Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Come sit next to me pour yourself some tea

You know sometimes it confounds me just how much pointless stuff people do and how much credit they get for it. I'm talking now about student government organizations. Although on occasion they have been known to do worthwhile things, like deal with faculty unfairness or generic bad policies, but mostly they seem to sit around and think of idiotic things to spam everyone's email box with. This is not just the generic whining of a perpetual outsider (though it is that in part) because I've had several friends who've been in student government and they've basically said it is pretty much as moronic as it seems. Anyway I really do wonder why it is that people see participation in student government as such a strong positive on someone's transcript considering all the things it should do and all the things it doesn't.

I mean what kind of message does it send that the future leaders of this country routinely send junk about stupid little talent shows and date auctions yet almost NEVER mention anything like community service or even student health/stress issues. Stressed out about mid terms? Their answer is escapism or pizza. When my mother was in student government in the 60s they were actually doing stuff. Our version is content to proclaim the second annual "Funky chicken jam" and throw a classwide birthday party for the SC president. And Student council isn't the only example of pointless stuff that people do in college just so it'll look nice on their resumes. There are countless others. Meanwhile to staff the GED program with reliable teachers community impact has to look far outside the college to graduate students, Teacher's College students, and even just random people from the city who want to make a difference.

Speaking of the GED class, this semester's is much tougher than last. Last semester I had a decent group of students who wanted to be there or at least were willing to sit in the back of the classroom and be quiet during class. This semester I have a few students who seem interested, a few who seem uninterested but willing, and a bunch who just don't seem to give a damn. Last night did not go well, I guess I have more sympathy for professors who go kind of slow now because I tried to rush through things at a pace that I would find reasonably comfortable if I were a student, and it failed utterly. My students are all reasonably smart but a lot of them have NO exposure to any sort of science or scientific thinking. I had a devil of a time getting them to understand things that I've taken for granted for a VERY long time, like the difference between a proton and a neutron or how to read equations. I think I did manage to teach some of them some stuff, but I definitly don't feel that I'm teaching as well as I could be and I don't know what to do to improve. I guess it's not ALL my fault though since a lot of them are hard to work with, especially the girl who complained after I assigned 6 pages in the book and several sentences of writing as homework. Yeah she works but I assigned about half an hour of homework for the whole week. If she saw some of the stuff I'm expected to do I assume she'd faint. I think I'll keep teaching until they don't want me to anymore, partially because I DO enjoy it when one of the students actually learns something and partially because I do want at least one extra-cirricular. I'm not imune to that but at least I'm doing my best to do something of actual value and challenge (you try explaining test taking techniques to people who haven't taken a test for longer than you've been alive). Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Truth is I do need another extra cirricular if I want to get honors but I don't have the time this semester for anything else as strenuous and time consuming as teaching this class. *sigh* I should probably focus on just doing my classwork but I'm concerned about this whole honors thing a long with a host of other stuff. Funny how by focusing on the goal I put myself in position to trip up and never get there.
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