Sunday, March 17, 2013

Where I am Tempted to Bang My Head Agasint a Wall

So it's 9:30pm Sunday night.  I have just finished reading the paper Isaac handed me to edit, which also happens to be due tomorrow morning.  It's the history class research paper for he's allegedly been working on for two months.  He told me his topic way back when he began the research.  I offered him several excellent reference materials.  He looked through them and indicated he thought they were a bit dense.  I told him how he could find specific information in them so he could prepare his note cards.  He opted not to use them.  He did not show me any of his work or ask for any other input from me in his process.....until now.  I figure since he is a high school junior he is a big enough boy to do his work without me inserting myself into the process uninvited beyond enforcing consequences if his grades slip below a certain level.

His paper contains adequate paragraphs full of reasonably well-crafted sentences indicating he has a respectable vocabulary and grasp of grammar.  That's where my praise begins and ends.  The content of the paper is about as substantial as wet Kleenex and offers virtually no support of his thesis statement.  Instead he relies on a synopsis of events and offers his opinion upon them with zero back-up.

He disagrees with my assessment but claims he is going to heed my editorial advice and revise it tonight.....after he finishes watching zombies being beheaded.  I've also offered my opinion of that plan.

Yeah, let me know how that goes and don't be surprised when your social life is stunted as a result of the grade this paper is likely to earn.....unless, God forbid, your teacher is dazzled by style over substance, which I fear since you tell me she thinks Wikipedia is an acceptable reference for research papers.

18 comments:

Dave said...

I'm with you Michelle. But I also understand where he's coming from having once been in similar situations as a teenager. Fret not. He may not do well with this project but I am sure that he will eventually succeed in life - :-) - Dave

Bijoux said...

What teacher is ok with wiki??? That is more disturbing than a 17 year old boy being a 17 year old boy!

Tabor said...

If we do not hold our students and children to a higher standard, the world will not bother with them.

Daryl said...

oy!

haphazardlife said...

Yeah, but, c'mon, zombies rule! The zombie apocalypse is so much more interesting than history!

Hilary said...

It's not every day we are handed those natural consequences which are often the best learning tools. He's about to get smacked with one. Embrace it.

Kat said...

Wait... are you telling me it doesn't get any easier??????? I can not hear that right now, Lime! I am already banging my head against the wall with my two boys who make me want to toss myself out the window while they are "doing their homework". Dear God, help me. I don't know if I'm going to make it.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Sometimes you just have to step back and let your kid fall on his ass.

lime said...

dave, thanks for the perspective. i am sure you are correct. he's just making my hair grayer by the day right now.

bijoux, i quite agree. the teacher needs to be ashamed of her standards if that is the case.

tabor, indeed. learn it now or later...

daryl, ...gevalt!

haphazard, i'm not a great fan of zombies.

hilary, i am a great believer in the power of natural consequences. would it be wrong to pop some popcorn?

kat,um, well....yeah, the types of problems kind of shift in terms of how they manifest themselves.

secret agent, yep, that's pretty much where i am at with this. honestly, he needs the reality check with regard to his study habits now...before he gets to college.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, I needed this; you are acting as the voice of all my students...I always wonder what their parents would say if they could read their kids' limited efforts. Of course, many parents wouldn't know what to think, but I like remembering that many parents are like you--knowing better but letting the kid hang himself out to dry.

coopernicus said...

it's not?????

Beach Bum said...

...she thinks Wikipedia is an acceptable reference for research papers.

Bwhahahaha!
Had the same talk with my son and will probably have the same with my daughter when the times comes.

Suldog said...

Tell him you heard from a professional fact-checker (me) and he said the first thing he was told, upon getting the job, was that Wikipedia is NEVER an acceptable source (although it is a useful tool for finding sources, and makes fun reading sometimes.)

Phaedrous said...

Hehehe. My version of Issac is now 20 and a sophomore in college. His writing has improved dramatically in spite of my woeful editing and commenting during his high school days. There is hope.

P.

Craver Vii said...

"e needs the reality check with regard to his study habits now...before he gets to college."

Well stated, Lime. Fight the good fight in the present, but things may still improve in the future--never give up hope.

lime said...

joceyln, glad this was a timely bit of encouragement!

coop, only if facebook postings are also acceptable sources

beach bum, oh it's good to know i am not alone!

suldog, you rock. i am using YOU as a source!

phaedrous, i so needed that hope.

craver, he's a good kid but even good kids like to be lazy sometimes. he may learn a lesson the hard way.

Leave It To Davis said...

Wickipedia is where I get all my information...is it not reliable?

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