Posted by: yoyo52

Bitching - 11/21/13 04:22 AM

I really don't like to bitch about my work. I realize that I'm really privileged to be doing what I do. I can't imagine any work that would be a better combination of getting stimulation (intellectual--get your minds out of the gutter! wink ) and begin able to deal with and influence, positively I hope, young kids.

But (you knew there was a but coming) there is something really really wrong with kids nowadays. Yeah--old fart attitude, I know. But really. I gave an assignment to my one class back in August, in the syllabus. Two weeks ago I repeated the assignment, giving more detail. The paper is due this Friday. Today I have gotten about two thirds of the students sending me emails with questions that indicate pretty clearly that they started writing their papers tonight.

OK--a little 11th hour work gets the adrenaline pumping and that' good for some people. But the emails all reflect the students' complete and total dependence on someone telling them what to do. Without exception they want me to tell them what to think and what to write.

I think that a lot of that attitude comes from what the kids have experienced in high school. They can't get down to writing unless they have a prompt, a question that leads them in a specific direction. All their writing in high school seems to have been in response to prompts. So if I ask them to come to their own conclusion about a text of their choice, which we have talked about in class, they can't do it. They don't know how to think their way to their own point of view. There are students who can think through things and come to their own conclusions. But very very very few of those.

I'm really afraid that we're producing a whole generation of folks who can't think their way out of a paper bag.
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 06:02 AM

Yo52. (52. Yeah, right).
I'd love to post some punny cultural reference from YouTube, but somehow seems inappropriate.

Teach the best that you can.
You have to.
Because you will never, ever, know, the life you changed for the better…
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 10:24 AM

Blame it part on the internet.Years ago we read books and newspapers and did homework. Today nothing actually is happening with the students except nonsense like texting and all the dumb social sites they cling on to that makes no sense at all. I pity you as a teacher there in the states.
Posted by: steveg

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 10:34 AM

Back in the day (older fart attitude), critical thinking was a subtle but non-the-less omnipresent component in most curriculums — even as early as 5th or 6th grade. It didn't even have a title or visible status. It was just how good teachers helped us develop our minds.

Now, there are clearly defined courses in critical thinking, and I don't think they're as effective as when the skill was just messaged in under the radar.

I see a dire lack of critical thinking in some of the young peeps I occasionally work with either on the client side or within the ranks of vendors and collaborators.

And, BTW, when was the last time you saw a paper bag? confused grin
Posted by: bird

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 04:16 PM

You assign...they know your email address Professor and they use it. laugh thats a good start.....they may surprise you .....or not !! You care and in the big scheme of things I think you rock !! Heres a little quote for you....sorry its the best I got to give you a wee bit of hope !! laugh

“You may never have proof of your importance but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 04:17 PM

We get paper bags at the market. The reason is a pretty reason. The town I live in collects paper for recycling. But to put the paper out for collection it needs to be gathered up into a neat bundle. But the town won't accept the bundle if it's in a plastic bag. So to preserve trees we have to get paper bags so we can put the recycling in it. It's a little like "to save the village we had to destroy it," and the town has sort of recognized it, so now they're starting to roll out a barrel for paper recycling. It's a nice, solid, plastic barrel, one per house.

Now, what kind of trees grow plastic . . . . ?
Posted by: steveg

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 04:36 PM

If you want recycling requirements to make you dizzy, check out the NYC recycling pages. You need critical thinking to figure it out! eek

When I lived in Park Slope in Brooklyn, everyone put their empty cans and bottles in small bags to hang on the gate next to your stoop so homeless peeps can take them to the recycling stations for $$. Living proof that one man's trash is another's fortune. smile
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 04:57 PM

Yep. People do that here with bottles and cans, but not with paper.
Posted by: steveg

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 05:01 PM

Well, you're just savin' your paper for reefer rollin', ya Hippie! laugh
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 06:24 PM

Personally, I bring happiness in a pipe--I will, right away. Alas, I don't have a silver bike, though. smile
Posted by: Celandine

Re: Bitching - 11/21/13 11:50 PM

They require us to bundle with cord, no higher than
one foot high. They refuse to take paper bundled in
paper bags due to the potential for bags to tear,
scattering newspapers all over the neighborhood. sick
It's a nice, solid, plastic barrel, one per house.

Now, what kind of trees grow plastic . . . . ?

Save a Tree & SUBSIDIZE the Petro-Chemical Industry?
Posted by: Celandine

Re: Bitching - 11/22/13 12:19 AM


The best teacher I had in the 3 years of art school
was the only one that never showed us what to do.

Every other teacher would show us everything step
by step, line by line...resulting in identical
images graded upon your ability to reproduce what
the teacher had laid out for you.

Mr Lowenstein's assignments were more like puzzles.

He'd give you the bare-bones like "It has to be
16"X24" and use no colors other than blue, black
& white, it must be an all-over pattern that reflects
an identifiable country or culture... but I want you
to 'Change' part of the all-over pattern to make it
stand apart from the rest of the surface."

The next week there would be NO-TWO-ALIKE...
...and they'd be graded solely upon if all the criteria
had been successfully met.

Mr. Lowenstein taught us to be Problem Solvers.
Posted by: MrB

Re: Bitching - 11/22/13 05:22 PM

I've been one to complain about merit pay for teachers because I think we have to wait ten years to determine if we've done our job. You are having a much greater impact on those lives then you think.

You are teaching them to think, to organize, to be literate. And to form an opinion on derived information. Keep up the work. We still need good teachers like you in spite of the technology they have in their hands.