June 04, 2012

The times -- they are a changin'

Not-so-fascinating-anymore story about how colleges are increasingly under pressure to coddle students to the Nth degree. Geez, and I thought it was bad enough in lower ed!

Writing In defense of the F-word in K-16 education, J. Martin Rochester, a political science professor at University of Missouri in St. Louis, shares an e-mail from a student who failed his course. It was her first F ever, she wrote.

"I complied with the paper and the two tests, and you mean to tell me I did not get anything from the class. I will appeal this because who is the failure? You are the teacher whom I relied upon to teach me about a subject matter that I had no familiarity with, so in all actuality I have been disserviced, and I do expect my money back from the course, you did not give me any warning that I was failing! You should be embarrassed to give a student an F.”

Thus, on my campus and many others, “retention” centers are proliferating along with “early alert” warning systems designed to help students by sending them regular reminders to come to class, turn in work by the due dates, and perform other basic obligations that can be gleaned if they simply read the syllabus.

This is virtually incomprehensible to me. My daughter enters college this coming August and if I ever saw / heard about an e-mail she sent like this to a professor ... well, let's say the punishment would be quite severe. I mean, come on -- when do we expect these adults to grow up? Is not 18 the legal age of "adulthood?" Do these [clueless] students actually believe that their future employers will baby them so?

Hah. If these "adults" have never experienced tough love at any time through college, it'll certainly come about in the real world, that's for sure.

Speaking of my daughter, her high school graduation was last evening. I was appalled at much of the behavior among the relatives and friends and in the bleachers. Today, I came across this post by Darren at Right on the Left Coast (via Joanne Jacobs) which totally hit home:

Women, this one goes out special to you. You know that high-pitched screaming thing you do? It's like an icepick through my temples. Do you not know how loud you are, how high-pitched that yell is, how little anyone around you wants to hear that? Ugh.

And for all you people who bring air horns and vuvuzelas and such--yes, I know you want to cheer for your kid, and you want your kid to hear you cheer for him or her. What you clearly don't consider, though, is that the kids are going across the stage at a rate of 10 per minute, one every 6 seconds. While you're having a great old time, not only are the people next to you covering their ears to lessen the 120 db horns you're blowing, but the family of the child whose name is announced immediately after your kid's cannot hear their kid's name being announced because you're too busy acting low-class and selfishly trying to hog some limelight. Ugh.

Spot on. Despite the school principal's request, and despite the district superintendent's request for "respect" and "dignity," once the students began to line up for their diplomas those requests (if they were ever heeded in the first place) went right out the window. There were two early 20s-ish gents behind us talking loudly the entire time, and didn't seem at all worried about their constant use of profanity. To my left, an entire family began stomping up and down on the bleachers not when their relative got his diploma, but when he was merely in line. What about all the poor folks near us who may have been trying to hear their kids' names? (Thankfully, it was relatively quiet when my daughter's name was announced. If not, I may have started an incident.)

I particularly liked Joanne Jacobs commenter "Stacy in NJ's" remarks:

Now, manners are for suckers and modesty for tight-*sses. Now, everyone must loudly and sentimentally display their emotions and minor achievements with an excessive celebration and a tattoo. We are a classy bunch.
Yep. *Sigh*

Posted by Hube at June 4, 2012 03:48 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

The exact same thing happened at my sister's graduation last week, parents acting like idiots and the such.

Posted by: Carl at June 4, 2012 06:45 PM

RE: college. There is another contributing factor, and I see it every semester. Recruiters are under so much pressure to keep the higher ed bubble going, and we have sold society on "every kid going to college" so well that we get a lot of kids from schools where they got As and Bs. They genuinely think they are good students, but they were passed through and had their egos massaged for K-12 years. They didn't have to do the work, and they assumed that this is the way the world is. Their parents were told they were doing great, and their "grades" got them into college.

We take them because they come with huge amounts of Federal money and usually require a full year to drop out. Whereupon we've kept the money and they've got the debt.

Posted by: Steve Newton at June 5, 2012 03:47 PM

Yes, Steve
I am retired from higher education, some of it worked at the community college level, where we expected that our open door policy (all who applied were accepted) that remedial work would be necessary in many cases. And yes, some of that involved students with As and Bs. The focus on the money rather than the student has done no one any good: students are unprepared, and schools don't seem to care.

Posted by: Jess Cunningham at June 7, 2012 07:30 PM