Four things (day 11)

Today: more stuff to assisted living. I simply kept stressing to dad I was not available for conversations about assisted living. Tuberculin test for him. Then the long trip to the county where I work for Moderna 2. I was listening to news, but the news stations all drop out within about 15 mi of that city and so I was listening to WPR classical. It was kind of a hazardous drive (road repairs already) and I was appropriately tense.

As I parked, this came on:

and I just broke into sobs. I haven’t been able to listen to music in probably a year or so.

***

Again with the flags waving us to different cubicles. I told the flag lady I wanted a checkered flag, after all this.

Had to sit for a half hour afterwards due to bee venom allergy. Read about 100 pp of this. It’s really useful, esp the chapters on information overload / internet addiction, and family obligations.

I feel embarrassed that the only time I find to read a book about laziness is in the enforced 30 minutes of still after the vaccination.

***

On the way back I decided to stop for a bit as I was feeling woozy. More places are open now (until recently all the fast food dining rooms had been closed) and I stopped at a Jersey Mike’s, and this came on:

That album was on constant loop in my car the summer my mother died. Uch.

***

Long uncomfortable talk with HL last night. I had to tell him that if last night repeated itself, I would call the police. Very supportive talk with assisted living place this afternoon. Apparently nothing we are experiencing is unusual. They have the meds list and we set a specific date. Dad just started in on me again about the furniture and I am going to plead vaccination illness and go to bed. At 4:20. I am not lazy. He has a Jersey Mike’s sandwich.

~ by Servetus on April 7, 2021.

25 Responses to “Four things (day 11)”

  1. Hang in there. Not long now. Huge virtual hugs.

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  2. That book sounds like something many of us should read.

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    • Yes. It actually affected my response to a few students this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I looked him up online and read this essay by him, which I guess was a precursor to the book. Very interesting and really reflects the experience of my younger son and the negative perception of many teachers. https://humanparts.medium.com/laziness-does-not-exist-3af27e312d01

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        • I think one of the problems is the way that the upper level educational system is loaded with responsibilities it was never designed to address. Another piece is the issues around grading (and there is no consensus inside most academic institutions what any grade really means except in an absurdly general sense) and the convictions of students that they need to get the highest grades possible. So you have students who have less than desirable behaviors and some of these may come from organic or contextual issues the student has, but then you have the whole superstructure of academics that they have to confront. It’s a huge mess. I think the author underrates the problem of what I’d call “the habit of showing up” as an aspect of future success, but it’s certainly fair to say that professors don’t really need to be involved in evaluating that and could probably stick to evaluating outcomes. It’s been shown again and again that students who do certain things are more successful but it’s sort of become the pattern in the university to create mechanisms that force students to do those things / punish them for not doing them, when that’s really not the purpose of higher education.

          As I say to my students ever F2F term: “I don’t give a shit if you come to class or not. But if you don’t come, your comprehension of the material will be poorer and your grades will be less than you want them to be, which will make me angry, and my evaluations will be lower, and I get rehired on the basis of evaluations.” In general students are better off if they come to class. But somehow we’ve gotten to a place where the purpose of attendance is to keep me hired — and that’s really nonsense.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Even the high schools try to make themselves responsible for policing the students’ attendance, punctuality, and executive functioning. As you say, it is likely necessary for typical future success in the outside world, but I often found myself frustrated that some teachers saw it as their responsibility to test that in the students and penalize them if they couldn’t get there on time or get their work in on time. Why should a high school history teacher, for example, be evaluating anything except knowledge of history and ability to write a good essay? (Within limits of course.) I am very glad to be out of the battle of advocating for someone who just doesn’t fit well into the system. I imagine that it is difficult also to be the educator being forced to evaluate and/or be evaluated based on attendance, etc.

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            • At least in the US that would be a legal issue rather than a content one. As I understand it, in order for a high school student in my state to receive a credit for completing a course, they not only have to demonstrate mastery of the subject content, but also have a certain number of hours of instruction in it. (I have a niece who’s attendance-challenged so I regularly hear discussions about this question.)

              In practical terms: the first two years I was a professor I didn’t enforce deadlines and just told the students to turn in their work whenever. It was disastrous — both in terms of student completion of the course and general feelings about the class (if they handed in poor work the night before the end of term, there was no way to improve their scores), and in terms of my own sanity. I’ll never do that again. However, there are university systems that give (or at least used to give) students an extreme amount of leeway with regard to completing coursework — in Germany, you could turn in the final paper for a seminar you took years after the semester in which you took it. But it was a hybrid system where the most significant weight fell on a high stakes exam taken at the end of the university years. They are getting away from it because it stranded so many students who just couldn’t complete their work and put off the exam indefinitely. Because of Obscura I have my fingers a bit to the wind, and I do foresee more universities in the US going to so called “competency based education,” i.e., you get the credit if you prove you have mastered the content (as opposed to simply sitting through the course).

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes, that is true here as well, in term of attendance. Re: no deadlines… I’m not sure if I mentioned before that for much of my highschool career I went to an alternative school. Quite innovative in the ’70’s. We were structured that way… no fixed deadlines, just a curriculum to get through. It probably only works for the extremely disciplined. I ended up having to do a calculous course in a month and a half, because I’d left it to the end of the year! Very stressful. Seems like a good idea, but it probably doesn’t work for most people. I did like the flexibility and not having to sit in classes, though.

                The German system sounds extreme, I think. And high stakes exams are also not something everyone does well at. Competency based education sounds like a good idea, as long as they can figure a system that works to measure the mastery and get pass along the information regardless of attendance. Some in-class interaction and participation is good though, or else people are just stuck with their own thoughts and don’t experience those of others.

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                • Your school sounds great but nowadays anyway it’s the fewest students who have that much self-discipline.

                  re: “competency based education” — I don’t have an issue when it’s about demonstrating a skill (can you write an essay, solve an equation, reconcile a spreadsheet, etc.). I think it starts to be a problem when the tasks become less well-defined than that: university is different from technical school in that it’s supposed to help you practice thinking / learning to think. I don’t think competency based measures really evaluated that all that well.

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  3. The book looks like something I need to read. It’s more my perception that i feel like i am being lazy when i am not.

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  4. I love Bastille! Been to their concert twice. I rarely go to big names concerts in my country, but I have made an exception for them!

    Take care!!!

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  5. music like Shoshtakovic ‘s touches us where words cannot reach. Hang in there; you are going a fantastic job and the work is nearing its close. 🙏♥️🙏

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  6. You are in the final stretch so just keep it up to the finish and take 5 when needed– I was taught this little exercise in C treatment so for 5 to 10 mins, enhale deeply and exhale by mouth while only thinking of lovely memory. Helped me to reduce stress+anger. Keep safe + God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  7. uuuuffffff…!!! sending energy your way!

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  8. My heart breaks for you, Serv. The end is in sight…

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  9. Sending you all my best wishes and a big hug.

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