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WerenCole
03-01-2006, 08:41 AM
My English professor in my guided research class did not know what she was getting into when she decided to heap a mountain of work on the class. I have decided to make her pay for it. She keeps assigning irrelevant reading and heaps of annotated bibliographies. She wants written responses from the readings and thorough ABs. The rest of the people in my class do not really take those assignments all that seriously, so they scrape by with 200 words responses and two page ABs.

I have one up-ed her. She did not give us a word limit so I am writing in depth analytical essays on every trivial reading she assigns. She might be expect 1000 words at the most. . . I am giving her 5k with bibliographies of critics on the source. My ABs are 5-7k. . . she wanted thorough. . . she is supposing everybody is using articles for their sources, I am reading whole books. I asked her if she just wanted an abstract, and she said she wanted more than just an abstract, so she gets an abstract then a summary on every section of the book. Screw her, if she thinks she can bury me, think again, I am a writer with time on my hands and a vindictive spirit regarding having to take this hold your hand research course in the first place.

Am I a bad person? Has anyone else ever decided to bury the one who thought they were burying you? You come at me with litigation, I come back at you with a team of lawyers. Bring out the dogs.

Unique
03-01-2006, 08:45 AM
w00t!

Hoist her on her own petard! Screw the bell curve! Go get 'em tiger!:banana:

Elincoln
03-01-2006, 08:50 AM
Am I a bad person? Has anyone else ever decided to bury the one who thought they were burying you? You come at me with litigation, I come back at you with a team of lawyers. Bring out the dogs.

Whoa. Never went full barrel on my professors. Actually got disappointed with my Creative Writing professor when he gave me a word limit! If it was any more than 2,000, he would send it back for me to cut down.

She said she wanted thorough. You might become her pet before the semester's out though. Or not. Depends how she feels about the authors to those readings.

Had a professor who worshipped Virgina Wolfe and I remember writing a nasty paper about how she was real wishy-washy. Had enough material to back up my point, but I still got a bad grade for it.

Bottom line: You don't get good grades for doing the work. You get good grades by giving the professor what they want.

WerenCole
03-01-2006, 08:51 AM
Bell curve? I'm the whole goddamn bell.

I haven't really thought about grades actually. . . it's an english class, of course I am going to get an A. I am just pissed at the teach and making her pay for it.

Unique
03-01-2006, 08:55 AM
I am just pissed at the teach and making her pay for it.

I don't blame you a bit, just bear in mind what elincoln said and document, document, document. Be able to show that you went above and beyond the call of duty in case she gets her knickers in a twist. ( i.e. in case she thinks you deserve a B) It's called CYA. It works in all sectors of life.

WerenCole
03-01-2006, 09:00 AM
Whoa. Never went full barrel on my professors. Actually got disappointed with my Creative Writing professor when he gave me a word limit! If it was any more than 2,000, he would send it back for me to cut down.

She said she wanted thorough. You might become her pet before the semester's out though. Or not. Depends how she feels about the authors to those readings.

Bottom line: You don't get good grades for doing the work. You get good grades by giving the professor what they want.


I am giving her what she wants, and then some. There is very little superfluous data being represented. 80% of my grade is the final paper anyway, I am not worried about the grade, as stated before.

I will not be the pet of a teacher who can barely hold it together in the first place. SHE is late to just about every class (there is almost a good reason for it, but she shouldn't have taken the schedule if she thought she was going to have problems) and then brings an unreasonable amount of work to the students. I know other people who are taking the same class with a different professor (actually, something like 20 different professors are teaching this class currently) and they are not getting the work that we have.

Creative writing and literary technique is different. The art of cutting back and editing revising is laudable. If she stated that she wanted short and concise, I would give her short and concise. I could give her a 500 word essay that says everything that needs to be said, and then some. . . effieciency in the use of information. No. . . she is getting what she paid for. . . or more precisely what I am paying her for (through tuition and the whatnot) She wants to act the hard ***, let her see it in reverse.

I might become the hardest english professor anyone has come across. . . if I would make the huge mistake of becoming a teacher.

I am not actually sure she is reading things anymore. There were no marks on my last three papers except A's or check plus grades.

BlackCrowesChick
03-01-2006, 09:30 AM
Good for you! Give her a taste of her own medicine. :Thumbs:

Mac H.
03-01-2006, 10:33 AM
I don't see the point. It would only bother the teacher if the teacher had to read it in detail.

They can flick through 600 pages without reading just as easily as 10 pages without reading.

Not a bad way to learn, but I doubt your teach will be suffering for your work ...

Mac.

WerenCole
03-01-2006, 10:56 AM
In response to you Mac. . . she does read it thoroughly. . . that is why I decided to make her work for it. Also. . . there is no real point. . . I am just bored with the class.

Optimus
03-01-2006, 11:26 AM
What's an "AB?"


edited: Woops. Nevermind. I reread the original post. AB = annotated bibly.

Got it.

NeuroFizz
03-01-2006, 05:54 PM
Hi, WC

Just prepare yourself for a little back-fire here. She may consider you a model student for rising to her challenge and for your thoughtful and complete responses.

Prepare yourself for one other thing. Because of the effort and detail you are putting into the assignments, you are learning more than all of the other students (that's the goal of teaching - to get students to learn). You are getting your money's worth out of the class, even if it is through your own effort (I'm not taking your teacher's side here). Education is the only business in which the consumers strive to get less than they pay for. It drives me nuts.



I will not be the pet of a teacher who can barely hold it together in the first place.
See my comment above...


SHE is late to just about every class (there is almost a good reason for it, but she shouldn't have taken the schedule if she thought she was going to have problems)
This is absolutely inexcusable. You are paying for the class, and she doesn't take it seriously enough to provide the full period of instruction. Skewer her on this in the end-of-class evaluations.


and then brings an unreasonable amount of work to the students. I know other people who are taking the same class with a different professor (actually, something like 20 different professors are teaching this class currently) and they are not getting the work that we have.
Do not skewer her for this on the final evaluation, even if it is true. Students whine about workload so much, even when it is appropriate, professors toss evaluative comments when they see this one.


I might become the hardest english professor anyone has come across. . . if I would make the huge mistake of becoming a teacher.
Here is where most college-level teachers totally miss the boat. There is a huge difference between "hard" and "challenging." It's the number one key of being a good university teacher, in my opinion. Unfortunately most teachers don't ever learn the difference. It's the difference between saying, "This will stump them..." and "This will allow them to show what they know..." My guess is your instructor hasn't made this distinction. You, as a student, are rising to a challenge, although your motivation is most unusual, and you will be much better off for the work you put in (in terms of the subject matter).


I am not actually sure she is reading things anymore. There were no marks on my last three papers except A's or check plus grades.
Not a good sign.

Good luck with it, WC. I hope you get better instructors in the future. But remember, the best ones are not always the "easiest" ones.

pconsidine
03-01-2006, 08:27 PM
I've always been what people like to call a "difficult student." I've been cursed at by more teachers than anyone else I know (my freshman drawing professor actually took me out into the hallway and called me a "little f-cker" to my face because I was trying to help another student with her drawing). The worst part is that it was never intentional. I"ve never made it a point to go after anyone. It just seems that I do it without trying.

Wonder if that's why I never seriously pursued teaching? Getting cursed by a "role model" can take the edge off, y'know?

Lantern Jack
03-02-2006, 12:38 AM
My English professor in my guided research class did not know what she was getting into when she decided to heap a mountain of work on the class. I have decided to make her pay for it. She keeps assigning irrelevant reading and heaps of annotated bibliographies. She wants written responses from the readings and thorough ABs. The rest of the people in my class do not really take those assignments all that seriously, so they scrape by with 200 words responses and two page ABs.

I have one up-ed her. She did not give us a word limit so I am writing in depth analytical essays on every trivial reading she assigns. She might be expect 1000 words at the most. . . I am giving her 5k with bibliographies of critics on the source. My ABs are 5-7k. . . she wanted thorough. . . she is supposing everybody is using articles for their sources, I am reading whole books. I asked her if she just wanted an abstract, and she said she wanted more than just an abstract, so she gets an abstract then a summary on every section of the book. Screw her, if she thinks she can bury me, think again, I am a writer with time on my hands and a vindictive spirit regarding having to take this hold your hand research course in the first place.

Am I a bad person? Has anyone else ever decided to bury the one who thought they were burying you? You come at me with litigation, I come back at you with a team of lawyers. Bring out the dogs.

You're a lightweight, boyo:)

I had a teacher once, a community college professor who owned F. Scott Fitzgerald's Buffalo brownstone! Owned it! What am I saying? Still owns it! And she was a total ego trip! Looked like Fiona Shaw, thought she looked like Meryl Streep. Wore a security whistle round her neck, believed all writing is equal! What could I do with this monster? (she was my creative writing and one of my lit profs), so I decided to strain her retains til they scorched: We had class three times a week, had to provide graded critiques of our fellow classmates' stuff every class. I wrote 15 pages of deconstruction (over 500 single-spaced pages total) in a semester!

veinglory
03-02-2006, 12:58 AM
The wise student who wants a good grade doesn't go out of their way to piss off the person marking their performance.

You already suspect she isn't reading them--so you are giving her more to not read. Um, who is doing what to whom here? You are doing more work than you need to and she frankly isn't likely to care.

Medievalist
03-02-2006, 01:06 AM
SHE is late to just about every class (there is almost a good reason for it, but she shouldn't have taken the schedule if she thought she was going to have problems)

She may not have any choice over the schedule; I don't. If I don't like it, I don't have to work. There's no adjusting or preferences; I take what I am given. And sometimes that means two classes back to back at opposite ends of a very very large campus.

Have you thought about, oh, I don't know actually talking to her in office hours? Maybe discussing the work load in a non-antagonistic and courteous way? Have you considered that maybe she's not a professor but a lecturer or TA? Or maybe teaching this class for the very first time?

WerenCole
03-02-2006, 07:24 AM
Have you thought about, oh, I don't know actually talking to her in office hours? Maybe discussing the work load in a non-antagonistic and courteous way? Have you considered that maybe she's not a professor but a lecturer or TA? Or maybe teaching this class for the very first time?



I know her deal. . . it is easy to see. She is a English teacher looking for tenure. . .the worst kind. We have spoken during office hours. . . she knows me, she knows that she does not have the average art student (my university is big on its art program. . what its known for) who is looking to pass the class for the sake of progression. I have not been to school in a while, and during the time I was out I studied, researched, wrote. I have seen the dark side and come back to find what? This lady and her reaching for tenure. . . if she wants it, she is going to have to work for it, and I will make sure she does just that.

Okay. . I suppose I am being a touch unreasonable. I am finding loopholes in her philosophy and exploiting them. I doubt that I will keep at it all semester. . . . I don't care that much. She wanted thorough, I am giving her thorough. Nothing superfluous, just thorough.

I am not looking for the grade. Really I am not. My grades are fine, the final project is all that really counts and I have an original argument that is well cited and researched. . . the thing is, I have too much time on my hands.

On her defense, she is trying to motivate the other slackers in the class to give her something worth a damn. That is the loophole. I do not believe I am antagonising her, just taking advantage of her mishap to give her a taste of her own unreasonable medicine. Two can play at this game, and I am good.

DamaNegra
03-02-2006, 08:02 AM
I might become the hardest english professor anyone has come across. . . if I would make the huge mistake of becoming a teacher.

Wrong, that would be me :D I gave my best friends a 30/100 on a project in which the teacher had given them 76/100 and that's only because I went easy on them. But come on!! Mistakes like "She tolled her mom to leave her alone." deserve no mercy.

If that were the case, I'd fail miserably all my teachers who teach classes in english. I mean, many people don't "speaks" rationally. And "one guy build a great house" is not correct.

ETA: Now that I think of it, I DO correct my teacher's mistakes on the exams. I just cross out the mistakes they typed and write the correction on top of it. I'm sure they're not too happy about it but who cares? SOMEONE needs to actually teach, right?

WerenCole
03-02-2006, 09:10 AM
Wrong, that would be me :D I gave my best friends a 30/100 on a project in which the teacher had given them 76/100 and that's only because I went easy on them. But come on!! Mistakes like "She tolled her mom to leave her alone." deserve no mercy.

If that were the case, I'd fail miserably all my teachers who teach classes in english. I mean, many people don't "speaks" rationally. And "one guy build a great house" is not correct.

ETA: Now that I think of it, I DO correct my teacher's mistakes on the exams. I just cross out the mistakes they typed and write the correction on top of it. I'm sure they're not too happy about it but who cares? SOMEONE needs to actually teach, right?

Dama. . . you are a little spunknacioius one, aren't you?

(and yes, I like to make up words)

pconsidine
03-03-2006, 12:06 AM
This might be an opportune moment to share the most important lesson I learned in 8+ years of arts education:

Your grade in any class is not a sign of how well you write, how well you understand the material, or how well-liked you are.

It is a sign of how well you have pleased the teacher.

If you don't agree with the teacher's perspective, then there's really no reason to worry about pleasing her, is there?

(This lesson was learned after getting three years of B's from the same professor. I finally realized there was no way he was ever going to give me an A for anything. No matter what. Very liberating, really. And I still graduated with a 3.4.)

Jcomp
03-03-2006, 12:17 AM
Dama. . . you are a little spunknacioius one, aren't you?

(and yes, I like to make up words)

spunknaciouius is a perfectly cromulent word.

NeuroFizz
03-03-2006, 05:24 PM
This might be an opportune moment to share the most important lesson I learned in 8+ years of arts education:

Your grade in any class is not a sign of how well you write, how well you understand the material, or how well-liked you are.

It is a sign of how well you have pleased the teacher.

If you don't agree with the teacher's perspective, then there's really no reason to worry about pleasing her, is there?

(This lesson was learned after getting three years of B's from the same professor. I finally realized there was no way he was ever going to give me an A for anything. No matter what. Very liberating, really. And I still graduated with a 3.4.)
So, this should be generalized to all teachers? As a standard for surviving college? Believe it or not, some university instructors take their teaching seriously, and try their best to engage their students in the learning endeavor. Some really do have the best interests of the students at heart, and feel that tenure will come to those who succeed in accomplishing the goals of the course and the university. University instructors become the enemy because of attitudes on both sides of the desk, and when that kind of attitude isn't found in the teacher, he/she still has to battle the kind of attitudes expressed in this thread--automatically assuming that the instructor is out to get the students, get tenure at any cost, or to fulfill some kind of ego trip. Try to get to know your instructors a little better, maybe by visiting during office hours, and see if they are humans with some feelings and goals other than suppression and dismissal. Yes, some university instructors are abysmal. They shouldn't be teaching. Nail them on student evaluations and with direct complaints to the department chair. It's in the faculty's best interest to get rid of these jerks. But some instructors actually do care about the intellectual well being of the students, and about educating them in the course topic. Some, at this very moment, may even have five teaching awards hanging on the wall, four student initiated, to show for it.

Yeshanu
03-03-2006, 06:30 PM
Education is the only business in which the consumers strive to get less than they pay for.


Love this, Neurofizz! It's so true...


This might be an opportune moment to share the most important lesson I learned in 8+ years of arts education:

Your grade in any class is not a sign of how well you write, how well you understand the material, or how well-liked you are.

It is a sign of how well you have pleased the teacher.


Actually, what I found after reviewing my high school marks from lo! these many years ago is that my grade in any class depended more on how much I liked the teacher than anything else. If I liked the teacher, I worked to please him or her. Then again, I tend to like good teachers and despise bad ones.

The only exceptions were typing (Grade 9), and first-year calculus in university. But then again, against all odds, I not only passed both those courses (I hated the subjects, but loved both the teachers), but went on to eventually become competent in both subject areas. So maybe my 50% marks in those subjects were good, in spite of the fact that they weren't my usual A's.

And Weren? You are very bad... :D

Unique
03-03-2006, 06:43 PM
So, this should be generalized to all teachers? As a standard for surviving college? Believe it or not, some university instructors take their teaching seriously, and try their best to engage their students in the learning endeavor. Some really do have the best interests of the students at heart, and feel that tenure will come to those who succeed in accomplishing the goals of the course and the university. .

Sure this is true, Neuro. But don't tell me you've never met an instructor who never should have gotten tenure. (Or should have retired 15 years earlier because....(FITB). Because I'm certain that you have. I know I have.

NeuroFizz
03-03-2006, 07:21 PM
Sure this is true, Neuro. But don't tell me you've never met an instructor who never should have gotten tenure. (Or should have retired 15 years earlier because....(FITB). Because I'm certain that you have. I know I have.
Of course I have. Several of them. In fact, I get to vote on the tenure of some of them. But these people are certainly not in the majority. I'm objecting to the broad brush that is being used to paint chalkboards here. It doesn't matter how much I bust my butt in trying to make my courses interesting, meaningful and student-friendly, I'll always be subjected to the attitudes expressed here. A colleague once took me aside and told me, "You're a great teacher. What you really need to do is be a good teacher." I've always held that he was dead wrong, but on a few occasions, I've thrown up my hands and thought that maybe he was right. So, what should I do, Unique? Should I spend the rest of my career working at my teaching the way I have, or should I just figure that no matter what I do, I'll always be the enemy, and proceed accordingly?

I know poor teachers stick out in people's minds. But do you know what a thankless job this is? With few exceptions, if we ever hear comments from students they are almost always complaints of one sort or another. And then, we have to put up with bright students who use their creative energy to disrupt, mock, or otherwise obstruct classroom activities. For everyone who reads this, try sitting on the other side of the desk for a while.

Unique
03-03-2006, 07:48 PM
Teach to the ones that want to learn, Neuro. **** the rest. They'll find out.

You know what to do and how to do it; sadly, there are plenty of folks in college that shouldn't be there - but if the $$ is there for them to go - w00t - there they are. I can't help it and you can't help it.

Challenge the ones who want to be challenged. **** the rest. They'll find out.

See where I'm coming from? I went to college late. (Meaning I was old when I got there) I saw all kinds and I saw them through different eyes. I was in between the age of my professors and my fellow students. I know where you're coming from - I really do.

And d*** Skippy, didn't I hate the ones that wanted to cheat off my paper. You think I let them? Uh, huh. Sure, I did. :guns:

NeuroFizz
03-03-2006, 08:00 PM
I have wonderfully covert ways to deal with cheaters, so they end up screwing themselves. I owe the effort to the honest students. I gave up on the formal routes after the second case in which an assistant dean took the student's word over my documentation.

pconsidine
03-04-2006, 04:17 AM
Try to get to know your instructors a little better, maybe by visiting during office hours, and see if they are humans with some feelings and goals other than suppression and dismissal. A noble idea, but it doesn't jive with experience. In fact, getting to know that particular professor only served to reinforce my previous statement. He was a once-well known illustrator who was reduced to teaching college because his freelance income had basically dried up.

I will grant that this doesn't apply to most programs, where the standards of achievment are far less subjective. But in art school? Forget it.

Of course, that being said, I did have one truly excellent professor, but given the amount of humility he showed in dealing with me as a student, I would be amazed if he wasn't one in a million (which he was anyway).

Sage
03-04-2006, 04:26 AM
I know poor teachers stick out in people's minds. Cheer up. The really good ones stick out in our minds too. It's the ones that are simply adequate that we tend to forget.

NeuroFizz
03-04-2006, 11:42 PM
Cheer up. The really good ones stick out in our minds too.
Did you bother to tell them? It's an automatic that you tip a waiter or waitress at least 15%, even if the service is barely adequate, but when was the last time you gave a mere verbal compliment to a good teacher?

Prosthetic Foreheads
03-05-2006, 12:37 AM
It's an automatic that you tip a waiter or waitress at least 15%, even if the service is barely adequate...

For a significant number of people, it's not even automatic to tip a server 15% for outstanding service. Some tip a standard 10% or less. Some, you're lucky to get 10% from. Then there are those who either do not tip at all, or leave a dollar, even for the best service. There are more of these people than you might think.