Friday, November 30, 2007

My Favorite Papers

There is a student that for her synthesis paper wrote about how oxytoxin affects the fetus' brain during delivery. I think this topic is very interesting because it's explaining something to me that I didn't know anything about. Another paper from the synthesis batch is one about how video game violence affects adolescent children and their ability to control aggression in school. With this paper I was more interested in seeing what studies were out there explaining how continual video game interaction affects children socially. The student writing this paper plays video games on a regular basis, and agrees that this is a problem.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Surprise in the Not-Revise

As others who were expressing their concern about students not revising, I too, have the same issue. Its very depressing to get final drafts back after I've thoroughly commented on them to see nothing has changed. I take a lot of joy in showing my students line edits (for clarity), in hopes that they will understand how important it is to make your sentence structures coherent and readable. Countless, times I've reminded them to read their work aloud because it's the easiest way to check for mistakes. Even when I asked about their revsion techniques, most of them explained that they make changes on the computer than prints out a copy and reads it. I really have difficulty in believing this to be true because there are so many obvious mistakes. I use this phrase a lot in my end comments, "I'm not sure you ..." When I say this, I'm trying to be as sincere as possible without letting my true feelings of "seriously, how could you turn this in?" come through in the comments I give. I believe I am a chronic reviser. Even on final drafts I still give feedback and line edits because I think maybe they will look back at my suggestions and learn something. As it is, the extra work I've given myself has seemed to be futile because we've just completed the third paper and still getting papers with very obvious mechanical and grammatical mistakes.

Woe is me, the grader. Sad face.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What Mrs. Lorenz Said To Me

I know we're suppose to reflect back to a time in college, but I honestlly cannot remember any positive or negative experience. So, I'll talk about something that happened to me in high school as a junior. I'm not sure why I immediately thought of this experience when Anne said "a bad classroom experience." Okay, it was eight years ago and I was a junior in high school, double-honors English. I had this teacher Mrs. Lorenz who was a very sarcastic, but funny lady. She had some personal problems that I knew about like her baby dying from crib death, which ended her marriage, the custody battle for her kids, and the growing tumor in her abodomen that she refused to get removed (I think she was afraid). So when she would have these random mood shifts, and be very bitchy I would like it slide and say, "Hey, this lady has some serious issues." This all changed one day I came into the class and told her about my recent submission to a playwriting contest, and she blantly told me "What for you're not going to win?" I was completely taken aback. I don't think I could close my mouth yet alone respond. I hadn't had any bad experiences with Mrs. Lorenz so I didn't know what to do. Should I talk to my advisor or division teacher? One thing I can say is that it really pissed me off because she wasn't being her sarcastic-joking self, she was dead-serious. It made me feel like rubbing in her face the fact that I won second place, and two hundred dollars, but I didn't.