Extemporanea (extemporanea) wrote,

what DO they teach them in these schools?

We have nearly finished processing the returning student registrations, which means that currently we are doing the last-minute ones concurrently with orientation and registration for the new students. This is not an auspicious year in which to begin your university career: we are teaching largely online this year, and the remote format is going to give these kids a really shaky start to university learning, and absolutely nothing of the real university experience, which is as much inadvisable friendships, inadvisable drinking and hanging out on the Jammie steps between classes as it is actual academics. Bugger COVID, anyway.

Part of my excessive hours over the last few months has been spent cobbling together a virtual version of the usual four-day orientation programme, which has been exhausting and fiddly and at times seems to offer insurmountable obstacles, like the general inability of a large subsection of the student body to read and retain information from anything longer than a tweet. I think we have a comprehensive and largely accessible body of material here; the difficulty is in getting them to actually read it. I need a virtual version of pushing a kitten's nose into a saucer of milk, stat.

At any rate, the draft registration forms submitted for advisor checking over the last four days have revealed a subset of students who have clearly read, understood and taken to heart, and who offer nearly perfect forms requiring only minor tweaks; and a much larger subset of students who have clearly done none of the above. Exhibits in the second category including such gems as:
  • A long lament about being confused and unable to find the orientation site, to which confusion I can absolutely attest in that said lament is being submitted on the orientation site;
  • A little clutch of submissions on the form for the wrong programme, which is bewildering me because I have the forms very carefully set up so that students can only see or access the ones for their actual programme; I think they must be swapping them with each other, in lieu of the usual orientation week swapping, via the usual teenaged excitable groping, of exotic doses of 'flu from the four corners of the earth;
  • Several submissions which have completely ignored semesterisation, and presented me with a curriculum with seven courses in one semester and one in the other;
  • Those particularly inventively error-ridden forms which have tried to sign themselves up, variously, for English Masters-level courses, or Engineering maths, or a random practical course in tuba;
  • The deliriously indecisive young lady who submitted two forms, one for the BA degree, one for Social Science, including entirely separate and different majors and courses, and left absolutely no indication (a) why the duplicate, or (b) which one she actually wants. I am still puzzling over what she was trying to do.

I mean, I know the info is there. About half the students seem to find it OK, to a greater or lesser extent. Others... don't even try. Some of the kids are all right. Is that enough? This entry has been crossposted from my Dreamwidth blog at https://freckles-and-doubt.dreamwidth.org/. The comment action is all over there, and supports OpenID.
Tags: danger pay, gazelles, this work thing

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