On kids today

A student recently told me that in my class, he has figured out that my homework assignments require students to consider the readings and apply what they have learned. I resisted the urge to write back and say, "Well, Duh."

However, he tells me that he is having trouble because all of his other classes simply require him to regurgitate the readings. He must not be used to this newfangled teaching I employ.

My question is, am I right that this can't be true, or do the vast majority of college classes today simply ask students to fill in the blanks with bold faced words from the textbook?


On light blogging

Well, summer session has officially commenced at Penn State.

In the next few months, I will co-teach an Elderhostel, run a summer camp, help organize AstroFest, co-teach a teacher's workshop, co-teach another teacher's workshop, and continue teaching my *three* on-line courses.

So... the season of lighter than average blogging has begun.

There is one thing of substance I wanted to post. I've been commiserating with a colleague dealing with *serious* grade grubbing from our Spring semester course, dealing with students from *other* universities sending me their sob stories trying to get in to my summer full class, and getting pointed to articles at Rate Your Students by others. I'm just as prone to getting frustrated with these students as everyone else. However, I think it is at times like these that we should remember there *are* some fantastic students that we get to work with.

The student who worked with me on a research project and on outreach programs starting the summer after his freshman year just graduated. He was outstanding, and a pleasure to work with. He easily outweighed 10 grade grubbers.


On getting what you voted for

Well, the results are in. The moro... err challengers beat the incumbents in the State College School board election. The gloaters are out in droves on the comment boards at the CDT.

To me something that was very curious -- the democratic votes were almost dead even between the challengers and incumbents. However, among Republicans, the challengers had a 5:1 lead. I'll bite my tongue instead of interpreting this discrepancy.

To everyone who is gloating -- I will say for the record now that this election is on your head, you get what you voted for. We will now likely have in January a school board of single issue novices who know basically nothing about running a school district. I predict that in the next election this group will be swept out, and hopefully we can restore some intelligence and talent to the board. Hopefully this crew won't be around long enough to cause too much harm.


On my turn as a grammar cop

I've been wearing myself out through a combination of working and then doing yardwork (it is that time of year again, and yes the thought of pruning pine trees and spreading mulch makes me very happy), so I have not had much energy to write lately.

Until I get the energy to write something longer that is sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seat, I figured I'd post one of my pet peeves. The image above was snipped from CNNSI (new motto -- we take all the best parts of our site and make them worse or your money back!) as an example of one of the stupidest expressions in sports. At some point, some silly sports media person bastardized the phrase "get on track", and it has propagated. So now, all the time you hear about how an athlete needs to "get untracked". How can an editor let that show up in a headline?

I'm sure that somewhere SRM is laughing that I have the gall to criticize someone else's writing, but come on, I can't be the only one who realizes this is complete gibberish.

More Earth shattering revelations to come...