May 31, 2011

The Syllabus Is a BIG CLUE.

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:00 am by profart

If your professor puts something in the syllabus, they are serious. Don’t email the professor saying something like, “I know this is in the syllabus, but…” because it is a HUGE red flag that says you are a problem student with a serious reading comprehension issue.

If you professor tells you that you must have the textbook by the start of class, don’t email the professor complaining you don’t have a textbook. Go to the library or order it from Amazon.

If the professor has written in the syllabus that work is due on Monday, do not email them asking if it is OK to turn stuff in on Tuesday. If you have a problem with Mondays, try scheduling your time to turn it in on Sunday. Or Saturday. Or whatever earlier day is good for you.

If your professor states in the syllabus that the exam is only available between this date and that date, don’t email the professor saying you are going on vacation that week and can you take it the next week?

Seriously. It is in the syllabus. If you are taking the class, you agree to follow what the syllabus says, just as the professor does. Unless you have a serious emergency, there’s your answer.

May 9, 2011

Watching Them Learn

Posted in miscellaneous other matters, Semester endcap, teaching revelations at 2:22 am by profart

I love grading discussion boards. I have a little trick for making them uber-successful, even those it KILLS my eval scores:

1. I make them post at least twice.
2. I require one of the posts to be up by mid-week.

In other words, I force discussion. However, this also means they get more learning out of it, because they have to process enough to respond to classmates and what they have to say. Some even make a good conversation out of it.

You get to watch people learn.

To be honest, there is rarely anything new being said on those boards. I am teaching basic-intro classes, over and over and over. The discussion questions are the same ones I asked last semester’s students to ponder. And the students before that. And the students before that.

Because you know what? These are all new students. They have never thought about art this was before. They have never considered the idea of a portrait creating presence before. They have never thought about architecture as controlling your experience of space before. For each group of students, this is all new. And even as they come up with many of the same answers to those same questions, for them it is new answers and new thinking.

Is it any less wonderful to watch your last child walk and talk than to watch your first? For me, not a chance. It remains a miracle of wonder.

Perhaps that is why I love teaching those base-intro courses: I still love getting students interested and excited. Or at least giving them something new to think about, if they so choose.

May 3, 2011

Must I say it yet again?

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:19 pm by profart

Dear Snowflake:

In my syllabus, it clearly states that if you plagiarize your paper, I reserve the right to flunk your derriere. If you are stupid enough to pull your paper from a cheat site, it is likely that I will catch you, since I can use Google perfectly well, thank you very much.

If you are stupid enough to then post your paper to another cheat site with your name still on it, you can bet your bippies I am sending it to the dean of instruction to have it in your record.

And that excuse that you “sent the wrong file”?

Horse hockeys.

Passing you would do you no favors.

Sincerely and ever your servant,
Professor Art.