Dunscentrate just a little bit more . . .
Yesterday, a student showed up in my Yonsei course on multiculturalism and European unification after missing 9 straight classes. She has missed 10 classes in all and hasn't read a single word of the assigned articles, nor has she participated in a single discussion in a course small enough for me to treat as a discussion seminar.
I informed her that she had missed 10 classes, and she merely smiled. I asked her how much one could miss and still pass the course, and she knew the immediate answer to that:
"One-third."I looked at her for a moment, then said:
"One-third . . ." I mused. "We have 16 weeks, counting midterm and finals weeks, with two classes per week . . . which makes 32. You've missed nearly one-third already. And that's assuming that midterm and finals weeks count. I'll have to check with the office on this."
"Thesis statements are due this Friday. Do you know what you want to write your paper on?"She shook her head. I pointed to the board, where I had provided a sample thesis statement:
Europe will successfully unify despite its problems because it is a continent of democratic states with wealthy, educated populations that recognize their economic, political, and military self-interest in uniting and developing into an effective superpower.I then explained:
"Note that this sample has thesis-statement form. It has the A --> B b/c A --> C logic. This Friday, you should bring to class a thesis statement formulated in this way."She smiled but said nothing. I'm curious to see what she brings on Friday. As for me, I might need to prepare by picking up a traffic cone on my way to that class.