Author Topic: S/O PD Student Darwinism  (Read 238720 times)

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misha412

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #345 on: March 27, 2013, 08:13:22 AM »
A friend of mine is a professor who's notorious for running over the end of class time.  Fortunately, the campus he works at is small (large school, but this particular campus is quite tiny), and as long as he lets out with 5 minutes to spare before the next class, students could make it on time.  He's also fairly reasonable if students talk to him.  They could approach him and tell him that they had an obligation and they simply could not wait the extra 10 minutes to leave and he would just ask that they sit at a desk near the door so as not to cause more disruption than necessary while they leave.  The problem is that students see him as unapproachable and are afraid to talk to him.  He's got a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense professor.  He's fairly quiet and very formal, so the two things combined keep students from approaching him with issues. So, these students leave and get death glares from him, when really, if they just talked to him about their issue, he wouldn't have had a single problem with them leaving early. 

They weren't leaving early if your friend kept them past the allotted time.

Yeah this story kind of rubbed me the wrong way mmswm. Your friend is in the wrong, period. Students leaving at the time the class is supposed to end is not wrong or rude, and your friend is rude and unprofessional for glaring at them when they leave at the appointed time. You shouldn't have to get special permission from the professor to leave at the end of class. Just because they could technically make it to their next class doesn't make it okay. What if they need to go to the bathroom or want to grab a coffee, and then head to class?

Glares are for disruption, not leaving early (or on time).  Repeatedly leaving early and disrupting other students is rude. So who's more rude?  The student causing a distraction or the professor trying to wrap up the class?  There's all sorts of reasons why he's wrong for running over class time, but he's by no means the worst offender with that sort of stuff. On the other hand, this is part of his first day of class lecture.  He tells students he has a bad habit of running over and if this might present a problem for them to either drop and register for a different section of the course, or talk to him about their situation if another class isn't an option.  Again, all he asks of the students who do talk to him is that they sit by one of the doors in order to minimize distraction.  I can't blame him for getting annoyed at students who cause a disruption when he's trying to wrap up a lecture. 

So, he's warned students and given them alternatives.  If a student leaves early (or on time) causing a distraction, after he's done all that, I really think the student is being far ruder than he's been.

And, for the record, he's been like this for over 25 years.  Even the advisers warn students that he's prone to running over time and to consider this when coming up with their schedules.

As for the bathroom thing, I frequently got annoyed with students leaving in the middle of lectures then coming back in.  It's a huge distraction, and personally, unless you're sick (and shouldn't be in class anyway), there's no reason why you can't manage your bathroom needs so that you don't have to be rude to your classmates.  Of course there's an occasional emergency, but this whole idea of not being able to make a 50 or 75 minute class without using the bathroom is flat out ridiculous to me. If you have a medical condition that causes sudden, emergency issues, then you should place yourself near the door to minimize disruption.

Just because your friend has done it for 25 years does not make it any less rude today than the first day it happened.

My undergraduate was spent on a huge campus with buildings strewn over many acres. It took a good 10-12 minute hike (at a fast walk) between one side of the academic buildings to the other. When I had to take two classes back to back on either side of the campus, it was a major challenge. We had 10 minutes between classes. If my first class ran over like your friend was apt to do, I would have either had to duck out early or been constantly late to my next class.

I was lucky only to have that situation happen twice. The first time, the prof of my first class always wrapped up a few minutes early so I for the most part I had no issues. The second time, though, my prof was a bit like your friend.

Glaring at students because they are leaving on time is rude. Some may have another class. Some may have to get to work. Some may have to pick up their children from daycare. Some may have a bus to catch. Sometimes a particular class at a particular time is the only way a student can fit a class into their schedule. They have no other choice if they want to graduate on time.

Cami

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #346 on: March 27, 2013, 09:19:28 AM »
This is a story of attempted SD, thwarted by a brave woman who was willing to commit PD in order to aid this kid's education.

50 years ago, my mother decided to get her Master's, and become a teacher. She entered a program at a prestigious university, famous then, and still, for its Sporgball team. She taught the basic first year English courses.

A kid in her class, there on a Sporgball scholarship, was doing poorly. He had the brains, but wasn't trying, expecting to coast because of his Sporgball talents. At midterm, he had an F.

The athletic department put a lot of pressure on her to pass him. A lot. They said he was a sure thing for a pro Sporgball team, so what did he need to learn for? They threatened her with getting fired. She stood her ground, and took the issue - not the threats, but her academic integrity - all the way to the top. The administration sided with her.

Being a born teacher, she didn't leave it at that, but worked extensively with the kid, and got him working hard enough to pass. He resented it.

About five years later, she got a letter from him. It made her cry. He wrote to thank her; he said that at the time he was too mad to let her see it, but she had sparked the desire to learn. That turned out to be a good thing, because he wasn't quite good enough to be hired by a professional Sporgball team. Thanks to her, he had really earned his degree, which helped him get a good job. If she had given in to the pressure, he would have been out of luck.

She was a darn good teacher, and a few of her students became family friends. But that was her proudest moment.

When I taught at an ivy league university, I was heavily pressured by the dean of students to turn a B grade into an A grade for a student who was Orange.  This student had committed Student Darwinism in my class. The class was a senior research seminar designed specifically for those going to grad school in history and American studies. The bulk of the grade would be derived from your final research paper, on which you could work the entire semester and which you could hand in three times during the course of that semester for review and critique. He had handed it in and it was B level, but not A level work. I had given him written critiques on the first version. Second version was almost the same exact paper as the first and I wrote  at the end -- quite clearly and specifically -- that unless he undertook the additional research and writing I'd outlined above, he'd be getting a B and not an A in the class. "Your choice," I wrote. So at the end of the class, he hands in the exact same paper. So he gets a B in the class.  Next thing I know, the dean of students -- who is also Orange -- calls me up and tells me I have to give the "poor" kid an A in the class because he's Orange. What the what? I explain to the dean that I have written proof of my critiques, as well as my rubrics -- all of which the kid ignored at his peril. He still pressures me. I refuse. He says the kid is going to file a formal complaint against me. I say go ahead. Dean gets very quiet and then asks, "You're really  not going to give in?" NO. "But, but the kid is Orange and therefore he's been persecuted, blahblahblah... You wouldn't know because you're Blue and therefore don't see racism. And I'm sure you don't want a racism charge on your record." I then ask him for specific instances of racism or persecution this kid has endured in my class or frankly, anywhere. Silence. I then point out that, "It may not be apparent from my appearance, but I too am partially Orange. So if you're trying to claim racism by virtue of the fact that I appear to be 100% Blue, then you are barking up the wrong tree."

Kid never filed charges, but I found out subsequently that he had engaged in the same behavior in EVERY class and the dean of students had called up each and every one of those profs and had successfully pressured them into giving the kid undeserved A grades.

I still wonder what happened to that kid. The lessons he learned in college were not the correct ones. I still wonder what was up with that dean of students trying to use race as an apologia for Student Darwinism.

MariaE

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #347 on: March 27, 2013, 11:09:51 AM »
Glares are for disruption, not leaving early (or on time).  Repeatedly leaving early and disrupting other students is rude. So who's more rude?  The student causing a distraction or the professor trying to wrap up the class? 

Absolutely the professor for not wrapping up the class on time. The students aren't rude at all. They aren't leaving early, they're leaving on time. This is 100% on the professor.

In fact, the professor is rude twice over. Once for not wrapping the class up in time, and once for glaring at students who leave on time. If they were leaving early compared to the actual time schedule, it would be different.

And the fact that he's been a professor for 25 years just makes it worse. That's more than enough time to learn to be organized and schedule your classes properly.
 
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #348 on: March 27, 2013, 08:12:23 PM »
(snip), this is part of his first day of class lecture.  He tells students he has a bad habit of running over and if this might present a problem for them to either drop and register for a different section of the course, or talk to him about their situation if another class isn't an option

(snip)

So, he's warned students and given them alternatives.  If a student leaves early (or on time) causing a distraction, after he's done all that, I really think the student is being far ruder than he's been.

And, for the record, he's been like this for over 25 years.  Even the advisers warn students that he's prone to running over time and to consider this when coming up with their schedules.
(snip)

Just because your friend has done it for 25 years does not make it any less rude today than the first day it happened.
(snip)

Pod!

mmswm, when you say your friend "has done all that" as if it mitigates his own rudeness, what you seem to be saying is that he has a bad habit, which inconveniences many people on a regular basis, that he has no intention of changing, and in fact wants them to accept further inconvenience (changing schedules, changing classes, missing the end of lectures and picking up copies of notes) to fix this problem that he causes... But it's fine, because he tells people about it and is otherwise a great guy.

 ???

Um. No. He's a snowflake. And after 25 years of doing this, I bet there are droves of past students out there with shared reminiscences of "Professor Blah, oh man, he was nice enough, but Deity I wish he'd gotten his act together!"
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Jocelyn

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #349 on: March 27, 2013, 10:12:46 PM »
On the other hand, this is part of his first day of class lecture.  He tells students he has a bad habit of running over and if this might present a problem for them to either drop and register for a different section of the course, or talk to him about their situation if another class isn't an option.   

And, for the record, he's been like this for over 25 years.   
 
I still think that's rude of him, to have a 'bad habit' that he is not making efforts to amend, but instead he's inflicting it on his classes for a quarter-century.
Calling it a bad habit is a sort of fake mea culpa that's supposed to stymie student complaints. If he really thinks it's a bad habit, surely he could have changed it in 25 years.
At my alma mater, there's a very loud whistle that blows for the end of class. There is no way you canNOT hear it on campus- I could hear it inside my apartment 1.5 miles away, with the windows shut! The faculty learned to time their lectures to conclude before the whistle blew.

Carotte

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #350 on: March 28, 2013, 08:46:52 AM »
I think I see this issue a bit differently, I've had teachers that could talk for hours and you wouldn't mind sitting there for more time since he was so interesting. In those cases when you couldn't stay and had to go, you went quietly, trying not to bother all the students that wanted to stay and listen. You aren't rude to leave on time, you are rude when you have no consideration for the rest of the students - then you get glared at by the teacher (and most likely the students).
And even if the teacher knows that some students have to leave 5min early it's basic decency to tell him at the start of the year.
So: leaving early without approval and making a ruckus : rude
      leaving early with approval and quietly : not rude
      leaving on time in a ruckus: rude
      leaving on time quietly: not rude.

If what the teacher covers in the 5 min after time is not essential to the class (like a funny anecdote or a third explanation) then I don't see how he could be rude to entertain students that want to hear him. He's not detaining the others, he's only asking that they act quietly and don't bother the rest of the 'informal' gatering of students after a class.

Betelnut

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #351 on: March 28, 2013, 11:39:59 AM »
Carotte:  I don't see why an adult would need the approval of another adult to quietly leave a class/lecture.
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Twik

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #352 on: March 28, 2013, 12:34:29 PM »
If what the teacher covers in the 5 min after time is not essential to the class (like a funny anecdote or a third explanation) then I don't see how he could be rude to entertain students that want to hear him. He's not detaining the others, he's only asking that they act quietly and don't bother the rest of the 'informal' gatering of students after a class.

If he's only "entertaining," then he has no call to glare at people who leave at the appointed time.
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Carotte

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #353 on: March 28, 2013, 12:50:31 PM »
Carotte:  I don't see why an adult would need the approval of another adult to quietly leave a class/lecture.

Just because you are over 18 does not trump the teacher/student hierarchy.
Your boss could be 10 years younger it's still normal to tell him you'll have to leave early and is that ok?
Once again, mmswm did say that "Glares are for disruption, not leaving early (or on time).". It's just like glaring at his students during the class when they are being loud and disruptive.

It's not disruptive to quietly put everything back in your backpack, grab your coat, stand-up and leave the room (putting your coat outside).
It's disruptive to stand up, grab your back-pack and stuff things inside, put on your coat, say goodbye to your classmate and leave.
If the students are being obnoxious they are the rude ones.

Ceallach

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #354 on: March 28, 2013, 01:00:50 PM »
I think it's important to note that even if the students aren't rude to leave 'early' and even if the professor is a complete SS, it can still be SD to be leaving given that they are upsetting the professor.

If I have a boss who takes an interest in my personal life I am not rude for refusing to discuss anything of a personal nature with her. I may be committing PD however if that causes her to be unhappy with our relationship and not want to work with me as much.  My point is that annoying an authority figure and not playing by "their" rules can have an impact, whether that's fair or unfair it is true.
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SoCalVal

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #355 on: March 28, 2013, 03:24:11 PM »
This is a story of attempted SD, thwarted by a brave woman who was willing to commit PD in order to aid this kid's education.

50 years ago, my mother decided to get her Master's, and become a teacher. She entered a program at a prestigious university, famous then, and still, for its Sporgball team. She taught the basic first year English courses.

A kid in her class, there on a Sporgball scholarship, was doing poorly. He had the brains, but wasn't trying, expecting to coast because of his Sporgball talents. At midterm, he had an F.

The athletic department put a lot of pressure on her to pass him. A lot. They said he was a sure thing for a pro Sporgball team, so what did he need to learn for? They threatened her with getting fired. She stood her ground, and took the issue - not the threats, but her academic integrity - all the way to the top. The administration sided with her.

Being a born teacher, she didn't leave it at that, but worked extensively with the kid, and got him working hard enough to pass. He resented it.

About five years later, she got a letter from him. It made her cry. He wrote to thank her; he said that at the time he was too mad to let her see it, but she had sparked the desire to learn. That turned out to be a good thing, because he wasn't quite good enough to be hired by a professional Sporgball team. Thanks to her, he had really earned his degree, which helped him get a good job. If she had given in to the pressure, he would have been out of luck.

She was a darn good teacher, and a few of her students became family friends. But that was her proudest moment.

I was literally looking for the Like button on this (too much time recently on FB I suppose).  Still -- I loved it!  :)



weeblewobble

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #356 on: March 28, 2013, 10:37:18 PM »
When your professor tells you multiple times, that he will not give credit to students who submit papers that they have written for other classes, and you ignore him and submit a paper written for another class anyway- be sure to delete the name of the other class from the title page.

Mel the Redcap

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #357 on: March 28, 2013, 11:06:36 PM »
When your professor tells you multiple times, that he will not give credit to students who submit papers that they have written for other classes, and you ignore him and submit a paper written for another class anyway- be sure to delete the name of the other class from the title page.

*snickering madly* Oops!

At both the unis I've attended, that'd get you sanctioned for plagiarism too - the idea being that if you didn't write a whole new paper for each assignment, it was similar to copying someome else's work off the Internet.
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weeblewobble

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #358 on: March 28, 2013, 11:37:04 PM »
When your professor tells you multiple times, that he will not give credit to students who submit papers that they have written for other classes, and you ignore him and submit a paper written for another class anyway- be sure to delete the name of the other class from the title page.

*snickering madly* Oops!

At both the unis I've attended, that'd get you sanctioned for plagiarism too - the idea being that if you didn't write a whole new paper for each assignment, it was similar to copying someome else's work off the Internet.

The professor is actually pretty nice about it.  He's OK with the students taking a topic or idea that they've written about in another class and EXPANDING on it.  (Sort of like having a research specialty.) But you would have to show that you did a considerable amount of additional research to explore some new facet of this topic.  He is even willing to give you tips and advice on how to do this.  All you have to do is ask.

And another pet peeve of his.  If he asks for 10 pages, double spaced, one inch margins- that's what he means.  Trust me when I say that he notices a paper that has THREE AND A HALF inch margins.

Library Dragon

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Re: S/O PD Student Darwinism
« Reply #359 on: March 28, 2013, 11:53:34 PM »
Yes, the 18 point font is noticeable too. 

I used to tell my 11-14 year old students they could only use blue or black ink.  It became a mantra, Blue or black ink, that's navy blue, not baby blue.

I didn't think I had to specify for my undergrads.  Wrong!  Yellow ink is not a good choice.

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