Temerity   4 comments

The temerity of some postsecondary students never surprises nor ceases to appall me.

Late last semester, I decided to abandon written assignments in my (history) courses at the University of North Georgia (the Oconee Campus, to be precise), effective this semester.  The cumulative effect of so much bad writing and inability or unwillingness to follow the assigned style manual, combined with persistent (and frequently denied) plagiarism, wore me down.  I took pity on myself.  I stripped out the essays, the book report, and the weekly quizzes, and replaced them with four tests, including the final exam.  The restructuring of my courses has necessitated the rewriting of my teaching notes (in progress during this semester), as well as the writing of possible test questions before and after classes.

The first test of 50 questions for Monday, February 4.  Grading will be easy, for I know where the Scantron machine is on campus.

My test bank for the first test has grown to more than 50 questions.  After I have mentioned the test bank in class, some students have asked if I will post the test bank on Distance Learning (D2L), so that they may study the questions.  I have given these pupils the looks they deserve.  No, I have said, pupils will see the questions on February 4, when I distribute the tests.

I am not alone in noticing the sense of entitlement rife in the undergraduate population these days.  My disgust with this attitude is evident in my new syllabi, which contains a bullet list that begins with the mantra,

You are not entitled to….

Sometimes I think about younger generations and feel generally positive about the future.  On other occasions, however, I ponder certain young people and mourn for the future.




Posted January 29, 2019 by neatnik2009 in University of North Georgia

4 responses to “Temerity

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  1. It is definitely a different generation. The students perspective depends on where they went to elementary and secondary school and what was actually required of them. They do need history, though if they are going to understand the present and how we got here.

    • I agree.

      I have also told the students that the test questions will pertain to the material we cover in the classroom. Furthermore, I have provided practical advice, such as to write in longhand and to transcribe the notes within 24 hours of the end of class.

      As to the students’ perspective, I also wonder how much it flows from the detrimental effects of helicopter parenting.

      At the beginning of Fall Semester 2018, there was an event, “How to Adult” on the quadrangle. The necessity of that event, with very basic topics, was disheartening. Before one class that day, I stood in the classroom and asked the pupils, “How the hell did we get to this point?” I knew the answers, of course. I was just making a point.

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