Monday, April 28, 2008

When students aren't paying attention...

Paying Attention . . . or Playing at Attention?
Disclaimer: No Koreans Depicted in this Photo
(Image from Wikipedia)

Last week was midterm week, and though I don't give tests in my writing classes, I do require a thesis statement to be handed in during classtime -- as both the syllabus and I myself clearly state. Last week, I even required attendance to both classtimes because the university expects professors to make up missed classes even if these were missed due to official holidays -- and our class falls upon a couple of holidays this semester, so I'm planning ahead.

Some, students, however, don't pay close attention:
"I am so sorry for not being in class on monday. I was under the impression that there is no classes this week."
To this crippled 'excuse', I replied:
If you were under this impression, then you really weren't paying sufficient attention in class, for I repeatedly explained why we would have class on both Monday and Thursday during midterm week.
I was also concerned about this student's 'attention' to my specific requirements for a thesis statement:
Concerning this 'thesis statement', you also seem not to have paid close attention to what was required, for you wrote:
"Although each culture or each society possessed its own rationality and coherence in terms of which its customs and beliefs were to be interpreted, which means there is no superior culture or inferior culture, culture is one of the concepts we need to give a critical view of especially when we accept them because people like and want to continue the way of life they grew up and cultures surrounding people can change their ways of life."
Two problems:

1. This is not a thesis statement of the type required, for it lacks the logical structure of A --> B b/c A --> C. What you've written has the form A --> B b/c C --> D. If you try labeling it, you will see the error.

2. This statement says nothing about whether multiculturalism is good or bad for society, nor does it even say anything about multiculturalism, let alone distinguish between radical and moderate multiculturalism.

You must, therefore, rewrite your thesis statement to fit these two requirements. Please do so very, very soon.
I hope that this student is paying attention to my words this time.

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At 12:47 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Yes, students fail to pay attention. More frequently though, students fail to understand what it is they are hearing/seeing/reading, particularly when it is a passive activity. Teaching is often the fine art of clarifying.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, I agree with you there, and maybe I've managed to clarify things in my email reply.

I think that everything should be clear by now, but I suppose that I'll find out soon.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:53 PM, Blogger Tony said...

Hi Jeffery,

You may be interested in this site:

A online English/Chinese dictionary, it focuses on Chinese language learning English speakers, provide Chinese handwriting recognition and human voice pronunciation.

Have a look, if good, add it to your site please, thanks.


At 5:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Clark. I'm ignorant of Chinese, but I do try to provide services for people who stop by, so I'll take a look.

Jeffery Hodges

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