Monday, February 17, 2014

Dr. Amelia wants to line her gradflakes up for a group smacking


Several of you have written to me to tell me you don't understand what we are doing. Good news - your failure to "get" what is required is easily remedied. You just need to stop being so teapartying lazy.

Some tips:

1. Read the assignment. In it, I put links to several great examples on the web that are both in the desired format AND about the topic. How awesome is that? I KNOW, right? What, you DID read the assignment carefully? Funny, cuz I used link tracking on those links and you haven't clicked on them. Ooh, pwned again.

2. When ever you want to write in an e-mail to your professor the words "How do I..." you may get faster results if you type those words instead into the search engine of your choice. It will pull up EXACTLY the same links that I will e-mail you back several hours later. Look at you, getting information at the speed of the Internet. Winning!

3. You will have to READ the links I send you. I know you passed TWO classes in stuff harder than what i'm asking you to do for this one. Once you read then, you will realize that you literally only have to cut and paste. And I've seen your blog - I know you know how to do that. Sad face.

Ok, super sugar bears, that's it for now. I'm off to make your next assignment. Which you will also have to read. Womp womp. 

Dr. Amelia


  1. When I started teaching grad classes a few years ago I was SHOCKED (SHOCKED, I TELL YOU!) at how snowflakey the students were. It was only about 4 years since I'd taken classes and these kids didn't bother to do the reading, didn't know how to cite and expected me to explain it to them over and over and over, and just did not have that fear or drive that my classmates had. It was weird and sad. They were just as bad as undergrads.

    1. I feel your pain... I had to provide comments to over half of my grad students yesterday (5+ weeks into the semester) on citing and references.

      And reading? Who do they think they are fooling?

  2. The precious looks on their faces when they realize you KNOW they didn't click the link to an assignment is ALMOST as good as the precious looks on their faces when you show them a their history of clicking through FIFTEEN TIMES to the file whose link they told you was "broken."

  3. This is just so weird... I never saw anyone behave like this in my grad program. We had a couple of dolts, but even they never claimed they didn't understand what was going on, what was expected, or what to do. They just failed to do it adequately. Everyone knew what was going on and what they needed to do, it's just that some of us (not me, usually) did it better than others. In particular, I never once in my whole time in grad school saw a student who didn't grasp the format of the assignment. Of course, that might be a by-product of my field - the only thing we do is write papers.

  4. I had a few flakes in my PhD program 10 years ago, but they kind of had that vacant-academic-helplessness about them that wasn't quite the same as what I see in students today. That was more absent-minded professor than flakey.

  5. This makes me crazy, only with undergrads. Papers were due last Thursday. Wednesday night I receive plaintive emails from students who just don't understand the assignment that I have explained in lectures(for which I saw no notes taken even when I pointed them out on the PowerPoint) and provided links via email and Blackboard for the past two+ weeks. I reply asking them if they read the links. I receive no answer.

  6. Thanks, Amelia! You just made me feel better about not having any grad students (and probably never having any grad students).

    I do fear that, with the erosion of standards for the Bachelors, and the (somewhat understandable) tendency of this generation of snowflakes to hide out from the real world and/or the recession in grad school, the M.A. is becoming the new B.A., and the Ph.D. the new M.A. I really hope they don't create a new, super-special degree before I retire and/or die. Could we just keep the next level publishing a book (or a certain number of refereed/well-cited articles)? You nearly need to be at that level to get a tenure-track job these days anyway. Unfortunately, adding another level would provide additional revenue and/or cheap labor for universities, and (at least in the imaginations of professors not familiar with the phenomenon you describe here) more interesting teaching for professors. I fear for the future.

  7. Dr. Amelia, you do snark in such a great way! Not too mean (at least, in my humble opinion as one who is often "too mean") and yet so scathing!

    I remember a professor when I was in grad school who complained about how grad students were not what they used to be. I sincerely hope she has retired, becuase I doubt she has the fortitude to handle today's level of flakiness (not sure if that is a word, but what the hell).