some people have potential and others don't.

i know people who are getting blown off in high school because the guy who cant figure out how to get a spatula under a burger is getting the attention, when these people could explain highly complex physics after seeing it only once.



This problem existed long before NCLB. While I disagree with the legislation, it is not guilty of all the faults assigned to it.

I went to high school years before NCLB and encountered this problem. I teach at an alternative high school where we don't have the testing requirement (yet-- our govt doesn't have a clue what to do with alt ed) and we still have kids that will slack off in even the easiest assignments. And kids who will try to monopolize the teacher to try to ensure that no more work gets assigned, etc.

There will always be students who find trifling things like spelling, grammar, and writing too much trouble to learn. And those who can't be bothered to capitalize or punctuate or learn to spell correctly 'casual' writing that isn't graded... this is not a fault of the system per se. This become a fault of a learner. I can lead my students to water, but it's not my fault if some chose to drown themselves.

Our society in general does not place emphasis on the importance of hard work-- which includes hard work in school. We claim to value education, but there are still large segments of the population that are like Pap Finn in regards to it. Still places where the smart kids are ridiculed and forced into being less smart. The smartest kids will still find ways to make their school experience a bastion of learning, in spite of what the teachers can/can't/won't do. I read-- even when I had to fight to stop certain teachers from taking my books away (I was *done* with all my work...) I spent my time wisely, even though I had to wait for other students to stop futzing around and get the work done. And again, this was years before NCLB was ever concieved, let along implemented.

benbradley
11-21-2008, 11:19 AM
I think technologies have something to do with it. There was a study showing that some kids now can't communicate without some kind of gadgets (computer, cell phone, PDAs, etc). They text more than they talk. Their writing is all leet speak. But they're also very good at what they can do with computers and technologies. So who cares if the computer whiz can't spell?
When I became a computer whiz we didn't need a college degree either. I DID spell well back then, but that only helped me with writing the right keywords in programming languages.

Email (and bulletin boards) has also lowered the quality of writing. It seems like people are more casual with email, even in business settings. Gone are the pristine grammar and spelling, and people don't really care, as long as you get your message across: broken sentences, spelling errors, wrong punctuation, weird formatting, etc. It's all over the workplace.
A lot of people spend time and money picking out appropriate attire for work, but not so much, it seems, on how well they do their jobs. Oddly, that seems to work well in the business world much of the time.

And for business execs, they have their assistants and speech writers and consultants.
I suppose 'execs' are the higher-ups in large, successful businesses. The middle managers (and presidents of smaller companies, 20-50 people) didn't have secretaries to take dictation and/or correct their spelling.

No Child Left Behind?
This (social promotion and all that stuff) was happening WAY before then. I think it was 7th or 8th grade when I first heard the phrase "social promotion."

<memoir mode>
I was socially promoted through elementary school. I felt like I was falling behind starting in third grade when I was put into a smaller "Emotionally Disturbed" class and never learned cursive writing that I'd seen older kids I knew learning in third grade.. I was back in the "regular classroom" for sixth grade, I think because they canceled or ran out of money for the ED class. I didn't do much classwork and looking back the teachers really thought I was stupid. I learned long division somewhere around the 6th or 7th grade, on my own. I'm still not sure how I learned it. I "graduated" the 7th grade of elementary school in Spring 1970.
In the first year or two in high school I did better, but then slacked off. In the first quarter of 8th grade they had me in "lab math" (remedial) and leaving school at 1PM instead of taking a full load and leaving at 3PM, because the teachers and principal from my elementary school recommended it, thinking I couldn't handle a full school day. That was fixed (I was put into "real" 8th-grade math) and I had a full load the next quarter.

<continue with spending much of high school in the library reading science and SF, failing both 10th and 11th grades, then passing the GED first try at age 18>
</memoir excerpt-teaser>

Let's just hold off a minute. Students really haven't changed that much in terms of writing ability, nor have the standards for acceptable work.

There's a composition exam that all students entering a California state supported college (including the UC schools, all of them) must pass before they can graduate; it's been administered as an essay exam, with the same criteria for creating and grading the exam, since 1898.

The standards haven't changed.

I still fail students. So do my colleagues.
Georgia has a similar essay exam called the "Regent's Test" (because it's required of all college graduates by the Georgia Board of Regents). It only took me taking it twice to pass (if you fail, you go into a remidial class aimed specifically at getting you to past the test). Considering how little essay writing I had done, I think I did amazingly well. I knew a guy who had failed it eight times, and it was getting close to where it was the only thing keeping him from graduating.

Never knew about any of this, I always just kind of assumed it was just because of my school-both Junior and Senior schools had semi-bad reps.
Now I'm scared that I'll end up at a not so good college.
Anyone know if we have a 'Finding Colleges' thread around here?
Do colleges have things like minumum SAT scores for entrance? Do they publish average SAT scores of freshmen? I'd think that would be useful info.

P.S. Is there a book/collection of real spelling/grammar mistakes? I could probably crack myself up for a whole day if I had something like that to occupy me.
It's not often published/printed, but there's this thing called the World Wide Web...


They say ignorance is bliss, and I almost wish I were ignorant. It's been a long time since I've had a warm climax.

Fullback
11-21-2008, 11:38 AM
Over 90 million American adults are either illiterate or barely literate, reading at less than a 5th-grade level. That number is increasing by 2 million every year. America is suffering from entropy as it enters middle age. It grew from the bountiful resources and land as an adolescent nation, but is failing to grow beyond that as a society. As a culture, it is stunted.

If you ask a typical American adult to give a short description of American history, you'll get a chronology of wars. History is measured in wars, one after the other. If you ask for some examples of American culture, you'll likely get a blank stare, then an offering of TV, movies and sports as examples of culture. Other countries have all of those, so the only remaining answer is that foreigners have culture, not Americans.

Having a common culture, instead of diversity, is how young societies and nations grow to be old nations. When all your education is concentrated into molding good little workers, at the expense of critical thinking and insight from literature past, present and future, the society stops advancing. The slide down the backside of the societal curve is accelerated by entropy.

Forget religion or race, America may split in two someday when the literate and illiterate are fed up with each other.

Cassiopeia
11-21-2008, 11:40 AM
As a "mature" continuing education student, I can say I see both sides of this. One of the things that really annoys me is when a student in one of my classes complains how hard an exam is. It is meant to be challenging. I'm not fond of the worried of getting good grade but I work bleeding hard for my marks.

In particular one young lady was upset when the final grades were posted. The final exam was listed in order of highest to lowest, without revealing who got what grade. She started carrying on about the 97% someone got and how they ruined the grading curve and "WHO GOT THAT? I want to know cos it's just not fair." I watched our instructor who'd been roped into teaching our geology class shift from one foot to another. She got so obnoxious about asking over and over again, I finally spoke up and said, "I did. What's the problem?"

The dialog went as follows:

Her: Well, you realize you ruined the grade curve for the rest of us don't you?
Me: I fail to see why that is a problem.
Her: Well, the rest of us wanted a better mark too, ya know.
Me: Sorry, I didn't know I was in this class for everyone else.
Her: How the heck did you do that anyway? What are you like...really smart?
Me: Nope, I just read all the chapters, attended all my lectures and did all the study guides on the disk with our booklet. And while I was in class, I listened. I didn't sit in here gossiping with anyone who would listen or text my friends or sit and paint my fingernails.
Her: *opens her mouth to say something then snaps it shut with a huff and turned around*

Don't get me wrong, not all students are like this and perhaps as Fizzy says it's a minority but I wouldn't know, he would.

All I know is that it is pretty bad when you get an email from your professor telling everyone in the class that she will fail papers that use text-ease in spelling.

Its quite the eyeopener. What a person gets out of their education really is proportionate to the amount of effort they put into learning.

Medievalist
11-21-2008, 11:46 AM
Do colleges have things like minumum SAT scores for entrance? Do they publish average SAT scores of freshmen? I'd think that would be useful info.

Yeah, they do, though admissions boards can recommend exceptions--say, for someone who for whatever reason looks like he or she can't take tests, or who has an outstanding skill at art, or music, or sports.

But.

The standardized scores are in some ways the least important criteria--they're a first stage filter.

And honestly, they mostly indicate how well people take standardized tests.

N.B. I suck at 'em so I'm all biased and stuff.

BarbaraKE
11-21-2008, 03:58 PM
I'm sure everyone would agree that there are some extremely stupid (insert age group).

What bothers me is the constant criticism I seem to hear from people my age about the 'younger generation'.

I have two sons - one is second-year college, the other a senior in high school. The kids I know in those age groups (i.e. their friends) are the nicest people you'd ever meet. They have part-time jobs, are involved in clubs, get good grades, etc. A fine, young group of people.

Granted, this is not a representative sample but neither are the writing examples posted above.

I hate it when people dump on an entire group of people just because they're young/old/black/white/whatever.

Cybernaught
11-21-2008, 08:33 PM
Guess what? Since I've heard his story, which may be more myth than fact, I've never handed in a research assignment without making sure my Works Cited page was absolutely perfect.

Extreme to you perhaps, but certainly beneficial.

C.bronco
11-21-2008, 08:40 PM
I teach college level writing, and I would like to point out that our colleges have many students for whom English is a second language. They are very bright and capable, but haven't completely mastered our grammar or our many idioms.

Even so, the "Bach and the spinster in his attic" line really cracked me up!

Mr Flibble
11-21-2008, 08:43 PM
english is also taught wrong. they are just now, just now in my senior year, getting around to teaching syntax. were going to be as bad as the brits before too long (no offense brits)

As bad as the Brits? Er in what way? *confused*

mscelina
11-21-2008, 08:51 PM
As bad as the Brits? Er in what way? *confused*

You know, I'd just ignore that whole post, Idiots. This youngster is in his senior year of high school and is just learning syntax?

Probably thinks that because UK grammar/spelling is occasionally different from that taught in the States that it must be 'wrong' somehow.

Revelationz
11-21-2008, 08:52 PM
Speaking as an American, it does seem most people can't write a coherent sentence, let alone a paper. I've had to review the work of fellow students in both high school and college. In high school, dear Lord, it was torture. Sentence structure, parts of speech, capitalization, punctuation.... just butchered, man. Just butchered. Whenever someone asked me how well they wrote their paper, it reminded me of that scene in Rambo where that guy got his legs blown off and Rambo had to console him....

"I just wanna go home. I just wanna go home and drive my car."

"You got no legs, man! You ain't got no legs!"

But, you can't tell them that they have no legs, figuratively speaking, of course. You can't tell them that they are to the English language what Hitler was to the world.

In college, things got better, but you still had those butchers. I've even met very educated people who have had trouble putting together a decent paper. I'm not going to front and say I'm the grandmaster pimpdaddy of the written word. Anyone who's read my storytelling knows I need work in that department. But, I can write clearly when dishing out facts and opinions. It seems I'm at my best when I'm preachy :)

Anways, I feel you guys. But, there are some college folk out there who would put us to shame. I think that in both high school and college there needs to be more sentence diagram exercises. Doing those really helped me a lot. Too bad the only time I did them was my senior year of high school.

Medievalist
11-21-2008, 08:54 PM
You know, I'd just ignore that whole post, Idiots. This youngster is in his senior year of high school and is just learning syntax?

Probably thinks that because UK grammar/spelling is occasionally different from that taught in the States that it must be 'wrong' somehow.

The post in question speaks volumes, and in a variety of tongues.

mscelina
11-21-2008, 08:56 PM
Agreed. I was trying to think of a way to say that tactfully and gave it up as a bad job.

Medievalist
11-21-2008, 08:57 PM
Let me put it this way:

If you're going to be critical about an entire population's writing ability, then it behooves you to make sure yours is beyond reproach.

At the very least, you need to produce better copy than a dyslexic with an IQ of 42 who can't spell.

mscelina
11-21-2008, 09:01 PM
Yes, but that IQ of 42 is extremely misleading, is it not?

Another point some would do well to remember--that with determination, hard work and application, any obstacle can be overcome or, at the very least, superseded. For every particle of blame thrown upon the educational system, an equal and distinct particle of blame must accrue to the individual. We have countless opportunities to educate ourselves daily. If one doesn't use them, well, they have very little justification in blaming another entity for their shortcomings.

*stolen from mscelina's harsh but realistic view on life*

Medievalist
11-21-2008, 09:28 PM
As bad as the Brits? Er in what way? *confused*

you guys like you know use punctuation and sentence case and spell honor and flavor funny and stuff like that.

Mr Flibble
11-21-2008, 09:33 PM
you guys like you know use punctuation and sentence case and spell honor and flavor funny and stuff like that.

No, no you spell colour wrong ( and you say aluminium funny :))

kuwisdelu
11-21-2008, 09:40 PM
No, no you spell colour wrong ( and you say aluminium funny :))

I'm not a Brit, but I completely agree.

wrinkles
11-21-2008, 09:56 PM
I'm constantly amazed at the number of people, of all ages, who attended high schools and colleges that started going all to hell the year after they graduated.

Aglaia
11-22-2008, 01:39 AM
I taught freshman English at a university (not a great one) outside of large city for a few years, and I had students that ran the gamut. Some good, some bad, a couple of plagiarists (easily caught stupid plagiarists, but let's give 'em credit for trying), lots of normal lazy teenagers, several little bastard teenagers... The worst for me, though, was that an unpleasantly high number of them came to me after I returned their first paper (with my comments) and, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, informed me that they were very confused as I was the first English teacher they'd ever had to actually read a paper they'd written. "I always got a good grade for writing the assigned pages," they'd say. "Nobody ever actually read them!"

Granted, most of these students were from the inner city and on the come-play-football/basketball/whatever-for-a-year-no-one-expects-you-to-graduate plan, but the worst part was that most of them wanted to learn. They were surprised that I bothered to read their words.

And that pissed me off.

I'm not assigning blame. Just sayin'.

Medievalist
11-22-2008, 01:44 AM
No, no you spell colour wrong ( and you say aluminium funny :))

Hah!

Just because we don't take VITamins with our YOGurt on a sheddule . . .

Medievalist
11-22-2008, 01:47 AM
To be fair, there is often a . . . cultural disconnect of sorts between high school and a freshman's first college English class--from their perspective, often, we've completely turned the tables and changed all the rules. This is not true of all, of course.

1. The "five paragraph essay" of regurgitated class discussion and reading isn't going to pass.

2. We do expect a thesis and a supporting and clearly expressed argument.

3. We really do mean revise--not just copy it or keyboard it again.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 02:29 AM
I've actually found my college studies to be far more rewarding. My professors really go out of their way to be specific in what they want and more than willing to let students rework a paper for a better grade. My current math professor is a god send. He allows us to retake chapter tests to improve our grades and he answers his cell phone any time of day or early evening, willing to help us over the phone or make appointments for one on one instruction with him. He's been so encouraging and reassures me that at 50 I'm not too old to conquer my fears and dyslexia. I've had him two semesters now. I honestly feel if it wasn't for him and his belief in my ability to conquer my fears and form of dyslexia that I wouldn't be where I am today. He's taken the terror out of math for me and trust me when I say, I would do just about anything to get out of doing my math requirements. I would be graduating this semester had I found him early on.

Back in 2003, I had an English teacher take interest in my writing and pointed out to me that I have a form of dyslexia. Thanks to her efforts and others, I have figured out how to manage it and I'm an honors student. I know it can be done.

So it really is between the student and the faculty to work together. Those who won't bother aren't going to get very far.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 02:31 AM
To be fair, there is often a . . . cultural disconnect of sorts between high school and a freshman's first college English class--from their perspective, often, we've completely turned the tables and changed all the rules. This is not true of all, of course.

1. The "five paragraph essay" of regurgitated class discussion and reading isn't going to pass.

2. We do expect a thesis and a supporting and clearly expressed argument.

3. We really do mean revise--not just copy it or keyboard it again.I've had a great experience with professors at my college. My Film production professor totally disagreed with my final thesis paper BUT she said I backed up my thesis with appropriate resources and did a great job of articulating my argument so gave me 100% on that paper. I've found the faculty to be more than fair.

Esopha
11-22-2008, 02:32 AM
I'm constantly amazed at the number of people, of all ages, who attended high schools and colleges that started going all to hell the year after they graduated.

And you, sir, are my new Personal Jesus (TM).


Reading threads like these makes me want to take the second star to the right. Does everyone forget how crappy schools were when they were a member of the student body? Does it happen somewhere between 18 and 25? I can guarantee that schools were just as bad (or good) as they are now, and students back then were just as bad (or good) as they are now. There's just this idea that when I was in high school, I worked my butt of and I was ready for college. It's not recent, either. That's been around for ages, too.

The world doesn't change much, and neither do people.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 02:47 AM
Reading threads like these makes me want to take the second star to the right. Does everyone forget how crappy schools were when they were a member of the student body? Does it happen somewhere between 18 and 25? I can guarantee that schools were just as bad (or good) as they are now, and students back then were just as bad (or good) as they are now. There's just this idea that when I was in high school, I worked my butt of and I was ready for college. It's not recent, either. That's been around for ages, too.

The world doesn't change much, and neither do people.I disagree.

Here's why:

Back in 1972-1976 when I was in high school, my teachers worked very hard to help the students. The attitude wasn't, those who can't do, teach. It wasn't a job, it was their vocation. School didn't suck when I was in school for any other reason than I didn't know I had a disability that made reading comprehension slow going for me. I also didn't know I have issue with filtering out ambient noises. Now I do and I love school.

I also had major issues with my lungs during those years and my teachers made sure I got homework to do and allowed me to turn it in. I was excused from school and not penalized for not being there. Of course they had written proof from my doctor and my mother's word was good enough for them too.

Now my youngest was failed his sophomore year for missing school. He didn't cut class once. He was out with pneumonia three times. We had written doctor's notes from THREE different doctors backing up all of the three times he was sick. And his grandmother passed away and we had to fly back to see her before she did. He was supposedly "excused from school". BUT, his teachers wouldn't help me collect his work. They said it was up to him to be there. Well he couldn't be. So we did the best we could and even though they said they'd work with him. They didn't. One teacher's comment, "They don't pay me enough to go out of my way for these kids these days." And it's sad that I've heard that from more than one teacher but fortunately not all of them feel that way.

My son is now in an alternate school from the same school district open to him at 17 and he does all his work online or in night classes. He has a straight A average now. He works hard to understand his work and he's so grateful that his health isn't negatively impacted by students attending classes that in my day would have been kept home and from exposing other students.

Now, I'm not saying all schools are like this or all teachers. We are hoping that the fact the VP is no longer employed by the school means they took action about his heavy handedness and refusal to listen to parents.

I'm just saying things are not the same. People are not the same. There are improvements in the education system and there are detriments. So you have to learn to work with what you've got and find ways to get through it.

Isn't that life? I mean, really? Isn't it?

Esopha
11-22-2008, 03:12 AM
You feel that your experience, coupled with that of your son's, stands as empirical evidence for the changes in high schools all across the country during both time periods... but I was talking generally.

Let me clarify my point. There will always be students who are unsatisfied. Always students who are kept behind while other students are pushed ahead even though they don't belong there. It used to be minorities were kept behind, and then students with disabilities, and now... well, now I'm not sure who's being kept behind or getting ahead, but it doesn't matter. Maybe it's the gifted kids, or maybe it's the average kids, or maybe it's the kids who love language. Overall, the trend is that people aren't happy with education.

But people shouldn't be dissatisfied with education. Education was always broken. Maybe we should be dissatisfied with people, since people have the power to change themselves, and education must be changed by committee. (People rarely agree when they're forced to work in a committee...) I didn't understand basic algebraic functions until a few years ago, when I forced myself to learn. I would have passed math anyway, so why did I teach myself? Intellectual curiosity. I wanted to know how it worked.

Some people aren't like that. And that's the long and the short of it; there are always going to be people who don't deserve to be where they are. That is life, and has always been life. Saying that this sense of entitlement is a newfound phenomenon is ridiculous. Teenagers have always felt entitled. We know everything, after all. Adults always complain about it. They know everything, after all. (These last few sentences are, of course, blatant, ugly generalizations.)

So I don't think anything has changed. Not really. Not in an essential, elementary kind of way.

kuwisdelu
11-22-2008, 03:14 AM
Now my youngest was failed his sophomore year for missing school. He didn't cut class once. He was out with pneumonia three times. We had written doctor's notes from THREE different doctors backing up all of the three times he was sick. And his grandmother passed away and we had to fly back to see her before she did. He was supposedly "excused from school". BUT, his teachers wouldn't help me collect his work. They said it was up to him to be there. Well he couldn't be. So we did the best we could and even though they said they'd work with him. They didn't. One teacher's comment, "They don't pay me enough to go out of my way for these kids these days." And it's sad that I've heard that from more than one teacher but fortunately not all of them feel that way.

Aye, I can confirm this. I have a pretty stellar immune system usually, so this hasn't been a big deal for me. But my girlfriend has the bad luck of getting sick all the time.

Back in high school, she was in a public school for senior year. Same story, except her mother refused to take her to a doctor, so no notes. Her pneumonia was confirmed by the school nurse, whose word wasn't good enough, either, because she wasn't a real doctor anyway.

In college, it's been even worse for her. It depends on the professors, really. Fortunately, mine tend to be pretty understanding. Hers, not so much, especially lab classes. Most labs, you miss a lab, you're down to like a B or C best--miss two, you fail. When you have viral pneumonia and a broken foot and written notes from the health center's doctor requesting you please be excused, and that's not good enough for the professor... Come on!

kuwisdelu
11-22-2008, 03:19 AM
But people shouldn't be dissatisfied with education. Education was always broken. Maybe we should be dissatisfied with people, since people have the power to change themselves, and education must be changed by committee. (People rarely agree when they're forced to work in a committee...) I didn't understand basic algebraic functions until a few years ago, when I forced myself to learn. I would have passed math anyway, so why did I teach myself? Intellectual curiosity. I wanted to know how it worked.

So we should simply accept that this is Just the Way it Will Always Be?

The answer is that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. That's why people disagree. Students learn differently. The solution is not finding the way that everyone learns best, but to recognize that that is impossible. Reduce class sizes; divide them by learning style. Give teachers good salaries. Increase the teacher-to-student ratio, so teachers are able to teach students in the way those particular students learn. To understand the best way to teach is first to understand how we learn.

Esopha
11-22-2008, 03:25 AM
So we should simply accept that this is Just the Way it Will Always Be?

Yup. Fixing education would require a complete overhaul, which no politician is willing to suggest. So we'll continue on our merry way until something drastic happens. Possibly involving death. This is the American way. :)


The answer is that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. That's why people disagree. Students learn differently. The solution is not finding the way that everyone learns best, but to recognize that that is impossible. Reduce class sizes; divide them by learning style. Give teachers good salaries. Increase the teacher-to-student ratio, so teachers are able to teach students in the way those particular students learn. To understand the best way to teach is first to understand how we learn.

The answer is that there is no answer. Okay. Reducing class size is great but expensive. There are not enough teachers. Dividing them by learning styles is great, but expensive. Also impractical -- how are people going to deal in real life? (Oh, so you're an interpersonal literary? You can work with Bill over here...) Teachers in my district get great salaries (some earn in the six figures) but we have the same problems.

The best way to teach is to teach a student who wants to learn. That is the problem. Some people are happy with ignorance.

We are not, so this is difficult to understand. Why should people be content with ignorance? Shouldn't they want to learn? Not everyone. They go to college for their own reasons, and some of them succeed. Some of them don't. People who want to learn go to college for their own reasons, and some of them succeed. Some of them don't.

I think mscelina summed it up best. A person's education is what they make of it. You can lead a horse to water...

Medievalist
11-22-2008, 03:28 AM
When you have viral pneumonia and a broken foot and written notes from the health center's doctor requesting you please be excused, and that's not good enough for the professor... Come on!

I'm willing to bet that that school has, somewhere on its Web site in HR or in the Faculty Senate area, a description of accepted practices for tenured and non-tenured faculty--and that it requires that they cooperate with a legitimate absence.

I'd start googling, or talk to the campus Ombuds office; that is NOT acceptable treatment.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 03:29 AM
You feel that your experience, coupled with that of your son's, stands as empirical evidence for the changes in high schools all across the country during both time periods... but I was talking generally. Empirical? Not so much. It's my experience.

Esopha
11-22-2008, 03:33 AM
Empirical? Not so much. It's my experience.

Okay, but that's two experiences in a nation of millions. I doubt that there's been such a dramatic change over the entire sample of high schools.

My teachers are perfectly happy to help tutor me, or set up days when I can pick up my late work, or excuse me from school due to medical conditions.

Neither of our personal experiences mean much in the grand scheme of things.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 03:33 AM
I'm willing to bet that that school has, somewhere on its Web site in HR or in the Faculty Senate area, a description of accepted practices for tenured and non-tenured faculty--and that it requires that they cooperate with a legitimate absence.

I'd start googling, or talk to the campus Ombuds office; that is NOT acceptable treatment.You know that's what I told my son. I was willing to fight this all the way to the state board of education. He told me it wasn't worth his time. That he felt he could work with the new school and graduate even as much as a half a year ahead of scheduling including making up his entire sophomore year. His contention is that he feels more in control of his educational experience this way and his health won't affect his marks.

He's 17 and I let him make the call. And yet, at times I really want to go do something about it. My kids are through that system now but what about those who are in it or soon to be?

Esopha
11-22-2008, 03:36 AM
I'm willing to bet that that school has, somewhere on its Web site in HR or in the Faculty Senate area, a description of accepted practices for tenured and non-tenured faculty--and that it requires that they cooperate with a legitimate absence.

I'd start googling, or talk to the campus Ombuds office; that is NOT acceptable treatment.


You know that's what I told my son. I was willing to fight this all the way to the state board of education. He told me it wasn't worth his time. That he felt he could work with the new school and graduate even as much as a half a year ahead of scheduling including making up his entire sophomore year. His contention is that he feels more in control of his educational experience this way and his health won't affect his marks.

He's 17 and I let him make the call. And yet, at times I really want to go do something about it. My kids are through that system now but what about those who are in it or soon to be?

I'm with Medievalist and Cassiopeia on this one. With the amount of BS you and your GF put up with, you'd be able to sue the school and walk away with pocketfuls of cash. Complain to someone.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 03:36 AM
Okay, but that's two experiences in a nation of millions. I doubt that there's been such a dramatic change over the entire sample of high schools.

My teachers are perfectly happy to help tutor me, or set up days when I can pick up my late work, or excuse me from school due to medical conditions.

Neither of our personal experiences mean much in the grand scheme of things.I only related my experiences as I don't speak for others. I guess you can google the question if you are looking for empirical evidence. I don't have the time.

Cassiopeia
11-22-2008, 03:37 AM
I'm with Medievalist and Cassiopeia on this one. With the amount of BS you and your GF put up with, you'd be able to sue the school and walk away with pocketfuls of cash. Complain to someone.SUE? No thanks. I've got more important things to do than sue someone. I'd rather keep on the path I am on, which is to one day teach and I will make a difference that way.

Esopha
11-22-2008, 03:41 AM
I only related my experiences as I don't speak for others. I guess you can google the question if you are looking for empirical evidence. I don't have the time.

I didn't ask you to google the question. I pointed out that you responded to my post about generalities with personal experiences. I thought you were using your personal experiences as a rebuttal to my point which wasn't about singular experiences at all. I'm sorry if you thought I was talking about something else -- it's understandable. I'm not always coherent.


SUE? No thanks. I've got more important things to do than sue someone. I'd rather keep on the path I am on, which is to one day teach and I will make a difference that way.

This was actually a figure of speech.

Clair Dickson
11-22-2008, 03:50 AM
My two cents-- I have yet to meet a teacher that went into the profession because they couldn't do... ('those who can't do, teach'). All the teachers I have worked with, which is quite a few since I am a teacher, went into teaching because they wanted to be teachers. They wanted to help students.

Are there still bad teachers-- sure. I have a Mr. Movie in the school where I teach-- half the time the kids are watching movies. Administration, for some reason, doesn't get rid of him... It's really unfair to blame all teachers/ all schools for some of the things that happen. You know how many times I've collected work for students who never even come to pick it up? You know how long it takes me to finish my paperwork at the end of the day?

I think the bigger difference between now and then is that administration has changed schools from the top down. I had a stupid attendance policy when I was in high school (would have been class of 99). We could miss no more than 5 school days per marking period (2 periods per semester). And no unexcused absences. If you had unexcused absences, you would have your grades dropped by a full letter grade. My As were turned to B's because the absent notes I had turned into the office were not passed along to any of my teachers-- the teachers recorded my grades as affected by unexcused absences. I didn't bother to fight-- so much of these injustices require fighting. Since the biggest threat against schools is lawsuits (which no school can afford) a prolonged fight and credible threat of lawsuit should make any school back down. Seriously-- the parents that do that have the students who can do no wrong...

There are examples of teachers and administration not dealing well with illnesses. It often takes a fight in the local districts-- we get many of those kids in the alternative high school I teach at because the schools ultimately don't want to "play favorites" or have "double standards" in regards to attendance. WTF-- but that's administration.

The difference in the student body I see (and my perspective is a bit skewed since I'm in alterantive h.s.) is that more students who have no interest in acadamia are staying in school. They can't go get a decent paying job as a high school drop out now. Most are also lacking in mechanical or automotive skills that many young men a generation or two ago had-- skills that could get them construction or car repair jobs. These kids are still in school, but they don't want to be. Some of them will keep on going-- with mommy and daddy's money, often-- to college because of the pervasive belief that there are no good jobs without a college degree. These kids, many of them young men, would do well with vocational training instead. IMNHO.

There will always be bad teachers. But most of them (us) got into because we wanted to teach and do good in the world. Many of them (us) struggle with getting that love of teaching beaten out of us by administration on the top and students on the bottom.

Nivarion
11-22-2008, 08:45 AM
one way i think we could revamp it is to put people in specialized classes.

i am a hands on learner. i think in terms of what i can see and feel. i also learn fast, especially if i can put what i am reading, into things i can see and feel.

one of my brothers is a book learner. he works well with learning from textbooks.

be both learn very fast.

now what i think would be best is if they took all the hands on learners and put them in one class with a hands on teacher. took all of the book learners and put them in a class with a book teacher.

took all the fast learners and put them with a fast teacher, and all the slow learners with a slow teacher.

then everyone would be getting the best education they can. also i noticed the people teach the way they learn, so we would have teachers with similar learning problems/experiences/strengths teaching people with similar learning problems/experience/strengths.

my grandma tells me that this is how it used to work, but sometimes you were put with the stupid people for having a hurdle that they don't realizes makes you stupid. she was badly dyslexic. but once she learned to read around it she was moved to the top classes.

doesn't mean that the teachers were any better then, she was out with pnemonia for two weeks, when she got back the teacher said "Oh thats who was missing" it was like an "Oh thanks for caring" moment but thats off subject now soo...

and by the way, idiotsRus, how is Alu miny umn any better than alumn in um

mscelina
11-22-2008, 08:53 AM
Nivarion--

You are, by your own admission, very young so please take this in the appropriate context.


and by the way, idiotsRus, how is Alu miny umn any better than alumn in um


There are differences in pronunciation between UK English and American English. The American spellings/pronunciation are not automatically right; Idiots' pronunciation of aluminum is correct because she is a native UK English speaker. Besides, she was making a joke. Her comment should have been taken in the appropriate context. If you're going to criticize a cultural difference within the same linguistic family, you should endeavor to ascertain that your native use of the English language is correct--spelled correctly, punctuated correctly and capitalized correctly. Once it is, people will be more inclined to take you seriously.

You have a great deal to learn about the English language. Your time would be better spent in learning the correct usages of American English--and in understanding that different countries have different forms of the language. Pay attention in your classes and absorb the information that your teacher is offering you. Take some time to educate yourself in the intricacies of language--which you can do very easily on this site and others. Above all, read as much as you can. If you want to be a writer, then language is your greatest tool. You are selling yourself short if you allow complacency to prevent you from acquiring the skill and basic comprehension you need in order to write well.

Sassee
11-22-2008, 09:31 AM
This only changes if people want it to... and while I hear a lot of complaining about this and many other issues, I see little action on actually changing said issues. The people I hear complain about public schools still send their kids there. Kids I hear complain about high school / college / whatever still continue to go to school. Or they drop in frustration. No one likes fighting the system, so they continue to go on about their lives and complain about it. It's less effort to simply complain, after all. And so far, in my relatively short life, I don't see a difference in this attitude between generations.

I believe the phrase that goes with the above paragraph is - "oh snap."

/eyebrow

Ciera_
11-22-2008, 10:13 AM
What's worse than atrocious writing from students?
Teachers who make grammatical mistakes in the notes they tell us to copy.
My English teacher, thank god, doesn't do this, but my Social teacher is particularly bad for it. There is not much worse than having to sit there and stare at the offending apostrophes in, say, 'This legislation gave Anglophone's and Francophone's specific rights.'
Of course I would like nothing more than to disentangle myself from my desk and run up to the whiteboard and just...make it go away! And I might, too, if the teacher wasn't one of those really young guys who thinks he's the coolest and relates every single topic, somehow, to hockey. One of those people who gives the impression that if you proved him wrong, he'd spend the rest of the year holding a grudge and trying to find ways to return the favor.
Yes, I'm a teeny bit unhappy with that particular class.
Anyway, more on topic, students today, as a whole, are not very committed to their education, and many of them just plain unintelligent. That's the impression I get from being surrounded by them every day.There are lots of really smart ones, but the number of people who are passing by some miracle or on the pity of a 'nice' teacher is frightening. I cannot picture most of my classmates in any workplace five years from now, I don't understand how they can build a life on what they take out of the school system.
For the most part, the teachers are pretty good. By the time I reached Jr. High they stopped doing the 'everybody's special' and 'there're no losers!' stuff so blatantly, but they still pass kids who definitely do not know half of the material.
What does this mean for me? It can be a little irritating, but overall I see it as a good thing. Less competition. If that is 'average', then I must be fabulous in the eyes of employers!
In several thousand years when we've devolved to the point where apostrophes are unheard of, I might change my mind.

Mr Flibble
11-22-2008, 01:21 PM
Apparently Nivarion was talking about speech not actual writing - which of course was what we were talking about. An Englishman once told his Granny that English people have dialects.

Which obviously equates to us having a completely crap education system. I mean all you yanks sound the same don't you, with no accents? /end sarcasm

ETA: thanks for the reps guys - I wasn't actually offended more confused. But the PM made everything clear. And unintentionally hilarious.

NeuroFizz
11-22-2008, 04:48 PM
In college, it's been even worse for her. It depends on the professors, really. Fortunately, mine tend to be pretty understanding. Hers, not so much, especially lab classes. Most labs, you miss a lab, you're down to like a B or C best--miss two, you fail. When you have viral pneumonia and a broken foot and written notes from the health center's doctor requesting you please be excused, and that's not good enough for the professor... Come on!
I'm sorry. We are obligated by the Faculty Handbook, directives from the administration, (and even) common sense and fair play to work with students with documented absenses due to medical or personal issues. We are obligated to find ways to allow those students to make up missed work. If we don't we will be in huge trouble (as will the university). If your friend has found professors who will not accept medical excuses, your friend needs to get her butt into the department chair's office right away. Period. What you have described has never happened in my nearly three decades of university experience. Does that mean it never happens? I strongly suspect not. But when it does, there are immediate and powerful actions the student can take. Advise your friend accordingly.

On the other hand, I've had students claim they should be given make-up work because they set their digital alarm for p.m. instead of a.m., because it was raining (I guess they don't realize we do hold our classes indoors), and because it was the last day of a big sale at a local store (not kidding). These students gain a much more important lesson in personal responsibility if I don't cave and give them a make-up opportunity because if they pull that crap in the working world, they'll be unemployed very quickly. Aren't we supposed to be training students for that working world in our educational institutions? And believe me, some of the most important lessons students learn in college have nothing to do with course materials. Those important lessons they learn are about themselves.

NeuroFizz
11-22-2008, 05:19 PM
one way i think we could revamp it is to put people in specialized classes.

i am a hands on learner. i think in terms of what i can see and feel. i also learn fast, especially if i can put what i am reading, into things i can see and feel.

one of my brothers is a book learner. he works well with learning from textbooks.

be both learn very fast.

now what i think would be best is if they took all the hands on learners and put them in one class with a hands on teacher. took all of the book learners and put them in a class with a book teacher.


Then, of course, you'd better find an employer who works best with hands-on learners, and your brother better find an employer who is best with book learners. And of course in between, you'll have to select all of your college professors by the same criteria (if you go to college). Ultimately, it's not the world that has to adapt to the individual. It's the individual who has to adapt to the world. We can't possibly find the perfect niche for us every step of our way from school years to death. Just when should we start teaching students to do some adapting? When they go for their first job interview?

The educational system isn't anywhere near perfect at any level. But it can't be expected to customize its curriculum for hundreds of millions of individuals the way it is currently organized. I agree there are numerous cases where great harm has been done to individuals, and in hindsight, different courses of action should have been found. But imagine a school teacher who has little respect from the students (we see some of it here in this thread) and virtually none from some of the parents, who has to deal with the emotional tightropes of children from split and splitting families, from children who have no discipline, who haven't been taught to respect any kind of authority. Now, pay these teachers just above the poverty level and tell them to shut up because they get their summers off (without pay by the way, so most have to find summer employment--some doing things not much above flipping burgers). Next, require them to also judge what kind of learning is best for each individual student and provide a customized curriculum for each and every student. Don't hold your breath on that one. But guess what...some teachers still do that very thing. Don't be shocked that the majority of teachers don't have the time or energy to do this, though. (My daughter is one of those teachers who tries to do this, but there aren't enough hours in the day when she has over 32 students in her class and she is expected to prepare them all for the myriad of standardized and evaluative tests that dominate public education these days.)

Nivarion
11-24-2008, 12:35 AM
Nivarion--

You are, by your own admission, very young so please take this in the appropriate context.



There are differences in pronunciation between UK English and American English. The American spellings/pronunciation are not automatically right; Idiots' pronunciation of aluminum is correct because she is a native UK English speaker. Besides, she was making a joke. Her comment should have been taken in the appropriate context. If you're going to criticize a cultural difference within the same linguistic family, you should endeavor to ascertain that your native use of the English language is correct--spelled correctly, punctuated correctly and capitalized correctly. Once it is, people will be more inclined to take you seriously.

You have a great deal to learn about the English language. Your time would be better spent in learning the correct usages of American English--and in understanding that different countries have different forms of the language. Pay attention in your classes and absorb the information that your teacher is offering you. Take some time to educate yourself in the intricacies of language--which you can do very easily on this site and others. Above all, read as much as you can. If you want to be a writer, then language is your greatest tool. You are selling yourself short if you allow complacency to prevent you from acquiring the skill and basic comprehension you need in order to write well.


am i really that bad at making it sure that i was telling a joke too? because i was.

gosh did no one else see the humor in that? "You say aluminum funny" "Is alu miny umn any better than Alum in umn"

what i meant by the brits stuff was well be writing as bad as they talk to each other, also meant to be funny...

(i really meant no offense to British people. and on another note, all but one branch of my family came from over there too, and we still have some of the accents hanging around)

i am not trying to be complacent, i just left out of the loop for a while, and i was alright with it. then i had this story form that i wanted to tell, so i have been teaching myself how to write better.

honestly you would have thrown me off as a spammer due to my writing skills just a year ago. i am still not good at writing but i have come a long long way. i have removed text speak from my writing in entirely, which consisted of most of it before i started. i know i am terrible at writing, i know this.

What i am saying that when they were supposed to be teaching me this stuff in school, back in elementary the guy in the back corner who was always making a fool of himself was getting to hog the teacher and continue even though he learned less than me, is unfair. since he learned differently, and when he got bored made a big distraction. so in my opinion if he had been kept with the other kids like him until he had learned to control it. And i had been kept with the other kids who needed the blinds down and the posters off the walls until we got control of the ADHD then every one would be better off.

and i will end by saying, Riddlein is of the devil and shouldn't be used to control us problem kids. it killed many of my friends personalities. my mom was the only thing that saved my from it too, and i eventually learned to control it and am just fine without any meds.

Mr. Anonymous
11-24-2008, 12:56 AM
Funny, but I don't think it's fair to generalize. This certainly is not "the state of college english."

Medievalist
11-24-2008, 01:18 AM
What i am saying that when they were supposed to be teaching me this stuff in school, back in elementary the guy in the back corner who was always making a fool of himself was getting to hog the teacher and continue even though he learned less than me, is unfair. since he learned differently, and when he got bored made a big distraction.

Nivarion this is an absolute crock.

You are responsible for learning; you had opportunity and could, and can, avail yourself of it.

But you didn't and you aren't.

Your posts are barely intelligible--and you constantly find excuses and evade your responsibility in order to find fault and blame in others.

You have no concept of punctuation; you can't even be bothered to use sentence case (sentences begin with a capital letter). You don't even bother to spell check your posts).

You spend an inordinate amount of time whining and being complacent instead of actually working at improving your writing.

Cut it out and we might start taking you seriously.

2old2pb
11-24-2008, 04:02 AM
The way I see it this thread went from "hey, look at these funny grammatical and spelling mistakes" to "who is to blame for the sad, sad state of college English". The second sentiment might deserve its own thread.

willfulone
11-25-2008, 05:32 AM
Nivarion this is an absolute crock.

You are responsible for learning; you had opportunity and could, and can, avail yourself of it.

But you didn't and you aren't.

Your posts are barely intelligible--and you constantly find excuses and evade your responsibility in order to find fault and blame in others.

You have no concept of punctuation; you can't even be bothered to use sentence case (sentences begin with a capital letter). You don't even bother to spell check your posts).

You spend an inordinate amount of time whining and being complacent instead of actually working at improving your writing.

Cut it out and we might start taking you seriously.

I am going to RESPECTFULLY disagree with the part I bolded. A child of 6/7/8 does not have the skills/knowledge/understanding to avail him/her self of the tools they need to learn something. (full stop: I know N is not this young, but continue reading - please - before smacking on me too) They need a teacher (early on) to teach them the building blocks in order to AVAIL themselves later. If they do not receive the intial, necessary building blocks, the rest will be harder to learn later on. It will not make sense what they see when they get to middle/high school and many will give up the fight in the face of the confusion and lack of self-esteem for feeling "dumb" and/or being called the same.

I do not expect N to have the necessary skills to post in proper grammer if he was never given the initial (necessary) skill set from early on. And, I cannot know if he did or not. I suspect, he was missing some education long before high school based upon his posts and his own claims. Could be for his ADD, could be another issue with an unknown (to date) learning disability. Could be the school system in his area just plain sucks. I would not call him ignorant unless I KNEW he choose to NOT learn. He appears very interested in learning now and seems (also) to know his shortcomings. And, is working on them. There are other people (veterans) who do NOT use caps at the beginning of their sentences. I see several peeps posting in "IM" type lingo and such. I do not see them called out and embarrassed for the lack.

I have worked in the school system in Speech and Language Pathology with children who have issues learning. Even if they do not have a disability. And, I can tell you, that many sessions (1/2 days) were spent tending to the kids who were obnoxious, disturbed classes, took attention away from those who wanted to learn. Many classes were totally corrupted while students watched on as the teacher "calmed/placated/punished" an errant child or children causing trouble. A child like N in a situation like this may have lost a great deal of his ability to learn early on. And suffers for it now.

Leeway may be considered that this is a possiblity, rather than calling names and casting stone.

Ya know - respect your fellow AW member. Use that ignore button if you cannot tolerate somethings. As offered in the Newbie Guide.

Just sayin'

Christine

Medievalist
11-25-2008, 06:43 AM
I have worked in the school system in Speech and Language Pathology with children who have issues learning. Even if they do not have a disability. And, I can tell you, that many sessions (1/2 days) were spent tending to the kids who were obnoxious, disturbed classes, took attention away from those who wanted to learn. Many classes were totally corrupted while students watched on as the teacher "calmed/placated/punished" an errant child or children causing trouble. A child like N in a situation like this may have lost a great deal of his ability to learn early on. And suffers for it now.

You know what?

I disagree, profoundly.

I'm not asking anyone to do anything I don't struggle with personally. I'm profoundly dyslexic. I was in special ed classes until 4th grade. I dropped out of high school. I struggle with writing all the time.

If I can manage to proof my posts and generally follow some sort of coherent sentence structure, I think it's not unreasonable to ask for the same level of respect from other posters. "Respect your fellow writers goes both ways."

We do have spell check, and even grammar check, so no, there's no excuse, and yes, it is profoundly disrespectful to other members and writers to expect them to unravel meaning when a writer can't be bothered to proof, particularly when many other members with a variety of neurological and linguistic challenges manage to proof and take the time to write carefully.

MacAllister
11-25-2008, 07:28 AM
Actually, I'm going to point out that Medievalist has been a professional educator for a number of years.

If you guys want to let Nivarion's barely-disguised racist screed pass, that's your business. Don't expect everyone to feel nearly so charitable. I certainly don't.

Then I'm going to close the thread.