Midterm Misanthropy, Spring Edition!

Spring term is wearing on, in more ways than one.

At the beginning of the school year in Fall, both students and teachers have a lot of ideas and a lot of energy.   A little bit of time takes the shine off of those lofty ideas, and after months and months of schoolwork (of varying quality) and low sleep a summer vacation seems like a wonderful plan.

Summer break is still weeks away for us though.   Students are getting tired, and so am I.  There are some issues that come up in every class.  For example, no matter how well thought out my lessons or exercises, some students seem to want to learn by osmosis rather than practice.  It is also an ongoing frustration when I have to remind some of my students that they are in college, and I expect adult levels of work (and communication).

Change isn’t easy so I have some helpful, if non-conventional ways of helping my students to learn.

  • I would like to have obituary announcements for my recently deceased red pens.    “Sadly, it was killed mid-test by a gang of rogue students bent on free expression in mathematics.”
  • Some students have trouble doing the reading.   I think having a set of stocks with a reading shelf could be a nice addition to the classroom.
  • Many students will turn in their homework on pages torn from spiral notebooks, with ragged messy edges.   I think lighting the edges on fire to remove the mess would be appropriate.   Although this brings up an etiquette question:   do scorch marks on homework send the right message to the student?
  • I think a small black hole would be nice for class, especially for students who don’t show their work.   Spaghettification is educational, isn’t it?

 

spagettification

I will not kill my students and wear their skin.   I will not kill my students and wear their skin.   I will not kill my students and wear their skin…

Donald Trump

Dear Donald,

I was going to start this letter with the request that you shut the fuck up.   Instead, I think I want you to keep talking.   You see, the more you talk the stupider you look.   I want to say that you represent the worst of America.   You have money to spend, and yet you are morally bankrupt.   You are a hateful and bigoted man, and your jingoist speeches highlight your attitudes.   I was briefly concerned about you, now I just pity you.

Willful ignorance offends me.   I think that your profound lack understanding of complex issues would be a disaster for this country.   I’m a teacher because I want to fix ignorance, while you seem to celebrate it.

Don’t expect me to address anything else to you.  I don’t care for adolescents of any age.

Sincerely,

Colin Leetham

Founder of the Evil League of Teachers

 

P.S.  Donald, I changed my mind.   Shut the fuck up.

As a reminder:  The views expressed by the Evil League of Teachers do not reflect those of our employers, friends, family, or any other membership organizations.

Midterm Misanthropy Madness!

It is the middle of the quarter, and I have already burned through 3 red pens.   3.  Red.  Pens.

Imagine the number of comments, mistakes, and the sheer volume of … creative … math that I have had to wade through to go through that much red ink.    This is just the grading portion of teaching this quarter.  I’ve also had a bumper crop of over-participators, students who feel that a calculator is a right rather than a privilege, and a few folks who defy description.

Midterm misanthropy has set in.

Now don’t get me wrong.   I love teaching and I love my students, but there are a few things that would improve my mood.

  • A big red stamp that just says “NOPE” that I can use on repeated mistakes.
  • I need a mute button for some of my over-participators.
  • … and my younger students who don’t understand this isn’t high school.
  • … and my chatty students who don’t realize that when I’m lecturing, they need to stop relating drinking stories.
  • … and the people on the ferry who asked me if I speak “white”  (True story.  It didn’t end well for him.)
  • Maybe a cattle prod instead of a mute button.
  • More red pens.
  • A set of stocks* as a teaching tool to get people to stop trying to add denominators together.
  • “Force choke” the next person who asks me to teach them the ENTIRE lesson of the day they were absent.  (My sympathy is with Darth Vader at this point in my life).
  • Banana spiders.   For educational purposes.
  • Access to all of the student’s Junior High School yearbooks.

Petting zoo

I will not kill my students and wear their skin.  I will not kill my students and wear their skin.   I will not kill my students and wear their skin…

 

*  Not the financial type of “stocks”.   Think old-time village square “stocks”.

Snark Week

Some weeks I should get an award for self restraint.    If I can keep this up through the next election cycle, I will call it as one of my miracles on my path to sainthood.

…but I so long to sink my fangs into someone or something stupid from time to time.

One of the things that was going well last quarter was I had very few people making excuses.   Somehow, I seem to be making up for lost time this summer.   I didn’t mean my “Student Excuse Bingo” to be predictive.  What the actual fuck?  I shouldn’t score a bingo until at least two weeks go by.

I can deal with student excuses.  That is one reason why I have a syllabus… “Sorry you forgot there was a class, did you check the website to see what was due?   No?   Then I’m afraid you are out of luck.”  I suppose it make sense that I’m feeling put upon this quarter, since last quarter was so exceptionally good.   Honestly, I’ve got good students this quarter… there is just more drama somehow.  One of the few reasons I like teaching is that there people are trying to make themselves smarter and more capable.

What I have been having more trouble with is people outside of school.

People at bus stops.  People on the buses.  People in the store.   People, people, everywhere!  Seriously, who the hell brings a yapping dog on a standing room only bus?   Why is it so hard to drive down the road without texting and running other drivers off the road?   Is it really necessary to block an entire aisle at the store while you browse types of soup?    Or do you expect me to listen to you while you scream at everyone why you think Obama is responsible for SCOTUS (do you understand there are different branches of government)?

*grumble*mumble*Grump!*stupid*

Evil geniuses, it is time to unite and take over the world!  Join the ranks of my minions for adventure and benefits!  Loose the battle drones!  Set up the education camps.  (I say education, because frankly we are just undoing the damage of apathy and inane media misinformation).  Let the smarter ones live.  If nothing else, a culling the population will make traffic easier.

Okay, deep breath.  I haven’t hurt anyone, despite my general attitude of stabbiness.  I don’t even push the big, shiny, personal buttons that people show me.

 

Don’t think you’re safe yet, though.   Stupidity just makes my fangs itch.