[geeks] New Tech Schools: Digital Harbor in Baltimore
wa2egp at att.net
wa2egp at att.net
Sun Apr 15 11:57:57 CDT 2007
> They'd really have hated my college English professor.
> A lot of people were put off by his grading. Basically, no one got passing
> grades on the papers we wrote. At first everyone complained, and one woman
> confronted him about it saying it was unfair.
> He said "I'm not sure I see the problem. You can't write worth a damn, and
> therefore the grade I gave you was appropriate. How can you expect to get an
> A until you've learned enough to earn it? If you could write A papers
> already, you wouldn't need to be in my class."
> She dropped the class in a huff, quite a few people did. However, those of
> us that stayed were rewarded with one of the best teachers I've ever had.
> By the end of the semester, pretty much everyone had good grades.
> In retrospect, it makes perfectly good sense. He didn't use grades as a
> way of keeping score, he used it to show the quality of your work. He graded
> you based on what he was trying to help you become, not what you were at the
> time. As your grades went up, you knew it was in direction relation to the
> progress you were making as a student.
> Something else about him too: in spite of what I said above, he was never
> what you would call mean. He was someone that students hung out with,
> talked to, and remembered for years afterward. If you've seen "Deat Poet's
> Society", then you have some idea what he was like.
> I asked him once how long a paper should be. Stupid question in hindsight,
> but he just smiled and said, "A paper is like a miniskirt. You want it long
> enough to cover everything, but short enough to keep it interesting."
We had an English teacher like that in my school. Even parents would write
letters requesting (demanding) that their child be allowed to switch teachers.
He would not allow it. Yet, when these students (who hated him) went to
college, they would come back and thank him. Becasue of him they would
ace freshman English. He got tired of fighting with administration and
retired. Stangely enough, his replacement is much like him (a little
calmer)....a former student. :)
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