Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just Give Me the A Already Because My Other Classes Are Killing Me

School has resumed.  It's been an odd start to the year.  t was very strange not to have to engage in the typical back to school preparations for children who are still in public school.  Very weird indeed since Mr. Lime and I still had to get ourselves ready. 

That said, Calypso (who would like me to post some touching sort of post about her...sheesh, kid discovers your blog and all of a sudden wants to be the star!) has begun a program at a community college.  After a couple of online classes in which she did very well she has begun attending full-time on campus classes this fall.  Here then, instead of a warm and fuzzy Hallmark sort of post, I present some observations on school.

She is not loving Statistics.  I can't say as I blame her.  If you recall, I burned my stats textbook when the class was over. She has a particular classmate who is driving her even crazier than the topic itself.  The classmate is a middle-aged woman who has just returned to school for the first time in decades and is understandably insecure about it.  What annoys Calypso is not the insecurity but her inclination to ask the same question repeatedly because she can't be bothered to actually listen to the prof when he answers her. The incessant questioning is so constant a disruption that other members of the class and the prof himself are finding their patience strained to the limit.  Calypso, though she is struggling with statistical concepts seems to have grasped at least one in assigning a nickname to this one classmate whose age is no where near the range of fellow classmates and who doesn't seem to grasp any of the social cues within a polite classroom.  Said classmate is now referred to as Outlier.

Here then is what she related as the conversation with her Literature prof who said genres won't be covered individually but rather under themes such as Death, Alienation and Loneliness, Nature, Love and Desire.  Under each theme there will be poetry, short stories, and dramas relating to the theme.

C: I was looking at the textbook and the syllabus and noticed there's a TON of Poe in the textbook but none was listed in the syllabus so I was wondering why.

Prof: Oh?  You think we should?

C: Well, um, since you mentioned he's pretty much the father of the short story and we have a theme of DEATH, I thought his work might be relevant.

Prof: Hhhmm, good point.  Which works do you think we ought to use?

C: (incredulous) Well, it's a safe bet that anything he wrote would work but how about a short story AND a poem?

Prof: You may be right.  I'll add that.

C: Well, and I also noticed a lot of Plath in the book but none on the syllabus.

Prof:  You think I should be covering Plath?

C: (looking around for Candid Camera) Well, uh, yes.  She seems a good candidate for alienation and loneliness since, you know, she was feeling alienated and lonely enough to literally stick her head in an oven and all.

Prof: Hhmm, another good point.  I hadn't thought of that.

Calypso then told me she needed to write a thank you note to her ninth grade English teacher who loved nothing more than when a student found death as a theme in any of the works discussed during Lit Circles (something Calypso found a real challenge at the time).  I'm sure such a note will make that teacher's day.


Craig said...

Heh, I remember when I first started blogging, one time Jenn got a little upset with me because I didn't write about her as much as she'd have liked. . .

A blogger's family can be such a burden. . .


I remember the first time in my freshman year that I realized that one of my high school teachers had given me a leg up on college. Very cool. .

Bijoux said...

I remember being so aggravated by the constant questions by the 'adult' students when I was in my kids complain about them, too. It's universal!

Stephen Hayes said...

These are interesting literary issued. When I taught art all my students cared about was learning how to paint realistic looking blood.

silly rabbit said...

I recall thinking that the older students, who were few back then, were a big waste of our time in college classes. Now that I'm older, I'd like to think that I would not be such a bothersome person. But you never know. =;)

Secret Agent Woman said...

For the most part, I liked the older student when I was an adjunct professor. They tended to be a little more self-motivated than most kids. But I'm sure there are exceptions.

My son has been complaining about calculus and how the teacher doesn't follow the book sequentially. Other than that, he seems to like college pretty well.

It' said...

Ha! As an older student who went back to college 4 years ago, I must say your daughter's experience is not what I've seen....other than since we don't party (much) or stay up late (too often), we tend to study more. And although I didn't burn my stats book (because I rented it & needed my $ back, lol) I was lucky to know one of the stats prof's, who spent hours with me helping me figure out stats. I rewarded him with a homemade apple pie & a Starbucks gift card.
I can certainly understand her irritation, just let her know there's always one in every class....irritating person that is, and they aren't always the older students. :-)

Kat said...

It's funny how you were going to write about your observations of school instead of a warm and fuzzy post for Calypso and yet in the observation itself all I can hear is your love and admiration and pride in her. Lovely. Kind of warm and fuzzy too. :)
And I must say, I just fell in love with Calypso all over again. Love that girl.

Side note: I hope that when I do eventually go back to school I will not be the Outlier of the class. Oh dear. ;)

Jocelyn said...

That lit teacher clearly, uh, believes in a "student-centered classroom."

I'm with Calypso in sometimes wishing new non-traditionals were less stressed out about starting college. When they're good, they're the best students, hands down. But when they're scared and insecure, it's like, "Get a therapist already."

Suldog said...

Amazing. Brava to Calypso for getting it done correctly in such a forthright manner. No Poe when discussing the literature of death is like no Babe Ruth when discussing the history of baseball.

Craver Vii said...

Did she ever find the Candid Camera crew?

Logophile said...

Awwwa, love me some Calypso.

Those darn returning students... such a pain in the ass ;)

koi seo said...

When I taught art all my students cared about was learning how to paint realistic looking blood.