I studied Spanish all four years of high school. Senor Munoz (sorry, but I have no clue how to get the proper tilde above the "n"!), who made learning the language fun most of the time, made it a point to teach us songs and phrases that we could begin to use right away no matter how little of the language we had actually mastered. And so, it is with a sense of profound gratitude to Senor Munoz that I shout, for all the world to hear, "Gracias a Dios que hoy es Viernes!" And in English --

Thank God it's Friday!

What a week this has been. Let me say that again -- what a w---E---E---k!

I haven't had a seizure for two days, so my little world seems to be settling down again. The headaches, however, haven't quite finished reminding me that The Brain is in charge of things no matter what I think. All in all, though, I can't complain too much about The Brain's obsession with electrical surges; it is what it is, and I'll continue to muddle along as usual. So what has made me so thrilled that the end of the work week has come, at last? In a word, students.

If it weren't for the fact that I will soon be a retired educator, this professor is ready to throw in the teaching towel. Yesterday, my students, who have been working on a research paper for four -- count them, folks, FOUR -- weeks, should have had a rough draft of their essays ready for their classmates to read and critique. Between the two classes, no more than a dozen students actually had a draft for their group members to read. Many still hadn't completed the required research and had left their peers in the lurch, as they couldn't write a draft without the research that their group members should have collected and shared.

In all my years of teaching, I have never seen such a blatant lack of consideration for others as I witnessed yesterday. They have all known for four weeks that this assignment requires cooperation with one another and that if one member of the group fails to meet scheduled deadlines, the others suffer. Despite this knowledge, some of them decided that the undue, uncalled for, and unnecessary stress they placed on their group members was simply not as big a deal as their inability to conquer their procrastination habits.

Let's just say that I let them all hear my displeasure with the irresponsible behavior. It didn't help those poor students whose stress levels had risen to new heights, but it just might act as a wakeup call for the inconsiderate and irresponsible.

I may be shouting T.G.I.F. to the world, but I'm still a cockeyed optimist! Amen and Amen.

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1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    When that happens, I give the non-participating group members individual zeros and tell the rest of the group to finish up what they have and NOT to write what is missing from the slackers. I will grade what they have done without marking down for missing work from other group members. I've had groups of four end up with individual grades -- from zeros to 100s -- and no two group members actually receiving the same grade. There's nothing I despise more than a slacker except one who inconveniences others with whom he or she should be working.

    Have a good weekend!!

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