Sunday, December 11, 2005

Third and Long

I mentioned that I wasn't going to look at the finals until I got together with the prof and the other TA, but I kinda lied. I peeked at a couple today. Oh, dear... It's going to be ug-ug-ugly. I'm thinking that we're going to have to come up with some seriously creative grading to save some of these people from the sad-file.

On that note, I finished my dining book (remember that I try not to do any 'real' reading while I eat, otherwise, I'd never read anything but work-related stuff, and that's just not healthy).

The title is "I'm the Teacher, You're the Student" by a Patrick Allitt, a prof at Emory. I'm so embarrassed that I can't remember who recommended it, but it was a blog-buddy... Ah, well, if you recommended it and you read this, let me know. I'll give you 5 bonus points on the next quiz :)

I really liked the book a lot. I'm going to hand it around at Christmas to see if any of the family wants to read it and get a better idea of the insane world for which I'm spending a gawd-awful fortune and the better part of what's left of my youth.

I don't want to do a full review, but there was one thing I wanted to write about. He writes about what once was the 'gentleman's C,' and has become the 'professional's B.' he ties it with the unbelievably favorable letters of recommendations that profs are supposed to write ("student is the best I've ever had. I'm quite sure that even though he studies English Lit, he could quite easily cure cancer. I've also noticed that he can see through walls. I think he should date my daughter.") As a PhD hopeful who (crossed fingers) is getting those kinds of LOR, and as a TA who is battling the 'professional's Bs' (and frankly, I'd be happy to toss the 'gentleman's Cs' while we're at it.), I completely understand the reasons behind all this, but I'm torn between being envious of how he seems to have come to terms with the situation, and anger at his complacency about the situation.

My experience is very very limited, but I've seen students who should not get a degree from my university. But, they will. Heck, I'll probably even pass some of them myself.

I'm not really sure what my point is [no thesis - FAIL]. Maybe jut looking at the final where a student couldn't answer what the capital of a very well-known world power and long-time US ally was made me a bit sad because I think that student will probably pass the class. I think this is something I'm going to be wrestling with for a long while.

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