The English Professor Who Lives On A Pedestal
In my teen years I despised school. I didn't care to learn, pay attention, or take into consideration that, hey, I might need this stuff some day. I dreaded the classroom; that dead, cold, damp feeling of being in an educational prison for seven hours a day, fraternizing with other students you didn't care for but couldn't avoid as you were both confined to the same torment and the teachers that just wanted to steal your young soul and take the fun out of life - don't they know I could be watching MTV and cutting pictures out of magazines? Maybe that's dramatic but when you don't know what life is all about, school sometimes would seem like the worst place to be. Fortunately for me with my teen-angst blinders on, I found solace in one subject I had always enjoyed regardless of my resistance to education, and no it wasn't physical education, it was English.
English to me has always been a release. Its freedom to express your individualistic creativity in your own original way and that was glitter in my eyes. It was the opportunity to show the complexity of my thoughts and share my opinions in an uninterrupted manner. I've always had a love affair with the subject and excelled throughout my school career. It wasn't until my senior year in English that I finally realized how much I truly adored writing and I blame the intensified relationship on my fantastically inspiring English teacher, Dick Martin.
Mr. Martin was by far the best English teacher I had ever encountered. As I said, I always loved the subject "bad" teacher or not, but to have a teacher that makes you want to learn is something I hope everyone has had the opportunity to experience. He was everything an English teacher should be; literate, competent, so enthusiastic and he picked great reading material! Most of all he cared and it showed. He was always willing to help because he wanted you to pass, he wanted you to excel and be the best you could be at whatever you were doing, in turn making me realize that I too wanted to be a writer when I "grew up". I had never done so well in English as I did in that class and to be honest, I'll always hold Mr. Martin on a pedestal, which makes my current English experience that much more infuriating.
Life hasn't been all too simple and at twenty-five I have just returned back to school with an overwhelming willingness to learn and earn a degree in journalism to accomplish my dream. I've never had such an overpowering want to educate myself and it's exciting! I can't wait to see what the future holds, but of course in my first semester back to college I face the horrific unfortunate circumstance of a heinous English professor whom holds herself on the highest pedestal you could encounter. The worst part of this situation being she obviously does not allow me to enjoy my favorite subject.
The point of this article is to educate people on the educators whom are hired to colleges that don't even seem to care about the education process. It astounds me! And it's sad. Like, what are the qualifications for this position? It infuriates me to no avail. Any-who, we can start with that I'm enrolled in an excelled online English 101 course. My teacher does group work...for an online class. Okay, that's fine, I can deal with it. After the first assignment my entire group ditches me. Okay cool, I'd rather work by myself anyway. So now my professor insists I continue doing the "group work" on my own and I'll be graded on a different scale then the others. Okay sure, whatever. That's going well, and I'm doing unnecessary work (making peer review work sheets when I don't even have anyone to peer review, etc.) until the next paper. I send in a draft, she gives me minor corrections, I send it back she thinks it's great! I'm like oh, awesome, I'm getting an A for sure! WRONG. I received a C.
So not only have I been abandoned by my group and have to waste my time continuing to do group work, I am being mislead by my teacher. How is that fair? Do I not pay for this education? Should you not say what you mean and mean what you say when communicating with a student about their PAID education? Apparently not. She throws around terms like "sweeping generalizations", "editorialization", and "biographical", when I don't even think she necessarily knows what those things are. In turn it's clear that she wants no emotion put into anything written, even if it remains in a third person perspective as it should. Now if you're a writer this next thing may irk you a bit; when telling me not to "editorialize", she insisted on being insulting in the process (as she is with all of her feed back) I'll have you know she is a self-published author so obviously she thinks she's brilliant. But anyway, so she proceeds to tell me that editorializing takes no effort. That it's the easiest and least productive writing you can do. Is she kidding? In a single sentence this English teacher insulted an entire genre of writing and pretty much insinuated that journalism is garbage. An English teacher people! I can't even fathom the ignorance.
What took the cake for me was my midterm essay. It was a 200 point system and at the risk of losing my readers (if I haven't already) I'll skip all of the nitty gritty since this has already gone on longer than expected. I did all of the requirements - outlines, peer review sheets, research - I properly cited my material and wrote in MLA formatting. My thesis was on point and I knew what I was talking about. Do you know what I received? The whole reason I'm writing this because it's incredibly unacceptable...I received a 40/200. 40! How could you even? How can I receive such a low grade especially with all of the prerequisites of the assignment completed? And now I've come to the blatant realization that my teacher holds herself on a pedestal. She expects you to write like she does without telling you to write that way, you just kind of have to, read between the lines. Professional right?
My outrage comes from a place of true commitment. I bust my butt and when I bust my butt and give it my all and am disrespected and treated with an incredibly harsh grading system and with an unimaginable slur of rude comments and arrogant undertones for something I pay for and love nonetheless, I get angry as I'm sure her student before me have. I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise as I'm sure many students have to deal with what I'm dealing with, but we shouldn't! We pay for our education, we do not pay for lazy, inefficient professors that don't take the time to make a difference in their students lives or care to be of proper assistance. Or do we?
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