Spring Semester 2011: Highlights Thus Far, MEDP 292, Section 2, Introductory News Writing

I don’t accept late assignments yet he asked me several times to read his first draft even though he knew the grade was F. I refused. But he kept insisting, I kept resisting until he said, QMFE, “Well one of my friends, a journalism student, read it and thought it was good.”

I took the bait.

Poor lead. A lot of exposition not well written. Three typos/errors in the second graph. Heaps more typos/errors in subsequent sentences, paragraphs. A cascade of grammatical & syntax errors. I abruptly stopped after a several seconds of reading – my eyeballs had had enough – but was careful not to hiss  sarcastically. A TF (Temporary F) would have meant he could have rewritten for a better grade. But F because the assignment was late.

A classmate, who also F’d because he didn’t do the assignment, said in class Tuesday, March 5, that he hadn’t read the class guidelines for assignments because the guidelines were poorly organized and all over the place. He smirked. I’ve told students repeatedly not to drink liquids near the computers and, as soon as I could, I confiscated a cup of coffee concealed under a desk when I knew the student, another classmate in a in flagrante delicto, wasn’t looking. Some  are upset that I won’t let them keep their cell phones close at hand nor drink near the computers (they’re allowed to stand near the 470HN door if they really need that sip).

Others are upset because they are required to include specific descriptive details in their stories. “I read the New York Times everyday,” says a student, insisting that  the Times’ articles don’t include descriptive detail, so she shouldn’t be required to do it for this class. Resistance is futile, I want to say, but say instead, “You write for the WORD, not the Times.”

One of my best students uttered that moronic comment once so I don’t get too upset if the not-as-smart-as-him express the same ignorance.

Too many, however, keep trying to get me to tell them what the guidelines and rules are because they don’t want to read the material themselves. They don’t keep copies at hand. This is typical student Push Back, puerile as it is, at the sixth week of the semester.

Ten minutes, or thereabouts, into a class February 8, I spotted my first cell phone texting violator. Five feet to my left, hunched over  in that signature pose supposedly to conceal but also to send a signal to the instructor, texting away while one of  his buddies, bemused, looks on as if she is witnessing a 10-66 urinating in public and Hawaii Five O is just 5 feet, moving in to nab. I, of course, had warned the class several times what could happen to violators in class. I give a final warning.

I estimate casualties to be around three for this semester, but they could be higher.

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