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As a college prof...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Jared Purdy, Mar 6, 2021.

  1. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I was never a professor but I had the pleasure of teaching engineering principles and skills to PhD biological scientists. I told them, the physics you need to learn is simple. It only took me a lifetime to learn it. You have time.
     
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  2. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    An allegory I always thought went well with teaching:

    All the good ol' boys used to gather on the porch of the General Store every evening, and every day they'd watch as this guy would come along pulling a big heavy chain behind him. Same guy, same time, same chain, every day.

    Finally one old boy got up off the porch and went out and asked the guy, "Why is it that you go by here every day pulling that chain?"

    Without breaking stride, the guy answers, "You ever try to push one?"
     
  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    History professor here.

    I can work with anybody who has a curious mind. Don't care about test scores, or where they went to school or even if they went to school or how much money they came from: a curious mind is the most precious thing. It's all that really matters.

    I'm a very good teacher--I ought to be, I've been at since cuneiform tablets. But some students are like wet hay, or an inert substance: they will not ignite. I don't understand those people: maybe in a different class, on a different subject, they catch fire. I hope so.
     
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  4. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Guy I work with said about one employee soon to fire himself: “He doesn’t want to work, he just wants a paycheck.”

    There will always be a few exemplary students, usually they are the ones whose parents actually cared enough to instill in them a solid work ethic, passion, engagement, commitment, interpersonal skills, common courtesy, honor, unselfishness, and empathy.

    But it works both ways.

    At a certain point, the burden of everything has to stop being placed solely upon the teacher’s shoulders.

    How about the actual parents and the actual students do their part for a change?!

    But oh no, you are just silly sleepy wabbits that need to get waked up to nurture and nurse it out of fragile precious and dance like the cartoon, dig to bring it out of the depths of the frown, entertain and plead and say abracadabra and flagellate your boomer paradigm, and you be you and do you but you do them and be them but shame on you you would never understand how dare you!

    You can win every award in teaching, publish books, inspire countless students over decades to become leaders in their field, hit every submodality, have students from 40 years ago stop your children on the street and tell them how much you inspired them to follow their dream, edit books, tailor your curriculum to each individual, bend over backwards to bridge generational, language, and cultural gaps, be compassionate, make allowances for idiosyncrasies, extend deadlines and allow extra credit so that a student doesn’t fail, counsel them through personal crisis, adapt in an ever-changing technological environment, wade through the bureacratic mumbo-jumbo of tenure committees, endless paper grading, scholarly articles, commencements, dinners, graduate dissertations, and leave a legacy of thousands that go on to leave an indelible mark on the world.

    Those days are over. If not completely, the outliers are biting reminders that the world and who people are have changed.

    Absentee parenting, high fructose corn syrup, participation trophies, lack of physical exercise, internet, social media, single-Mom households, kids living at home through their 20’s and ‘30’s, worldview of outrage, entitlement, lowered bar of entry, testing-based “learning,” Wikipedia research, flat-affect, victim mindset, brainwashing, discouraged critical thinking, apathy, laziness, short attention-span, short-cut mindset, addicted to phones, unwilling to respond to emails, unwilling to simply read the course material, welcome to the new classroom, where the student knows best.

    Because, like, after all, they are the ones paying you, right?
     
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  5. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Man. And here I’ve been thinking of myself as the negative one.
     
  6. WalthamMoosical

    WalthamMoosical Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Unfortunately, that is not going to stop soon. It is still getting worse.

    But the students are not fundamentally the problem. They are simply being what they were raised to be.
     
  7. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    +100

    It really disturbs me when young people are not curious and do not ask questions.
     
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  8. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a system when I was at uni.
    I always sat front/center and close enough
    to tug on my professor's shirt sleeve.
    One class my prof started using my text book because it was handy.
    I got to know almost all my profs, some well enough to go for pitchers of beer when the business college was closed at night.

    I taught a bicycle repair and maintenance course that was well received. I had an opportunity to teach a for credit class at the Houston community college, but never followed through. (Required lesson plans and I never used notes.)
    It was a hands on course were students were expected to actually work on their bikes with my instruction.
    A lecture is worthwhile, but if you want to learn how to fix bicycles you have to get your hands dirty. I expect this is true in other areas.
    I started the class with a basic - how to fix a flat tire. I would provide a stack of inner tubes that were inflated. I took a razor sharp ice pick and provide the tubes with suitable holes for the students to fix. It was great fun!
    I once got talked into teaching an advanced class that was almost all guys that were working mechanics at other shops.
    Not sure how well it reflects on bike mechanics, but the experienced mechanics in my class thought they already know it all and didn't do well.
    I swore I would never again teach an advanced class.
    Some of the students didn't even master wheel building, a fundamental skill.

    Mark
     
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  9. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    Hopefully this is a funny story to you: I went to Home Depot with a very good buddy of mine. Known him 20+ years. We're in the paint department where we're supposed to be finding a deep shade of blue to go with some maroon leather in the building we were redoing. He kept declining colors I selected from the color chart. After like five tries he says "did I mention that I'm color blind?". I thought he was joking, but he wasn't. Wrong guy to take to the paint store
     
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  10. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it would be a bit of a double edged sword. At a university where kids are always on their A game, the profs have to also always be on their A game. I guess it would never get boring!
     
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  11. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    My friends and I all loved university, and like yourself, we were keeners. We would have considered it an insult to our profs to not get A's in everything. We too became good friends with a number of our profs, at least it was that way for my undergraduate degree, and lesser so for the graduate studies.

    In spite of the somewhat lax attitude that some students have, I love what I do and I don't even think about retirement. I'm the only one of my friends who says that. I don't say "I'm off to work". I say, "I'm off to school". It's an exciting environment to be in. This past year has taken a toll on it though as teaching is a performance art. You can only do so much with a zoom class. Looking forward to being back in class, whenever that will be.
     
  12. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Exactly.
     
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  13. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I wonder if the water the college is offering safe to drink.
     
  14. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    This gets close to the truth.
     
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  15. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, I teach chemistry, so I'd say it is safe. But that's for you to decide. Photons, neutrons, and electrons are pretty scary to a lot of people. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
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  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Depends on the area of study. In my areas of interest, consensus is unanimous, otherwise considered incomplete and undecided.
     
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  17. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    It is time for the teachers to stop pandering. It is a lost cause. There are more rotten apples than ever before, and the only way this is going to get fixed is if everybody starts holding them accountable for their own lives, their own performance, their own results.

    When I went through college (for the most part,) I sat in the front, looked the professor in the eye, took notes, and asked questions. Even if I didn’t want to be in that particular class, I owed the professor at least that much. I didn’t even want to go to college, because many are centers of indoctrination and debt, and I would be more than happy to qualify how insidious it has become, were I allowed.

    It is a student’s duty to be engaged and show interest. That is the baseline for the back-and-forth and springboard that fosters the exchange between teacher and student.

    The teacher has to have something to work with. Sure, I did my all-nighters and crammed, I buffeted the usefuls spouting horse manure and bucked at the insanity of what some professors were trying to spout. That was back in a time where opposing discourse, logic, and counter-rhetoric was tolerated.

    But how much longer are teachers going to tolerate rude students texting and multitasking while they are speaking?

    How about this: I’m the teacher, I’ve dedicated my entire life to what I am going to talk about, so shut up, pay attention, and learn something, because you sure as hell aren’t going to enlighten the class on this subject with the grand insight of your incubator of coddled experience and emotions.

    Stop rationalizing for them. Stop trying to excuse away their lack of interest with the environmental argument. They are grown-a men and women, and if there is one thing they need to be taught, it is consequences.

    Facts are not feelings. Teachers need to stop catering to their feelz.

    “Oh, but they are probably just tired and stressed out because of all that is happening.” Or, “This isn’t my preferred working environment.” Or “I was so distraught over talking point that I didn’t feel like I could do the assignment.”

    Give me a break.

    Suck it up, buttercup. Life is nothing but curveballs. They don’t need an underhanded softball pitch or constant coaxing just to maintain the absolute minimum standard. It’s a disgrace.

    There is still hope for those few students who care enough to show it and glean the specialized knowledge of a professor’s lifetime of diligent scholarship, but I say to the teachers, let the others who blatantly taunt their nonchalance of disinterest follow their absurd narcissism to failure.
     
  18. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Brutal and true. Not always true, but true often enough that it should scare us out of complacency.
     
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  19. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Don’t like the world around you, the people in it, the things they do, the way I’m using commas? Well, suck it up, pilgrim.
     
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  20. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes, I do.
     
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