Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dunscentrate just a little bit more . . .

Dunce Cap
(Image from Wikipedia)

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 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."
I looked at her for a moment, then said:
"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.

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At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I seem to recall that student of yours, so far she's been my favorite.

You pictured her with a brown sort of T-Shirt (I realize you weren't looking, Sun-Ae took the actual photo):

"I'm Lost."

Nice jeans too. Of course I was only looking from the belt loops up.


At 11:05 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I have a vague memory of that photo . . . but this current student is not the same person.

Except for being lost.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:46 PM, Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

Hey, Jeffery. Maybe you're going to be bribed!

The question is, will the student do the research and bring you fine wines and beer? Or will she blunder and make advances on you, not knowing you are married to a beautiful, brilliant, and psychic woman?

[Did I leave out any adjectives for Sun-Ae?]

At 4:54 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

CIV, I'd mentioned this student to Sun-Ae, and she immediately asked, "What does the girl look like?"

Which led to speculations on how this student has managed to survive in the reputedly rigorous Underwood International College.

As for proper adjectives, you left out only "kindhearted." By that, I mean that if I were to stumble, Sun-Ae might not kill me...

Jeffery Hodges

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