No Fancy Name
Thursday, June 02, 2005
a few more comments re: writing complete sentences and what not
Thanks, commenters, for writing thought-provoking comments to this post about academic things. They were all good. Not that we all figured anything out, but at least now I know I'm not crazy and alone with some of the thoughts I had.

Like Caleb, this type of behavior confuses me: "I had a student this semester who got a B -- a B, mind you -- and emailed to tell me that he was shocked because he had never gotten lower than an A- in another class." So by that reasoning, if I got an A in Finite Math I should also get an A in Calculus, no matter that Calculus is more difficult than Finite Math, or at least if not more difficult, it's a completely different class. I'll bet students "get" that, but they don't get that English 10 "Intro to Literature" and English 168 "American Novel" are completely different kinds of classes, with different requirements and expectations. Because aren't all literature courses the same? Don't you just read? Isn't that what it's all about? No, of course not. But I don't think people get that. How about it, Dr. Free-Ride, do your students think that the same level of work done in Phil 10 will fly in Phil 160? What's up with that?

What I liked best were some things that Scrivener said, because I had tried to make some of his same points to my classmates and since they were looking at me like I was nuts I figured there was a chance that I might have been. But no! "A master's student needs to have the authority and knowledge to acutally offer something of substance to readers." That's what I said. Well, what I said was something like "guys, come on, the prof knows that Willa Cather wrote My Ántonia, and that she did so in 1918. Unless there's something particularly special about that statement [which there could be, but in this case there wasn't, it was just stuck there as the opening sentence of the paper], cut it. This isn't a book report." I tried to expand on this when a bunch of us went out to dinner after classes were through. I said that as they start with their graduate classes, they have to think of every paper as a potential article [because that's what's been expressed to me], and although of course it won't be, the point was that everything they write has to be something that they truly own. It's all about confidence and authority. At least that's my approach. We'll see how it goes.


job / books / new blog

04/04 · 05/04 · 06/04 · 07/04 · 08/04 · 09/04 · 10/04 · 11/04 · 12/04 · 01/05 · 02/05 · 03/05 · 04/05 · 05/05 · 06/05 · 07/05 · 08/05 · 09/05 · 10/05 · 11/05 · 12/05 · 01/06 · 02/06 · 03/06 · 04/06 · 05/06 · 06/06 · 07/06 · 08/06 · 09/06 · 10/06 · 11/06 · 12/06 · ???


Creative Commons License
All blog content licensed as Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike.