Friday, May 16, 2008

Too F**ing Much Perspective

OMFG, as people say. I came across this article by in the Atlantic Monthly written by an anonymous adjunct professor who teaches introductory writing courses at a community college. Read it and weep, I suppose. On a good day, I'd say about 65% of the students at my college are capable of doing actual college-level work-- on a bad day, I'd say it's closer to 10%. More on this later, as teaching is starting to gnaw at my soul a little bit.
(He'p me, Yahweh! He'p me! )
Anyhow, here's an excerpt from the Atlantic article.

Class time passes in a flash—for me, anyway, if not always for my students. I love trying to convey to a class my passion for literature, or the immense satisfaction a writer can feel when he or she nails a point. When I am at my best, and the students are in an attentive mood—generally, early in the semester—the room crackles with positive energy. Even the cops-to-be feel driven to succeed in the class, to read and love the great books, to explore potent themes, to write well.

The bursting of our collective bubble comes quickly. A few weeks into the semester, the students must start actually writing papers, and I must start grading them. Despite my enthusiasm, despite their thoughtful nods of agreement and what I have interpreted as moments of clarity, it turns out that in many cases it has all come to naught.

Remarkably few of my students can do well in these classes. Students routinely fail; some fail multiple times, and some will never pass, because they cannot write a coherent sentence.


Scott Raedeke said...

Dude, that's weird... I just read that article last night. Ouch! I was really depressed afterwards. I too am tired at this point in the season, and there's no one coming off the bench to save me.

I'm 1 for 23 from the three! ...but I keep on shooting.

Steven LaRose said...

Me, I give everyone B+s, cuz then some hate me and some love me.