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Thread: The Professor's Dilemma

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3,114

    The Professor's Dilemma

    Educators often complain that students don't care or pay little attention. On the other hand, once in a while, a student will get all fired up and excited at the new learning... which can be worse!

    Those visiting hours can find the poor instructor listening to one or two, in apparent dire need of haircuts and remedial language classes, hanging outside the door...

    Students: "That is way cool, dude... What about... does that mean... (yet) another analogy might be... is it true that Matrix was a documentary?"

    Beleaguered Professor: "Well, yes, certainly (hear that one 100 times a semester)... It is curious, isn't it? (well, back when I was 9 or 10, but at 20?)... Uh-huh... Ummm-hmmm... (I am not a "dude"...) Listen, ah, I have a phone call from the dean coming in... Yes, I'll see you in class (Why don't I ever get a call to go into high speed securities trading? Sheesh.)... Can dej v all over and over again be fatal?... What was that penalty for slapping a student again?"

    I find it hilarious (and pretty embarrassing) that I do that to some poor posters around CQ-town myself. Play the student, that is. "Hey, yeah, and so what does that mean..." ("2+2 means just what I said it means, there are no easier explanations") "What about dolphins, or alien minds?" (Well, what about them? Talk to any lately? Careful how you answer.) "So, like, what's the ultimate meaning of it all? ("47, or pi, or Wednesday, take your pick.")

    I'll try to be better, but I am having too good a time to behave all the time.

    It's just that CQ is sometimes way cool...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    OMG, way cool, excellent and totally awesome, dude!

    I'm just here for the extra credit.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    27,229
    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    Educators often complain that students don't care or pay little attention. On the other hand, once in a while, a student will get all fired up and excited at the new learning... which can be worse!
    Yes, I've had a few students who come into my office and want to "shoot the breeze" even when I'm busy with something else, but basically, it's never that much of a drain. I can easily say "well, I need to get this paper finished, so can we talk about this some more later?" Students get the hint, it's not a problem. And a forum isn't even that situation-- everyone has to choose to come on here, no one is "walking into anyone's office"! As for students asking the same questions over and over, that's true to a point, but you know, it's a pretty weak-minded professor who finds themself always answering the same question in the same way. The process of answering the same questions over and over is itself a process-- and the answers evolve, sometimes more for the benefit of the professor than the student!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
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    Educator burnout is a thing, esp when it's informal on a forum like this. I have to prepare myself to be "ON" and "in educator mode" and then I can happily answer Q's I've heard 100 times before, but if I'm caught off guard I might just blink confusedly at the person.

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