It’s that time of year when I meet individually with each student in my introductory news writing class and my in-depth writing course that’s called feature writing. Today, I start the morning with half of my introductory class and then meet in the afternoon with half of the student writers in the advanced class. The rest are scheduled for this coming Thursday.
I started scheduling these one-on-one, instructor-student meetings when I was teaching at the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where I initiated the publish or perish initiative several years ago and discovered Â a remarkable demarcation between students who tried to do or did the homework and the students who blew off the assignments. That revelation flew in the face of the prevailing wisdom about the serious writing problems of college students. I was flunking from 30 to 40 percent of the students in my introductory writing classes, not because they were stupid, as my colleagues imagined, but because they were undisciplined and wouldn’t do the work according to the guidelines of the classes.