Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rites of Spring (A Thirsty)

Alas! The AWC banner asks for smackdowns, but I have no sturm und drang to express, nor angst, nor schadenfreude nor even deansprachtbarfen. It's the first day of the term for me, and the Little Dears arrived on time, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Hope springs eternal that THIS will be the bunch that remembers to check the syllabus before asking about deadlines, and contacts classmates instead of me for missed notes. THIS group will read the textbook and follow directions on assignments because THESE students recognize their good fortune and appreciate the opportunity to meet the real intellectual challenges of college.

What will be the first event that bursts my bubble? 

How long will it take for that event to happen?

(Please, no wagering.)


  1. I love "deansprachtbarfen." What a wonderful bit of pidgen German.

    I'm a bit short of angst this term, too, actually. Even the students who aren't doing the work aren't whining to me about how they're "studying really hard." They just take their lumps and go on.

  2. The email that arrives on the night before the first assignment is due, after 2 weeks of explaining it in class, stating that s/he doesn't understand what is needed.

  3. The student, not taking notes, who, when called on, admits to having no idea what is going on without shame or any outward sign that he intends to remedy that fact in any way.

  4. The student who plagiarizes a discussion contribution in the first week of an online class.

  5. Oh, if your class has prerequisites it can happen on the first day: you're going over what the course will be about and ask a simple question that anyone with any idea about what transpired in the prerequisite course should be able to answer. And hear crickets, and look on a roomful of blank stares. But that doesn't surprise me anymore, what would surprise me would be having a single student in class who did have an idea of what I was talking about, and "the guts" to answer the question.

    And I love deansprahctbarfen too, it's perfect! All I can come up with along these lines is schneefleckwhinen.

    1. Yes! We ought to turn this into another contest like the one about Olympic events. And by "we" I mean, of course, Beaker Ben. You da mensch.

  6. For me, it would be when one of the department administrators, usually the assistant head, hinted to me that there had been "a complaint" about me. That usually took a matter of days and was probably a group that either the DH or ADH had in a previous term.

    Those two had a tendency to mollycoddle the kiddies and lulled them into thinking that all the other teaching staff would be like them. Then they encountered me. I must have scared the dickens out of them by trying to impose discipline and, heaven forbid, actually expecting them to know something when I started my first lecture. Worse yet, I expected that they actually *earn* their rewards and not sit there, warming their seats and starting off into space.

  7. Deansprachtbarfen? Hergott im Himmel!

    For me, this semester it was the first day of class, when a student in my physics-for-engineers class who has subsequently proved to be an unremitting pain in the ass with the attitude of a sullen high-schooler picked a fight about my banning electronics in the classroom, and hasn't let up since. But then for me, it's usually the first day of class for any semester.