Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Well I won't be doing THAT exercise again

At the first tutorials this week, I went around the room and got each student to say something about why they are taking this course. Part of this was just to start the first tutes with them talking instead of me, so that they fall into the habit of participating. And partly it was because this course is the stupidest cross-coded mess of no-prerequisite student salad that you can imagine. So I have everything from first years with no background in linguistics, through to graduate students who know as much as I do about some of the topics we cover. So I wanted to get a sense of what sort of make-up each tutorial had, so that I could pitch the discussions appropriately.

Some actual replies from the students:

"I'm just here because it was the only thing that fitted my timetable."

"Well, it didn't sound too boring. At the time."

"I LOVE [lecturer who has always taught this course in the past]. I wanted to take every course she offered! I didn't know it would be YOU."

*giggle* *giggle* "Um, I don't know." *giggle.*

"I love English literature." (Okay, but this isn't an English literature course.)

"I have a grammar fetish." [Class laughs] "No, seriously! I get off talking about syntax."

"My first choice was full."

Next time I'm going to make this exercise multi-choice.


Twirly said...

No one should ever be allowed to tell anyone in the classroom that the subject matter gets them off. Definitely on the BANNED list of things to share. banned banned banned

Bardiac said...

Those answers can be heartbreaking. :(

I do find I get interesting answers when I get students to think about why they're in college. They start off NOT interesting, but when you push them to think, some of them really are after an education.

The History Enthusiast said...

Occasionally I've asked students why they wanted to attend this specific institution. The overwhelmingly common answer? "Because I'm a huge fan of ______ basketball." Apparently, coming to college to *learn* is totally passe.

Secret Squirrel said...

I agree with you, Twirly.

Bardiac, a couple of my students did talk about why they had come to university, rather than why they were taking this specific course, and their answers were fascinating (especially the mature aged students, and the international ones). So I can imagine that that might have been a more interesting question all around.

July 24, 2007 11:04 P