Party or Purity
MSNBC explores students' opinions of party schools vs. sober schools. Here's the story.
At the nearby campus where I formerly was employed, they started the fall term this past Thursday. Now, Thursday being the most popular swilling-of-liquor day for the under-25 set, that meant Friday's classes (for the departments that still have them) were populated by bleary-eyed young adults nursing the first awful hangover of the semester. Lunch picker-upper: Subway sandwich and cold beer.
Talked to one of my favorite profs today. I asked how many students he has in his three classes this term. One has more than 50 enrolled. That's too many. "I'll have to be scary the first day," he says, "to run a few of them off."
You know that we do this, right? When there are 30 desks in the room and 38 students signed up, the tried-and-true technique for profs is to be really dour and strict the first day. Play up the number of papers and tough exams. Harp on the massive amount of reading and the no-excuses-accepted attendance policy. By the next classtime, the number has been winnowed down to a management size. Drops galore. That's good. Nobody has to sit in the lefthanded and/or busted desk or drag a folding chair over from the closet down the hall.
And, no surprise, suddenly some of those quizzes and extra readings disappear from the sked. And the prof actually cracks some jokes.
You do what you gotta do.