Friday, December 01, 2006

Mean Old Professor G.

My students have known since the 6th of November what the assignment is for their final research paper. We have used class time to discuss possible topics, and I accompanied my students to the library one day to help them with research. I even gave them two days off from class to persue their research. They have a draft due for workshop on Monday, and their final draft is due on Wednesday.

Today I received this email from a student:
I'm really having a problem finding information on my topic.
I can't find what I'm looking for. I'm writing on
What does this student expect from me at this point? Perhaps this will sound uncaring, but I replied that I cannot do her research for her and that she should visit the library and speak to the librarian at the research desk for help.

I really hate it when students wait until the last minute to do a task and then try to make their emergency into my emergency.


jettybetty said...

She's in c-o-l-l-e-g-e. You don't sound uncaring. Someone can't hold her hand forever. And I love that you made it right back into her problem. I am all for helping students--but not doing their assignments for them.
BTW, I write on thanksgiving a lot on my blog--doesn't that sound like a great resource??? ;-)
BTW2, I have a friend that's borrowing the book--it will be going to the Dominican Repbublic next week.

John H said...

my youngest son was proud (believe me, his parents WEREN'T) to have avoided reading pretty much any book in high school. Inevitably, the night before the report was due, he would head over to Blockbuster hoping to find the movie based on his assigned book.

I always enjoyed the fact that movies often liberally veered from major plotpoints in the book. I'm thinking he has learned his lesson now that he is college, but I hope his professors slap his hand if he ever requests that type of handholding.

JMG said...

JB, I should have thought to point her in your direction. You know, Thanksgiving is one of those topics that hardly anyone ever writes about. I'm not surprised that she can't find any sources.

Wow, that book is seeing places that I'll never see! Say, do you think I could just mail myself out to people and read the book to them?

John, that's how I know when students plagiarize a literary analysis paper--when they write about something we didn't discuss in class.

Tony Arnold said...

Our grade schools and high schools are failing miserably in teaching the following areas, which makes learning in depth any subject next to impossible:

1) logic and reasoning
2) critical thinking
3) research, analysis, conclusion
4) problem solving
5) the joy and self-confidence that comes from self-achievement

If a student does not work and earn the knowledge, then it is not theirs. They do not possess it.

I work very hard in trying to teach my daughter, not how to learn facts (which may be false) but how to think, how to look for facts, analyze information, and most importantly, how to form an independent, informed opinion.

One my senior engineering students through several questions in class was asking me to provide a step-by-step method for solving a problem. I told him that was the whole purpose of the problem--to learn the method. I asked, "your a senior in college, do you want the solution handed to you on a silver platter?"

"Yes!", he answered without hesitation.

Well, I hestitated, some what shocked. Then I answered, "too bad," and moved on.


JMG said...

Yes, that's the problem Tony. They want the answers given to them. They take no pleasure in solving a problem for themselves. That would take too long. It's all about immediate gratification.

I've asked students if they could just pay all their tuition up front and buy their degree, would they do it. Most of them would.