Thankfully I went through two classes of composition and none of my students pulled any tricks on me on April 1st, at least that I know of. One student wanted his grade so far for the semester and we just finished week 12, but I don’t think that was an April Fools prank. He sincerely wanted to know his grades for each of his classes, mine included. Seems strange because we still have four weeks left but I guess that is needed for this one class he is taking. THAT’s what I should be doing right now in my quiet office today, while no one is around this day off, Good Friday is GOOD! Yes, I should be putting my students’ papers together in their respective folders and figuring out what the first 3/4s of the semester has been for each of my students, grade wise.
This particular student was very helpful and compliant at first and then he turned nasty and disrespectful about a month ago. Enough so that I talked to my supervisor about him…at length in my office. Now he is all sweet and kind again, back to his old self from the beginning. It seems each student has been taking turns in their small fits of rebellion. Then next, over spring break, I had a very capable student argue with me by e-mail about using the research databases that our university provides. The main objective of this comp class is for students to discover the benefits of academic, peer reviewed journals and NOT to click the google button for everything. They need to know there is a scholarly approach to some subjects…that is what the university prides itself in. However, these young 19 year old students have grown up with the click of a mouse to find out info. They don’t even know what it was like to look up things in stacks of libraries or to open up a 15 pound dictionary or encyclopedia. So, that spat was over but I had blind copied the head librarian to say that this student didn’t think there was anything up to date about precision agriculture.
Then, this past week, I had to write up an academic dishonesty report on one student who handed in his third required paper on human trafficking. It went to the Chancellor of Academic Affairs, to my supervisor, his advisor, etc. As Comp teachers, we have the “turnitin” feature with our Moodle assignments, the closer to 0% you have, the more likely it is the students’ own words. However, we can allow for up to 10% on the Originality Assessment reports. Sadly, my one student who I had in TWO classes last semester, who should have known better, came up with 81% of copying someone else’s paper. He took from ONE paper and not patchwork from other papers all put together…flagrant copying on his part! I told him he had to do this paper over or he would NOT get his potential 150 points. THEN, I got an e-mail from his father who lives in southern U.S., copied to all his son’s other instructors, asking how his son was doing. I didn’t tell him anything because legally, I am not supposed to unless a certain form has been filled out electronically and I’ve gotten the okay from the student. Whew, I think I got cleared of that…again I notified my supervisor about that.
Well, that is three male students all taking their turns with not behaving right…who will be next in these last four weeks? I have to be on my toes and make sure that I have all the assignments done right and turned back to them when they hand there next rough draft for Paper #4 to me next Monday. For now, I am glad that we had Good Friday off today and I’m looking ahead to a good Easter service on Sunday. I’ll play my violin for the first time and hopefully that will go well. I haven’t played publicly for about 35-40 years so this is a stretch for me…I bought a new violin to be in the university’s orchestra so I might as well use it.
Good Friday…good things are on the way!!!