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Author Topic: "Favorite" conversations with students  (Read 1853609 times)
egilson
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« Reply #6255 on: November 05, 2012, 8:40:55 am »

This aside should be its own thread. To add to it, though, for a fifteen-page double-spaced article I've used thirty-four notes referring to five primary sources and seventeen secondary sources. In this case I would have had more citations if I had not been talking primarily about a source in manuscript. Still, I definitely cite less as I grow more confident in my own argument and analysis.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #6256 on: November 05, 2012, 8:50:40 am »

Maybe a mod can split it.

There's the etiquette problem, too.  I've certainly seen people get annoyed about not being cited, even if it's for a single piece of information
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emdashed
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« Reply #6257 on: November 05, 2012, 11:14:16 am »


I'm seeing that, too, UrbanMA.  It's sad.

Are you? I don't quite know what to call it. Poor development of critical thinking skills? Special snowflakism? Another version I run into all the time: Students have a project that includes a digital portfolio. I say "You have to decide how you want to organize your work--menus, links to pdfs, submenus, etc." During the work period, I have fifteen people calling me over to ask "Is this ok? Can I do it like this?" Oh, the dirty looks I get when I say "You should use the method of organization that best fits your topic and your media." We've gone over all the different options and talked about the pros and cons of each, and I've emphasized that making these kinds of choices and being able to explain them are part of the assignment, so to me this seems like asking "Did I get this question right?" during an exam. Clearly, they do not see it the same way, and great huffing and puffing and eye rolling ensues. 

Part of it may be the 'playing safe' mentality - if she said it, and I do it, she can't mark me down for it.  That and the fact that simply memorising (facts, procedures, &c) is easier than, you know, thinking.

Yes, that sounds about right.

I also think that when I speak they hear Charlie Brown's teacher. I've asked everyone to use MLA, but one student's topic makes much more sense with APA. However, I told her that I do not work with APA style, so I won't be able to answer specific questions. During the same class I asked the other student to leave, this one raised her hand to ask an APA question. I told her I had absolutely no idea, and she needed to find a manual. She asked again. I said the same thing. She asked again. I told her to email me the passage in question and I'd take a look at it. She asked the question again.

I'm a teacher. I don't like refusing to answer students' questions. It irritates me, and it makes them feel like I don't care about helping them. But the number of times this class has forced me to say, "Look, we're moving on now," I can't even count. They're like pit bulls once they latch onto something.

Honestly, I would've been embarrassed to ask an MLA style question during class. Never heard anyone else do it either. I would've seen it as a waste of the professor's time. (She or he didn't get a PhD to tell me whether there's a comma between the name and page # or not.) The department's home page had a link to a helpful pdf, and we, um, actually used it.
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cgfunmathguy
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« Reply #6258 on: November 05, 2012, 1:29:08 pm »

Urbanma, I think you are in need of the "teach the students you have, not the students you want" lecture.

You cannot change your students.  All you can do is change your reaction to them.  If you refuse to answer certain questions because you have a fabulous handout, then say, "your question is answered in the handout.  Moving on."  You are choosing to be irritated.  Stop making that choice and life is smoother.

You could also decide that you will make students learn how to answer their own questions.  "How do we cite that using MLA?  Who knows the answer?  Pull out your handouts and let's all look."  Wait for one of the other students to answer the question.  I'm serious.  Stand with your arms folded and make a suggestion every minute (by the clock) about "check that handout.  The answer isn't on the ceiling or the floor."  Do this every time and soon people will stop asking questions that can be easily answered because the other students will become annoyed with having class stop. 

For other questions, say, "That's an excellent question.  Do you have an internet-enabled device?  Yes?  Good, look up the answer and share so we'll all learn something.  No?  Well, write down that question and you can look it up later.  Bring the answer with you next class because we all want to know."
To add onto the last part of this, I add one extra credit point (out of 800 in my class or 22371 in Polly's) for every time a student asks a question I can't answer and then brings the answer the next class period. If it's on-topic, it's worth all of use learning about it.
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Alas, greatness and meaning are rarely coterminous with popular familiarity.
bioteacher
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Confused and sad. Or happy. I'm not sure...


« Reply #6259 on: November 05, 2012, 3:12:38 pm »

Student: My final in your class is from X-Y. The final in my other class starts ten minutes later and goes until Z. 

I assured him that he'll have plenty of time to make the trip from my final to the other one. (He didn't ask a question, just told me the schedule.)

No... he wants to take one of them a different time. He'll be too tired after mine to take the other one.

I empathize, but that's how it goes, folks. No, I'm not going to make an extra effort to give the final at 3 different times to accommodate everyone who might be tired that day. The university is pretty clear about when finals are to be given. Only in the last 2 years did the campus legend of being able to reschedule a final if you had 3 or more that day become policy. And in those cases, the arrangements have to be made before the end of the withdrawal period....two weeks ago.

Don't I look ravishing in my Mean Professor Attire? 
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cgfunmathguy
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« Reply #6260 on: November 05, 2012, 3:35:11 pm »

I empathize, but that's how it goes, folks. No, I'm not going to make an extra effort to give the final at 3 different times to accommodate everyone who might be tired that day. The university is pretty clear about when finals are to be given. Only in the last 2 years did the campus legend of being able to reschedule a final if you had 3 or more that day become policy. And in those cases, the arrangements have to be made before the end of the withdrawal period....two weeks ago.
Wow. When I was in school, the finals schedule didn't even come out until the drop deadline passed. If you had three finals on a single day, you could reschedule one, but the professors had to agree. Usually, they did, but it wasn't always the case.

Policy at CurrentJob is that you can reschedule the last of the three and you must take it during one of the two reschedule periods on the last day of finals. I had a student who could have rescheduled my exam one semester, but s/he then realized that s/he would have three exams on the last day instead and dropped the idea.

Quote
Don't I look ravishing in my Mean Professor Attire? 
Yes, the boots, corset, fishnets, and whip certainly make an impression.
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biomancer
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« Reply #6261 on: November 05, 2012, 3:45:38 pm »

I empathize, but that's how it goes, folks. No, I'm not going to make an extra effort to give the final at 3 different times to accommodate everyone who might be tired that day. The university is pretty clear about when finals are to be given. Only in the last 2 years did the campus legend of being able to reschedule a final if you had 3 or more that day become policy. And in those cases, the arrangements have to be made before the end of the withdrawal period....two weeks ago.
Wow. When I was in school, the finals schedule didn't even come out until the drop deadline passed. If you had three finals on a single day, you could reschedule one, but the professors had to agree. Usually, they did, but it wasn't always the case.

Policy at CurrentJob is that you can reschedule the last of the three and you must take it during one of the two reschedule periods on the last day of finals. I had a student who could have rescheduled my exam one semester, but s/he then realized that s/he would have three exams on the last day instead and dropped the idea.


The first above is the policy at PretentiousSLAC, and the second is similar to the policy at Big U Branch - you can reschedule the exam of whichever prof is willing to budge, but the makeup is supposed be on Makeup Exam Day at the end of finals week.  In both instances the arrangements need to be made prior to finals week. 
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proftowanda
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« Reply #6262 on: November 05, 2012, 3:51:04 pm »

I empathize, but that's how it goes, folks. No, I'm not going to make an extra effort to give the final at 3 different times to accommodate everyone who might be tired that day. The university is pretty clear about when finals are to be given. Only in the last 2 years did the campus legend of being able to reschedule a final if you had 3 or more that day become policy. And in those cases, the arrangements have to be made before the end of the withdrawal period....two weeks ago.
Wow. When I was in school, the finals schedule didn't even come out until the drop deadline passed. If you had three finals on a single day, you could reschedule one, but the professors had to agree. Usually, they did, but it wasn't always the case.

Policy at CurrentJob is that you can reschedule the last of the three and you must take it during one of the two reschedule periods on the last day of finals. I had a student who could have rescheduled my exam one semester, but s/he then realized that s/he would have three exams on the last day instead and dropped the idea.


The first above is the policy at PretentiousSLAC, and the second is similar to the policy at Big U Branch - you can reschedule the exam of whichever prof is willing to budge, but the makeup is supposed be on Makeup Exam Day at the end of finals week.  In both instances the arrangements need to be made prior to finals week. 

This is how the policy has evolved at Towanda U, as well -- except that the makeup is not just the day at the end of finals but also is at a specific time at the end of finals.  The evil result is that a makeup exam requires a student to take the test on a Friday night, always a big end-of-semester party night.

Since that policy went into place, and I put it on all syllabi, I have received no requests for makeup finals.

(And thank heavens, as the policy also would require me to sit there for two hours on a Friday night, although I could be grading finals already taken, up against the evil deadline to file final grades only two days later.)
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krisanthe
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sciencerely


« Reply #6263 on: November 05, 2012, 4:20:12 pm »

I know this is very minor, but it's a pet peeve of mine.  Why oh why do students come to my office or call me completely unprepared?  One of my advisees just stopped by my office to ask about an elective course.  Students are allowed to take courses outside of the major to count toward the elective requirements, but the courses have to meet certain criteria.  My advisee asked, "Can engineering design and controls count as an elective?"  I asked, "What's the course number and which engineering department teaches it?"  He responded with, "Uhh... hmm... I don't know."  Well what the hell.  How can I possible answer your question without knowing any details about the course?

Another student just called and we had this conversation:
Student: How do I make an advising appointment with you?
Me: Email is the best way to schedule an appointment with me, but we can set up something over the phone if you know your schedule off the top of your head.
Student: Yes, I know my schedule.  When are you free this week?
Me: I'm available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday before 4pm.
Student: Uh.... Uhhhhhhhhhh...... Are you free tomorrow?
Me: Tomorrow is already pretty booked, but I could meet at 1pm. Does that work for you?
Student: Uhhh..... hmm.... let me think....

Sh!t!  I'm in a bad mood.  I'm going to go to Target now.
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cgfunmathguy
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« Reply #6264 on: November 05, 2012, 6:10:36 pm »

I know this is very minor, but it's a pet peeve of mine.  Why oh why do students come to my office or call me completely unprepared?  One of my advisees just stopped by my office to ask about an elective course.  Students are allowed to take courses outside of the major to count toward the elective requirements, but the courses have to meet certain criteria.  My advisee asked, "Can engineering design and controls count as an elective?"  I asked, "What's the course number and which engineering department teaches it?"  He responded with, "Uhh... hmm... I don't know."  Well what the hell.  How can I possible answer your question without knowing any details about the course?

Another student just called and we had this conversation:
Student: How do I make an advising appointment with you?
Me: Email is the best way to schedule an appointment with me, but we can set up something over the phone if you know your schedule off the top of your head.
Student: Yes, I know my schedule.  When are you free this week?
Me: I'm available Wednesday, Thursday, Friday before 4pm.
Student: Uh.... Uhhhhhhhhhh...... Are you free tomorrow?
Me: Tomorrow is already pretty booked, but I could meet at 1pm. Does that work for you?
Student: Uhhh..... hmm.... let me think....

Sh!t!  I'm in a bad mood.  I'm going to go to Target now.
I originally read that as "I'm going to shoot targets now." Hey, it always worked for me.
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kiana
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« Reply #6265 on: November 05, 2012, 6:36:29 pm »

Policy at CurrentJob is that you can reschedule the last of the three and you must take it during one of the two reschedule periods on the last day of finals. I had a student who could have rescheduled my exam one semester, but s/he then realized that s/he would have three exams on the last day instead and dropped the idea.
Quote

Policy here is that the professor with the largest section is supposed to give the makeup; figuring that a large section is more likely to have multiple students with 3 exams on a day, thereby reducing the total number of makeup exams needing to be written.
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emdashed
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« Reply #6266 on: November 06, 2012, 5:14:13 pm »

Urbanma, I think you are in need of the "teach the students you have, not the students you want" lecture.

You cannot change your students.  All you can do is change your reaction to them.  If you refuse to answer certain questions because you have a fabulous handout, then say, "your question is answered in the handout.  Moving on."  You are choosing to be irritated.  Stop making that choice and life is smoother.

You could also decide that you will make students learn how to answer their own questions.  "How do we cite that using MLA?  Who knows the answer?  Pull out your handouts and let's all look."  Wait for one of the other students to answer the question.  I'm serious.  Stand with your arms folded and make a suggestion every minute (by the clock) about "check that handout.  The answer isn't on the ceiling or the floor."  Do this every time and soon people will stop asking questions that can be easily answered because the other students will become annoyed with having class stop. 

For other questions, say, "That's an excellent question.  Do you have an internet-enabled device?  Yes?  Good, look up the answer and share so we'll all learn something.  No?  Well, write down that question and you can look it up later.  Bring the answer with you next class because we all want to know."


I tried so hard to channel the forum today, especially the bolded above. I trotted out "Did you check the MLA FAQ page?" at least half a dozen times. Of course no one had, so I just reminded them it's on the course site. And when the snickering and whispering started, I thought "Ok, two classes left after this. If I call them out, what good will it actually do? All the half-a**ery shows up in their work anyway." I'm done thinking I can do anything to get the jerks to stop being jerks and the lazy students to stop being lazy. I told the few people who were very clearly using their computers for non-class related activities to cut it out, but otherwise I let it be. And took very deep breaths.
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #6267 on: November 06, 2012, 5:28:36 pm »

urbanma, I call on my inner Zen in those situations.

I cannot live the life experience of another. I cannot care more than they. I will observe and not react.

This is more true for when I want to yell "Did I not just SAY this? Did I not just spend 15 minutes showing you how to use Goggle Scholar, walking you through "related articles" and "Cited by" to assist you with finding credible related journal articles?"

I have a smart board in class, so I am literally demo-walking them through the "How to find appropriate resources" lesson. I even took them to the OWL Perdue site to show them how to find a place to learn citations. Yesterday, I showed them how to use APA wizard.

When I get the "I can't find anything" emails, I refer them back to the in class lesson with a link to Goggle Scholar.

You cannot do the work for them, only demo the tools. They make their own road by walking.
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emdashed
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« Reply #6268 on: November 06, 2012, 5:36:54 pm »

urbanma, I call on my inner Zen in those situations.

I cannot live the life experience of another. I cannot care more than they. I will observe and not react.

This is more true for when I want to yell "Did I not just SAY this? Did I not just spend 15 minutes showing you how to use Goggle Scholar, walking you through "related articles" and "Cited by" to assist you with finding credible related journal articles?"

I have a smart board in class, so I am literally demo-walking them through the "How to find appropriate resources" lesson. I even took them to the OWL Perdue site to show them how to find a place to learn citations. Yesterday, I showed them how to use APA wizard.

When I get the "I can't find anything" emails, I refer them back to the in class lesson with a link to Goggle Scholar.

You cannot do the work for them, only demo the tools. They make their own road by walking.

That is the key, isn't it? If I could change my internal monologue from "I LITERALLY JUST SAID THAT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU" to "Well, I just said that, so remind him he can also find that information on the library website" I would be a far happier person.
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jeffahall
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« Reply #6269 on: November 06, 2012, 6:15:33 pm »

This conversation seems off-topic; however, here's a PDF of a published, refereed article (cited many times) with over 1700 references, or about 17 per page:

Combinatorial Games.

Can anybody beat that?

Most dynamic surveys in the EJC are really annotated bibliographies, so I don't think they should count.  On the other hand, Zeilberger's proof of the ASM theorem in the EJC had a famously long list of reviewers/checkers:

  http://web.archive.org/web/20060901105422/http://www.math.temple.edu/~zeilberg/asm/REPORTS


Quote
Yeah, I know it's a survey.  If it's not a conversation with students, it's just as appropriate as any other post in the past couple of pages.

Bah.
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