Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A special hello to

my ALLC students Saul, Lucas, Sister Kim Chi, Sister Rosalie, Mayumi, Father Peter, Joseph, Anthony, Binna, Jin, and Eddie! =)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An Open Letter to Students Regarding Your Grade: More From Dr. Crazy

Something interesting from Dr. Crazy over at www.crazyphd.blogspot.com:

"Dear Students,

I realize that your whole life people have been telling you that if you put in x amount of effort (whatever that x stands for), your reward will be a good grade. The problem, sadly, is that this isn't actually going to be the truth for every student at all times.Please don't look at me in that horrified way. I know. At first what I am saying seems completely insane. Illogical. Logically, one could say the following:

1. Tracy spends a lot of time on her schoolwork and works hard at her schoolwork.
2. Tracy has a 4.0 grade point average.
3. Tracy has a 4.0 grade point average because she spends a lot of time on her schoolwork and works hard at her schoolwork.

This is what is known as a logical fallacy. There isn't necessarily a correlation between the grade that you earn and

a. the number of hours one spends studying/writing a paper or
b. the amount of effort one puts into studying/writing a paper.

I am grading you not on effort or time spent but on the quality of the work that your effort or time has produced. Sadly, it is entirely possible to spend hours and hours and blood sweat and tears and still to produce a piece of crap. And my grade is based on what you turn in to me. Period. How hard you work, ultimately, does not matter if what you have produced

a. does not meet the basic requirements of the assignment,
b. is poorly thought out,
c. is insufficiently supported.

I know. It's mind-blowing to realize that you've been lied to for all these years.

As always,

Dr. Crazy"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Love Dr. Crazy!

I regularly read www.crazyphd.blogspot.com. This is part of a great post from Dr. Crazy about answering students' questions (specifically their emails). I can sooo relate:

"Email #1 was sent to me at approximately 1 AM from a student freaking out about the paper that is due today. She has only a page written.

Here was my reply:
Well, Student, at this point it's difficult for me to do much to help. I wish you had let me know sooner that you were in trouble, but at this point my hands are pretty much tied. If you submit the paper late, I will accept it, per my policy that for each calendar day (including weekends) that the paper is late, you lose a full letter grade. What this means is that if you submit the paper on Monday, the best grade that you could receive would be an F. Nevertheless, it is worth it for you to submit the paper so that you don't receive a zero for it. If you submit the paper over the weekend, I recommend that you send it as a Microsoft word email attachment so that I know when you submitted it. Let me know if you have questions.Dr. Crazy

I know, I am a diplomat. Here is what I wanted to write back:
You, Student, are an idiot. Your email was a waste of my time. It is not my fucking problem that you procrastinated, that you don't understand the texts, and that you are now fucked. It is not my responsibility to help you when you have been totally and completely irresponsible. It's the end of the semester. What exactly do you expect me to do for you when you have never once visited my office hours - even after you failed the midterm? The bottom line is this: I am not going to bail you out, and I honestly hope that you fail my course. You deserve to fail.

And then email #2. This student had told me that he was going to be out of town on the day that our final was scheduled. I offered to allow him to take the final early. He didn't respond until 10 PM last night, telling me about how his trip was cancelled and how he'd been writing papers (including the one for my class that left him "burnt") for 13 hours straight. AS IF I FUCKING CARE! DO THEY CARE WHEN I GRADE FOR 13 HOURS STRAIGHT? SUCK IT UP, YOU IDIOT! At any rate, he'll be taking the final at the regular time. The kicker of the whole email, though, is the fact that this little punk addressed me with my first fucking name. Like I'm his fucking friend.

Here is what I emailed in reply:
Good luck with finishing up the semester, and congratulations that your trip was cancelled! See you in class :) Dr. Crazy

Here is what I really, really wanted to email:
What part of Ph.D. don't you understand? My name is Dr. fucking Crazy unless I invite you to call me otherwise. It says Dr. Crazy on my syllabus. It doesn't say, "I'm your pal and equal, call me any old thing you please." And incidentally, while I'm at it, I should mention that your aggressive demeanor and style of challenging me about every fucking thing that we read as if I don't know shit because I'm a female professor? When you do no better than C work on writing assignments and quizzes? Yeah, it's a waste of my time, a waste of the class's time, and a waste of your time. You're really quite stupid, and the fact that you have a dick just doesn't matter to me in the slightest nor does it give you bonus IQ points. I hate you, and I will be SO HAPPY when you are no longer my student.

I hate them. I hate them all.

(But does anybody else do the thing where they compensate for the hate by being nicer than they should be? Because I think that's what I do, thus reinforcing the hated behavior, methinks.)"

Like I said, I can sooo relate.

I Do Not Want To Go To Gensan For Christmas

I am being forced to go to my mother's hometown of General Santos City (in Mindanao) for Christmas. I'm taking a ship to Gensan that leaves Manila on the 21st. (I will be with Neneng, a great church friend who is from Gensan.) I will be in Gensan by the 23rd. I will spend Christmas in Gensan then leave by ship on the 30th and arrive in Manila by Jan. 1 (News Year's on the ship?!). My brother Brian will probably take a plane to Gensan on the 23rd because he has a taekwondo camp to attend until the 22nd. We will take the ship back to Manila together. My other brother JP will be left here in Manila for Christmas because of work. I cannot believe Brian and I will have to celebrate Christmas without JP! =( =( =( =( =( =( This will be our first -and hopefully last!- time to be separated during the holiday season. =( =( =( =( =( =(

A lot of my relatives will be in Gensan for Christmas. I love my relatives and I am close to them. We are really a family-oriented bunch. My older brothers are in Gensan and it's good that I'll get to spend time with them again. My not wanting to go to Gensan has nothing to do with my brothers and relatives. I do not like Gensan as a city. It is really boring in Gensan. A person like me doesn't have much to do there. I'm a city slicker. I love the noise and activity of big cities. (I consider New York City the best place in the world.) Plus, I have a lot of really terrible memories from Gensan (high school memories). I won't recount the memories here. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings through this blog. But they are really horrible memories from the time I lived in Gensan. They are so bad that I haven't been to Gensan in five years. And I am only going there this year because I am being forced to.

So for several weeks now I have been going out every night, really experiencing Manila and spending time with my friends because I know that I will miss Manila and my friends when I am in Gensan. I've been trying my best to experience "the holiday season in Manila" while I can.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Also Wishing For...

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez