A word has been hitting me lightly again and again the past few weeks. Sometimes the light hitting turns into a pound...Pound...POUND. The doubt creeps in and BLAMO; there it is, right in front of me:
You might be used to underwhelm's cousin, overwhelmed. You see, people usually talk about how OVERwhelmed they are with work, or how nice people are, or by an outcry of affection. Yes. I used the word "outcry."
But seriously, this semester, I have been UNDERwhelmed time and time again by my students. I swear to the God of All Things Lazy (excuse my paganistic sidebar), I have been struck, hit, pounded, smacked, doused, hosed, and saturated NUMEROUS times with the most pathetic excuses and lack of any sort of effort or desire to do anything.
This came to a head tonight when I had to have a conversation with a student who confronted me about not having time to do a pair-work project (that she has TWO WEEKS PLUS CLASS TIME TO COMPLETE). I had to discuss for fifteen minutes the following two (I thought self-explanatory) points:
(1) Group work is a part of college course work if she likes it or not, and
(2) She must follow ALL directions if she would like to get a good grade, not the directions of her choosing.
After I thought I got through to her that these two points were non-negotiable, she laid the following on me:
R: I'm the oldest student in the class.
Me: Ok. And?
R: Old people don't like to follow directions.
Me: I'm not saying that you're old, but do old people like to get A's?
Me: Well, maybe, you should try to follow directions, then.
R: Yes, but I'm older than everyone else in the class. They are all young. I can't work with them.
Me: Well, I think you knew your age when you signed up for the class, and seeing as how group work and being able to follow group directions are key components of a college education, I think you might want to follow the directions, ALL OF THEM, that have been assigned to you.
That was the cake topper. "I'm old." I could have walked out of the class right then and given up. I just want someone to impress me this semester, and it isn't happening. I don't remember being so lazy as a college student. I mostly remember being drunk, but that is neither here nor there.
All YOU lazy non-comment-leavers... give me some SERIOUS suggestions that I can ignore.