Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Almost at the End

Tomorrow is the last day of school for this semester and then SUMMER vacation starts and lasts until September. Glory be, I thought it would never get here. Burn out is when you take on too many new classes, too many thesis students in one semester, and then have to chase after them. The chasing was my choice, hoping to avoid last minute disasters. Hungarians are major procrastinators. Three of my advisees really did exceptional work on their thesis. One student did excellent work on Information Technology in Education, but unfortunately, it was read and graded by my office-mate, a young Hungarian. She mentioned to me that she only gave it a B grade or a 4 in this system. It took self-control not to lunge over the desks at her throat, but I asked why. She said that "Everyone knows that information systems are taught in the Hungarian curriculum" so it was not relevant since he did not state where this type of education should take place. After I relocated my jaw, with tact I responded that since this is an American Studies degree and since this is an American Studies thesis, it should not be relating to Hungary at all. If there is so much technology in the Hungarian school systems, why do student come to the university not knowing anything about it? Then I went on to say that the only division of the university to use Moodle for online teaching was the Psychology Department and when I wanted to teach an online course, no one in the department knew what I was talking about. She said "Moodle? What is Moodle?" If she had indeed read the thesis, she should have known what Moodle is. Teaching with Luddites is getting on my nerves. One of my former students who will soon be graduating with her MA came to ask me if I could supervise her for the doctoral program. While trying to explain that although I am on the doctoral faculty, I would not have time to do it with the new MA course I will be teaching come fall. She said if I couldn't do it she would not even apply. Although I was flattered, this is not the way to make life decisions and I told her so. She responded with the fact that all of the other instructors would make her conform to doing what they wanted her to and not give her the freedom to pursue her own interests. After the confrontation with my colleague, I was reminded yet again that this is the sad truth.

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