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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:34 am 
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On this same note, I became good friends with the head of the Multimedia Design program that I attended. He has told me since I graduated, it's unreal how dumbed down they've had the make the program in order to make it so 90% of the class doesn't fail. He said that it's like a kindergarten program as far as what you learn now, but he was getting in shiitake because the majority of kids were failing the program and so it was either a) change the program so everyone passes or b) the program gets cancelled.
So basically you come out not learning shiitake, you have no assignments, but at least all the kids feel good about themselves? How are they going to be equipped for the work world like that?!

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:42 am 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
How are they going to be equipped for the work world like that?!


Exactly!

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:52 am 
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lavawitch, I don't really know the politics of VA, but I'm wondering if you see the state waiving the No Child Left Behind act at all? I think some schools did that here? I guess I don't know very much about it. But it seems like a radical new way to do education, waive the Act, teach arts through the core subjects etc etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:31 pm 
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I feel so guilty posting this after the preceding conversation, but I completely forked up and managed to myself 4 hours in which to take a 6 hour exam today because of another oral midterm exam this morning (receive extended time, forgot to factor extended time into calculation). Panic-emailed prof for oral midterm and he's agreed to reschedule the exam (it's pass/fail) to tomorrow. PPK, permission to love him lots?

(on that note, should I be doing something nice for him that he's taking time out of his weekend because I made a stupid mistake?)

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:53 pm 
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vijita wrote:
interrobang?! wrote:
that stupid baked potato shop.

NOT STUPID.

FINE. Buckets of nonsense, then! It's bloody baked potatoes! On the Goth street corner!

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:54 pm 
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I have a school related conundrum, in fact.

I--technically--have a student in my first period creative writing class who is graduating and has a scholarship to a four year school. I say technically have him because he has been absent for almost the entire year, none of which have been excused. He brings in roughly half of the missing assignments on the last day of the marking period and gets some credit. However, this morning--a full WEEK after the end of the marking period--I find in my box a stapled manuscript and a note that basically says that he's sorry to always inconvenience me with late work, but that he REALLY needs a C- to graduate and keep his scholarship so can I change his grade?

I am so LIVID.

On the one hand, I really don't want to ruin the kid's future and his chances of going to college, with a scholarship no less! He's under guardianship of his grandmother and uncle, and if he goes to college, he will be the first in his family. When he DOES actually turn in writing, it's really great.

However, he is NEVER in class. When he is, he's playing around on his cell phone. He doesn't turn in work. I fail kids for FAR less than this. I am utterly repulsed by the notion of changing his grade when he has not even remotely earned it. I do not want to reward him simply for existing. That's not how it goes.

It's a horrible feeling. I got into teaching to try to help kids become the first to go to college and so on, but this was not how I envisioned myself doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 12:59 pm 
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Yikes, DC. He's not going to succeed in college anyway if he thinks that kind of behavior is okay.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:06 pm 
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I wouldn't feel too bad about failing him, DC. He's probably putting that same plea up to every teacher he has right now and chances are that not every teacher will give him the pity grade so he'll fail anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:11 pm 
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I'm not a teacher (so this may be completely undoable), but can you check with his other teachers and see what is actually going on? And then if he really is on the cusp - like passing everything else and this is the one grade that would cost him his scholarship - then take him aside and have a talk with him about why he is blowing off your class?

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
Yikes, DC. He's not going to succeed in college anyway if he thinks that kind of behavior is okay.



My thoughts exactly.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I'm not a teacher (so this may be completely undoable), but can you check with his other teachers and see what is actually going on? And then if he really is on the cusp - like passing everything else and this is the one grade that would cost him his scholarship - then take him aside and have a talk with him about why he is blowing off your class?


I checked on the online gradebook--he's off in ALL his classes. D's and F's everywhere, and his attendance is abysmal.

I also emailed his counselor to see what's up. She came and talked to me and was astounded that he wrote me that note and told me that it is my choice, and I absolutely have the right to give him the grade that he has earned. He has had an enormous network of staff supporting him and encouraging him and helping him, but he has STILL managed to dig himself into this hole, and she says that there are plenty of other teachers who don't budge on grades either, so I should do what I feel is right.

It was a very relieving conversation. She was very much in line with my thoughts about how it would devalue the other students' grades and experiences, and that, regardless of his sob story, he has had so many people at this school pushing for him and supporting him, and so he ultimately does not have any justification for where he is and so he's going to have to accept it.

That was rather comforting.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Sounds kind of like he got his scholarship and decided to take the last semester off...

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:25 pm 
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Oh wow, I just found out that my old coworker's daughter passed away unexpectedly. I went to see a movie with some work people once, and the daughter came too. I think she was only 3 or 4 years older than me. I feel so bad for my coworker and her family.


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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:40 pm 
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DarthCupcake wrote:
I have a school related conundrum, in fact.

I--technically--have a student in my first period creative writing class who is graduating and has a scholarship to a four year school. I say technically have him because he has been absent for almost the entire year, none of which have been excused. He brings in roughly half of the missing assignments on the last day of the marking period and gets some credit. However, this morning--a full WEEK after the end of the marking period--I find in my box a stapled manuscript and a note that basically says that he's sorry to always inconvenience me with late work, but that he REALLY needs a C- to graduate and keep his scholarship so can I change his grade?

I am so LIVID.

On the one hand, I really don't want to ruin the kid's future and his chances of going to college, with a scholarship no less! He's under guardianship of his grandmother and uncle, and if he goes to college, he will be the first in his family. When he DOES actually turn in writing, it's really great.

However, he is NEVER in class. When he is, he's playing around on his cell phone. He doesn't turn in work. I fail kids for FAR less than this. I am utterly repulsed by the notion of changing his grade when he has not even remotely earned it. I do not want to reward him simply for existing. That's not how it goes.

It's a horrible feeling. I got into teaching to try to help kids become the first to go to college and so on, but this was not how I envisioned myself doing it.

I say give him the grade he deserves, whatever that means to you.

You know, I was a terrible truant in school and while I didn't have a scholarship on the line, my teachers gave me what I deserved. A couple of times, they even grumbled to the class (my shorthand teacher did) that although I was NEVER in class, they reluctantly had to give me the highest grade in the class on something I turned in or on a test or something (you know how some teachers announce to the class the student who gets the top mark on something). My English teacher who never spoke to me personally (but gave me good marks) once saw me come into his class after a long absentee spell and said, in front of anyone: 'If you didn't show up today, I was going to send you to the principal. I've had enough.'

I don't know about the scholarship thing, but just, in retrospect, I hold no grudges toward these teachers. I mean, in their own way, they were trying to help. I was unhelpable then, not in a mind to be helped and not by them, but I appreciate they tried in their way to point out that what I was doing was NOT okay and would not hold me in good stead if I wanted to get serious about academic things.

You don't need to worry about his scholarship--he does. It's not for you to worry whether or not he earns it. Do what you need to do. If he's a reasonable person, he'll understand this.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:31 pm 
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DarthCupcake wrote:
It turns out that it froze, expanded, and shattered the bottle, leaving me with wine slushy everywhere.

I do not even know how I exist!


I set a timer last night to remind myself to refrigerate leftovers from the soup I'd made after it had properly cooled down...and when the timer went off, it turned out I'd forgotten to even shut off the burner!

It's like the opposite superpower.

Edited for dropping vowels.


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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:38 pm 
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julialegume wrote:
lavawitch, I don't really know the politics of VA, but I'm wondering if you see the state waiving the No Child Left Behind act at all? I think some schools did that here? I guess I don't know very much about it. But it seems like a radical new way to do education, waive the Act, teach arts through the core subjects etc etc.


States need the federal funds. Virginia has a waiver for not meeting the testing benchmarks, as do most states, but the price of that is penalizing teachers for students not passing the tests. Nice, huh? The states need a waiver because 100% achieving an passing score is impossible, so in exchange, they expect teaches to do it.

My first school, the chemistry teachers were in shiitake because only 98% passed instead of 99%. This was a difference of 2-3 kids since they only let kids with a C+ or better in bio take chem. they had endless meetings and strategy sessions about how to avoid such an awful fate in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Dc, what I would probably do just because the stakes are high is talk to him seriously and agree to do a grade change only if he meets certain stringent criteria for the rest of the year. If he does, I'd change the grade. These kids never do though, so the F stands. I keep waiting for one to surprise me, but no dice so far.

I gave 5 kids this deal for last quarter. The F is in the syste, now, but if they have a C or better by interims, they can get their grade change. All 5 are forking around as usual. I tried; it's on them now. I mean, really this time.

I hate this, but as a senior teacher and teaching a class not vital for success in life, I feel my goal is to help these kids graduate even if it sticks in my craw a bit. I'd feel differently if they were leaving my class to go onto more school.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Zwingtip: just thank the prof. We all know which kids are sincere and deserve a break. We are talking the repeat offenrucksack ups who don't even acknowledge that somebody has given the, a break. Hell, I would never have graduated without kind professors. I was a walking bloody soap opera.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:18 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Dc, what I would probably do just because the stakes are high is talk to him seriously and agree to do a grade change only if he meets certain stringent criteria for the rest of the year. If he does, I'd change the grade. These kids never do though, so the F stands. I keep waiting for one to surprise me, but no dice so far.

I gave 5 kids this deal for last quarter. The F is in the syste, now, but if they have a C or better by interims, they can get their grade change. All 5 are forking around as usual. I tried; it's on them now. I mean, really this time.

I hate this, but as a senior teacher and teaching a class not vital for success in life, I feel my goal is to help these kids graduate even if it sticks in my craw a bit. I'd feel differently if they were leaving my class to go onto more school.


Yeah. The thing is, he skipped class again today. However, if he ever shows up again, I will offer him a contract, wherein he must attend class ON TIME every day, turn in all work on time, etc. If he sticks by that, I will change his grade. Otherwise... no dice.

So we'll see if he shows up soon enough to even put a contract in place or not.

lavawitch wrote:
Zwingtip: just thank the prof. We all know which kids are sincere and deserve a break. We are talking the repeat offenrucksack ups who don't even acknowledge that somebody has given the, a break. Hell, I would never have graduated without kind professors. I was a walking bloody soap opera.


I agree! An honest, sincere thanks is really worth a lot, because so many students take that kind of generosity for granted. Knowing that it was recognized and valued feels good.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:01 pm 
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raspberrycomplaint wrote:
Oh wow, I just found out that my old coworker's daughter passed away unexpectedly. I went to see a movie with some work people once, and the daughter came too. I think she was only 3 or 4 years older than me. I feel so bad for my coworker and her family.

Oh, RC, that is terrible. I hope everyone involved has the support they need. Hugs.

I had a huge row with a coworker today in a staff meeting. I feel bad about how upset he got, but I had to say my piece because it has impacted my clients. Ugh. Now instead of calling me by my first name he is calling me Attorney [Fizzgig]

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 9:10 pm 
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DC, I'd give him the grade he deserves. I went to both college and high school at the same time, finished my high school work early, attended every class, then graduated high school early on high honors and made the dean's list at my college. When I hear a story about how someone has a SCHOLARSHIP (something I didn't have) and then doesn't finish their work in high school yet begs a teacher to change their grade- no dice! You get what you put in! It's cool that you'll be the first in your family to go to college but you can't whine your way into a degree and career.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
DC, I'd give him the grade he deserves. I went to both college and high school at the same time, finished my high school work early, attended every class, then graduated high school early on high honors and made the dean's list at my college. When I hear a story about how someone has a SCHOLARSHIP (something I didn't have) and then doesn't finish their work in high school yet begs a teacher to change their grade- no dice! You get what you put in! It's cool that you'll be the first in your family to go to college but you can't whine your way into a degree and career.


This. I was offered no scholarship (or even financial aid) and yet I graduated high school early with a college degree and a 3.8 GPA. I'm still not working on my BA because I can't afford it, even though my parents make nothing. Literally.

eta: I firmly believe kids deserve the grades they work for. It's laid out to them in a syllabus at the beginning of the year how to pass. If they choose not to, it's their choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:16 pm 
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I thought this was interesting in light of the NCLB talk: http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... -preschool


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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 11:35 pm 
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I repeated a year of school due to absenteeism. After the year where I failed (I skipped 82 out of 180 days), I turned shiitake around and went to college (on a scholarship, and also as the first person in my family). For me, failing like that was a totally important wakeup call-- yes, I'm naturally smart at some things, but I need to be present, I need to be doing work, etc. Literally changed my life.

So, yeah, it's going to be horrible for him the short term but I think it's probably the right thig to do both ethically and for his long-term well being.

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 Post subject: Re: Space to post things that do not go with any other topic
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 3:53 am 
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It just occurred to me this morning that the nut cheeses I've been playing around with could be used in recipes I liked pregan that used cheese (beyond pizza and sandwiches, which is what I've used them in so far), so I made cheese scones for breakfast. Yeah, they were pretty good. I made 7 and it took a lot of self control to only eat 3 of them straight off.

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