Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The demented ramblings of drunken 14 year-olds

Yesterday I handed in my corrected essays for a module I'm teaching on television studies. I'm still reeling from reading what seemed at times like the demented ramblings of drunken 14 year-olds. According to one essay 'no one went to see Orson Wells' (sic) film Citizen Kane'. Others had amazing powers, like seeing into the future: 'However you look at it, television is, and will always be a very important medium'. They were fonts of useful facts too, did you know that television was invented by 'scientists'? I was reading back over my comments today and it's safe to say I was probably losing it bit, some samples:

"You have to provide more information than: 'according to research'"
"It would be a help to consult more than one book throughout"
"I would be wary of citing Laura Mulvey's essay (seemingly) without reading it"
"I would call World War II slightly more than a 'disruption' to the first half of the 20th century"
"There is an idiosyncratic tendancy in the essay to claim that certain writers 'would agree' with you--quote what writers have published not what you think they might say"

Beside one bibliography (if a list of two books can be called such) i just wrote in big letters with a knarled sleep-deprived hand: 'Read More Books!!'. After submitting them, went with good friend 'L' to the Eaton Cottage and then off to his for agreat dinner. I called around with some DVDs to perform some demented audiovisual endurance tests: the extras to American Spendor, because we are both gen-u-wine neerds, lots of Big Train, which led to watching A Matter of Life and Death.


laura said...

dirk has the same problem when he's correcting papers. he has to sift through so much laziness, as well as rampant cheating and plagiarizing. i really feel for you. the worst part is that the inherent condescension when a student knowingly turns in a piece of crap.

susan said...

i think you're the first person i "met" that is getting a phd in such a cool and obscure field.

laura, what does dirk do? i assume teaching? what year does he teach? or is he a grad student getting his phd as well? and what subject?

laura said...

dirk is a high school english teacher, with a masters in education. i help him with grading sometimes, and he thinks i grade too hard. he also teaches ap composition, and will be teaching honors/ib next year. he loves catching the kids he can't stand in an act of cheating. nothing gets the blood boiling more than a stupid kid who thinks they can pull a fast one on you.

Lorcy said...

Poor Dirk! I'm sure high school's a lot tougher to teach than TV studies. The students' attitude is bizarre sometimes, before an essay they say a topic and blankly ask you 'what book (note the singular) should I get' or they ask how they can jam some old high project material into a university essay.

Thanks susan! although film studies is not that obscure there isn't actually that much written academically about superhero films (it's changing now thankfully) so I'd better get my arse in gear to still be prescient.

badbrute said...

Hmmm... B- for effort. You have a lively and engaging style Master Homunculus, but are prone to bouts of whimsy and high-faluting.. and there is an L in the word Splendor. I suggest you invest in a dictionary young man. See me after class.

Lorcy said...

Aha the Baaadbrute still inhabits the ethergut babblogosphere, absent of late since this gut ruction. I will will resist the urge to re-edit to correct the spelling. I do have a dictionary but it's
quite heavy and my wrists are weak from holding books like this and this. Our inconsistencies make us whole.