Sunday, September 04, 2011

End of the Weekend

I had a great time in York, and will be posting some pictures when I have more time. For now, though, I need to finish prepping for tomorrow.

I had dinner with several students I don't know this evening. They aren't in my classes, but are in the one big class, so we were talking a bit about their work for that class. Of the three students, two sounded like they'd had productive weekends, and one scared me in that "I don't like libraries or reading or intellectual stimulation" way. I hate to say it, but students who seem so uncurious and resistant about everything bother me. (You can start in on how I'm an intellectual snob any minute.)

One of the students is working on a small research project, and seemed to be having trouble getting started. The trouble is that s/he hadn't heard of a basic concept in western culture and couldn't make heads or tails of the basic information s/he was reading about this research topic because s/he has such a week foundation. I hope I was able to help a tad, though, by asking a few questions.

It's, well, scary and frustrating to think that a US college student is so absolutely clueless about something this important. Maybe it's this student, maybe it's NCLB, or who knows, but it's not good. (At least this student was obviously curious and making an effort to learn!)

And now, I need to spend some more time with Raphael Hythloday!


  1. when i got to college, i discovered [to my surprise, because i had the delusion that i was pretty well informed] that there were lots of things about which i was clueless. my kids still surprise me with periodic bouts of cluelessness, although, encouragingly, they are less and less frequent as they navigate young adulthood.

    it's great that the student talked about the problem, and that she/he is not the incurious one! maybe there will be further discussions that will help.

  2. to elaborate on my "further discussions" comment -- i do not wish for those to be with you.

    the student brought this up in the presence of other students, and -- not to put down faculty in any way -- discussions amongst students are an important part of the whole learning process. sure, some of those will be worthless or worse; but they can also help a student get some perspective, or a new perspective. especially a curious student.