9.20.2006

suspended disbelief

This takes off from the last post. I hope you are familiar with Berube's NYT article on the dangerous professors. Essentially he says there is proof positive that the number and dangerousness of professors is a gross exaggeration at best.

In the previous post I mentioned a joke I made that a student took seriously.

Over at the Concerned Professor's blog, he is worried about students who cheat on their homework. The students who post in response to his article are adamant in their insistence that it is his style of teaching and the content of his course that are at fault.

Take the three things above.
1. Failure to listen carefully and distinguish between course content with authority and opinion with no authority.
2. Failure to listen carefully and detect a joke made using a recent news story.
3. Failure to make the connection between the course title and the purpose of the assignment, leading to disinterest and a desire to get credit for not working.

If I have to write ANYTHING to explain this, you're one of them. Go ask your Mom.

9.17.2006

9/11 conspiracy

I told a student that we were all lucky that the aircraft did not hit the floor of the Trade Tower that was used to store the nuclear weapons.

His eyes got round and he said "Really?"

Just then I realized I had gone too far. Oops.

My kids are so gullible. Sometimes no more so than when I'm trying to teach them critical thinking skills and they apparently suspend disbelief as if they were watching Batman Returns.

Just imagine . . . Elevator operator: "One Hundredth Floor! Men's Garments, Oppenheimer Fund, Nuclear Arsenal!"