Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 676081 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3075 on: November 17, 2013, 11:13:31 AM »
You might have a better chance of the Doctor himself dropping by.

We would. Fortunately no one showed up asking about Matt Smith. We did have to run out for more fish sticks the crowd was so big.

I was really tempted to drop by, just to see what all the fuss was about :D

Jocelyn

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3076 on: November 17, 2013, 11:56:28 AM »
The trouble is, it's very difficult to know exactly what you want to do and how at 17.
And no one says you have to go to college at 17.

Almost everyone who goes to uni here does it straight out of school, and the choice is made at 17.  Going as a mature student is uncommon.
And to quote Dr. Phil, how's that working for you? Seriously, if going at 17 doesn't work, I'm surprised that more people don't go as non-traditionals. It's very much the trend in American academia. The university where I teach is primarily traditionals, but in nearly every class I have non-trads. Every professor loves the non-trads, they have a depth of life experience that's not replaceable by book learning. I tell our undergrads that taking a year or two to practice at the bachelor's level before going to grad school can be an excellent idea. And in my doctoral program, we were required to practice at the masters' level for at least 2 years before coming back. Most faculties will not hire someone who hadn't had 2 years post-masters.

Pen^2

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3077 on: November 17, 2013, 01:55:27 PM »
I had someone come to see me today with an inquiry about the literacy class (mostly 4 and 5 year olds) which I run. The brochure explains the program we use and the progression within it, along with a timeline which is clearly labelled as "for reference only" because individual students vary, and going at a set pace regardless of the students' ability to follow it isn't how teaching works. Some kids go faster and some slower. As anyone with a speck of common sense would expect.

This woman wanted to enroll her son in the standard 16-week program, which pretty much covers all regular monosyllabic words plus a few dozen of the irregular but highly common sight words. She wanted to know if I could speed it up. I explained that some students do end up finishing it a few weeks earlier than the quoted 16 weeks, but that it depends on the individual student and their aptitudes. This wasn't good enough--she wasn't interested in him (possibly) finishing in 13 or 14 weeks. No, she wanted him to do a 16-week course in 2 weeks.

I made it very clear that to go this fast would be to his absolute detriment, and that rushing things would only ensure that he learnt none of it properly. Going slowly and actually learning it trumps sprinting through and picking up next to nothing. It would be a waste of everyone's time, and of her money. He'd be much better off just doing the usual first 2 weeks of the 16 week program. At least then he'd learn something. But she wasn't interested in this. It was the entire course she wanted.

Her: "But I want it to only be 2 weeks."
Me: "In that case, he'll learn next to nothing."
Her: "No, I want him to learn it."
Me: "Then it will take closer to 16 weeks."
Her: "16 weeks is too long. I want it to be 2."
Me: "Okay, but then he won't learn anything."
Her: "No, he has to learn it all."

We went around like this in circles a few times before I realised that she either wasn't getting it or was completely unaware that when I said "impossible" I meant "impossible," rather than, "I'm reluctant so you'll have to haggle." In the end, I made it clear: it's either 16 weeks, or her son learns nothing. There is no third option. She should tell her decision to the receptionist. I excused myself and walked off while she was mid-reply.

The receptionist told me later that she'd then tried the same argument with him. He explained very tersely that, although our policy states that we don't turn away anyone (excepting a few medical-type things), he was willing to do the paperwork to change that just for her.

I feel so sorry for her son. A few things she said in our brief talk made it unfortunately clear that the reason she wanted to rush the course was to be able to show off to her friends. Any parent who actively tries to throw their child's education in the rubbish just so they can brag for 2 minutes makes me shudder.

Twik

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3078 on: November 17, 2013, 02:33:36 PM »
The child didn't have an older brother named Connor did he?
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Pen^2

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3079 on: November 17, 2013, 02:37:15 PM »
The child didn't have an older brother named Connor did he?

Not sure what you're referencing there. But no, his name had a dozen extra vowels and more than one punctuation mark. I'm only talking about his first name, too. The poor kid.

ETA to add that I just remembered who Connor is from the fundraising/volunteer thread. The mothers do sound remarkably similar. But I'm clearly a bit slow today. Egg and my face are in alignment. :P
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 03:21:42 PM by Pen^2 »

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3080 on: November 17, 2013, 02:37:55 PM »
The trouble is, it's very difficult to know exactly what you want to do and how at 17.
And no one says you have to go to college at 17.

Almost everyone who goes to uni here does it straight out of school, and the choice is made at 17.  Going as a mature student is uncommon.
And to quote Dr. Phil, how's that working for you? Seriously, if going at 17 doesn't work, I'm surprised that more people don't go as non-traditionals. It's very much the trend in American academia. The university where I teach is primarily traditionals, but in nearly every class I have non-trads. Every professor loves the non-trads, they have a depth of life experience that's not replaceable by book learning. I tell our undergrads that taking a year or two to practice at the bachelor's level before going to grad school can be an excellent idea. And in my doctoral program, we were required to practice at the masters' level for at least 2 years before coming back. Most faculties will not hire someone who hadn't had 2 years post-masters.

The bolded sounds really snarky.  I'm not in charge of the UK's education system, nor did I say it "didn't work".  For many people it does, many others feel that dropping particular subjects and narrowing their choices (which begins at age 13 or 14 here) was too early for them.

I didn't understand the rest of your post, about "practice" or what "grad school" is.

In the UK, a common route to university is to finish GCSEs at 16, finish A-Levels at 18 and go to university for three years to do a BSc or a BA (after which, you are a graduate).  After that you can choose to do a one-year MA or MSc, or a three-year PhD.

University is so expensive that many people who enter work and get settled after school see going to university full-time as a step backwards in terms of finances and lifestyle.  Some companies sponsor employees to gain degrees part-time (often one day a week) but that takes many years.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 02:40:02 PM by RingTailedLemur »

perpetua

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3081 on: November 17, 2013, 02:45:31 PM »
The trouble is, it's very difficult to know exactly what you want to do and how at 17.
And no one says you have to go to college at 17.

Almost everyone who goes to uni here does it straight out of school, and the choice is made at 17.  Going as a mature student is uncommon.
And to quote Dr. Phil, how's that working for you? Seriously, if going at 17 doesn't work, I'm surprised that more people don't go as non-traditionals. It's very much the trend in American academia. The university where I teach is primarily traditionals, but in nearly every class I have non-trads. Every professor loves the non-trads, they have a depth of life experience that's not replaceable by book learning. I tell our undergrads that taking a year or two to practice at the bachelor's level before going to grad school can be an excellent idea. And in my doctoral program, we were required to practice at the masters' level for at least 2 years before coming back. Most faculties will not hire someone who hadn't had 2 years post-masters.

The bolded sounds really snarky.  I'm not in charge of the UK's education system, nor did I say it "didn't work".  For many people it does, many others feel that dropping particular subjects and narrowing their choices (which begins at age 13 or 14 here) was too early for them.

I didn't understand the rest of your post, about "practice" or what "grad school" is.

In the UK, a common route to university is to finish GCSEs at 16, finish A-Levels at 18 and go to university for three years to do a BSc or a BA (after which, you are a graduate).  After that you can choose to do a one-year MA or MSc, or a three-year PhD.

University is so expensive that many people who enter work and get settled after school see going to university full-time as a step backwards in terms of finances and lifestyle.  Some companies sponsor employees to gain degrees part-time (often one day a week) but that takes many years.

Yeah, I thought that was snarky too, and my immediate thought was "Not many people can afford to go back to university as a mature student". It costs money to pay the tuition fees and then you're not working because you're at uni full time, so how do you pay your bills?

In the UK many mature students obtain degrees using the Open University and study in their spare time at home, attending groups and lectures in the evenings at local universities. It's very popular. And it works very well.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3082 on: November 17, 2013, 02:52:06 PM »
Yes, the OU is excellent.  It's a real shame they had to put their prices up a couple of years ago.

Jocelyn

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3083 on: November 17, 2013, 04:15:46 PM »

The bolded sounds really snarky.  I'm not in charge of the UK's education system, nor did I say it "didn't work".  For many people it does, many others feel that dropping particular subjects and narrowing their choices (which begins at age 13 or 14 here) was too early for them.

I didn't understand the rest of your post, about "practice" or what "grad school" is.

In the UK, a common route to university is to finish GCSEs at 16, finish A-Levels at 18 and go to university for three years to do a BSc or a BA (after which, you are a graduate).  After that you can choose to do a one-year MA or MSc, or a three-year PhD.

University is so expensive that many people who enter work and get settled after school see going to university full-time as a step backwards in terms of finances and lifestyle.  Some companies sponsor employees to gain degrees part-time (often one day a week) but that takes many years.
I can see how it could sound snarky, to those not familiar with the TV show- I didn't mean it to be snarky, just in the sense that it's used on the show: that if a solution isn't working, it's better to think of another solution.
'Grad school' is any academic program beyond the bachelor's degree. 'Practice' is what we generally use for engaging in a profession.

Jocelyn

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3084 on: November 17, 2013, 04:26:10 PM »


Yeah, I thought that was snarky too, and my immediate thought was "Not many people can afford to go back to university as a mature student". It costs money to pay the tuition fees and then you're not working because you're at uni full time, so how do you pay your bills?

In the UK many mature students obtain degrees using the Open University and study in their spare time at home, attending groups and lectures in the evenings at local universities. It's very popular. And it works very well.
Sorry; I didn't mean it in a snarky way. Apparently it's another cultural reference that doesn't translate to another country well.
And I am very surprised to hear that the UK is so very different from the US in academic structure. Here, very very few traditional students are being totally supported by their parents. As a matter of fact, 12 hours is now considered full time, because of the number of traditional students who are self-supporting and who cannot take the 15 hours or more that are required to graduate in 4 years. Most of my traditional students are working 30 or more hours a week. Some of my nontrads are not working at all, because they have a spouse who can help with support. Both trads and nontrads are eligible for financial aid. And for that matter, students don't have to attend full-time. Many students are taking half-time classes and working full-time. The only financial incentive for going to uni right after high school is if you've won a scholarship from the state...but they only go to the best students, so there's very little chance that someone who has absolutely no idea of what they want to do will get one. Of course there are student loans as well, which make it fairly easy to pay your way through college, but which leave many graduates with a big debt load. 
But yes, I'm surprised that the UK doesn't have similar government programs or business incentives for people to pursue degrees.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3085 on: November 17, 2013, 04:32:52 PM »
They did, but they were cut. I remember seeing the protests on the news.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3086 on: November 17, 2013, 04:57:08 PM »
The trouble is, it's very difficult to know exactly what you want to do and how at 17.
And no one says you have to go to college at 17.
 

I agree. I'm 47, went the four year route right out of HS, without a blessed clue what I wanted to do. didn't take it all that seriously, but in my defense, I often wonder if I have some issues since I am not stupid, but have trouble focusing, applying myself etc. who knows? I kind of wish that maybe I had done community college, then transferred, working too.

but back in the day, and the fact i went to a very competitive HS, that was ONLY the route, or the perception was, if you couldn't get in anywhere else, and were a failure. never mind plenty of kids went taht route since they couldn't afford a 4 year school. But then, anyone who did that was seen as a screwup.

However, in my 30's i went back to school, got my MS and graduated with honors. and enjoyed school! which I never did before.


RingTailedLemur

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3087 on: November 17, 2013, 04:57:26 PM »
Student loans are available but are pitiful.  AFAIK they are still means-tested (ie, based on parents' income - so parents are expected to support).  In fact, I heard that the Govt has been considering removing all benefits (welfare) for anyone under 25, on the basis that people under that age will be supported by their parents instead.

When I was at uni full-time, I did 26 hours a week in lectures and lab time alone - plus hours of homework, revision, travelling too and from etc.  I did wonder how American students managed to earn a living at the same time as studying full-time, I had assumed they did similar hours.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 05:00:11 PM by RingTailedLemur »

Winterlight

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3088 on: November 17, 2013, 05:52:48 PM »
I think we're getting off-topic.

I had a call the other day from someone who informed me she wanted information on space.

Anything in particular?

No, just space. /eyeroll

I finally managed to narrow her down to an actual topic, but there was definitely some blinking going on for a minute.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #3089 on: November 17, 2013, 05:56:46 PM »
You could tell them: Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.