Friday, December 09, 2005

help me plan

As I'm actually finished with my grading, I'm putting together my syllabus for next semester, and I'm trying (as I always do when I do these things) to focus all the course material to put my students on the right track....that is, assuming any of them read my syllabi and related course material to begin with

To this end, I am assembling two lists:

  1. topics I never want to see (such as papers on abortion, the death penalty, and so forth)
  2. phrases I never want to read (including "due to the fact that" and "according to Webster's Dictionary,")
and I would love y'all's suggestions. I will eventually post my final lists.

C'mon, everyone, do my work for me!


Jennifer said...

hmm, since I'm teaching something different the papers I don't want to read are about child prostitution, children going to crap as a result of popular culture...

But, my most hated phrases are:

"today's society"
"in conclusion/in summary..."
"olden days"

any time students use "should" because it implies a value judgement/opinion not analysis

The DarkOne said...

Ok, phrases that I try to avoid as a student...
"I believe that...", excessive use of "Therefore,", "In conclusion", and worst of all "According to Rush Limbaugh..."

As for subjects that suck, anything that relates to the Iraqi war. Right now, it would be too easy to politicize the paper. Also, any of the paranomal crap. Psychics, spirit boards, alien abduction, or remote viewing are all pretty much unverifiable bullshit and can barely be considered worthwile academic topics.

As for your commment on the snow in T-town, I'd believe it. I'd like to give them the benifit of the doubt and imagine it's partially just trying to get so much done with X amount of eqiupment, but I wouldn't doubt a less than cool reasoning.

The DarkOne said...

Here's the list of controversial subjects that my buddy sent me from a Twin Lakes, Indiana school web site. We can play the "one of these things isn't like the other" gmae with this...:
Affirmative Action
Animal Rights
Capital Punishment
Child Labor
Children's Rights
Civil Rights
Creation vs. Evolution
Drugs and Drug Abuse
Drunk Driving
Environmental Protection
Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide
Flag Burning
Gender Issues
Genetic Engineering
Global Warming
Government vs. Religion
Gun Control
Hate Crimes
Human Rights
Legalization of Marijuana
Mental Illness
Nuclear Proliferation
Organ & Body Donation
Police Brutality
Prayer in Schools
Racial Profiling
Vampire Cults
Violence in Schools
World Population

Meredith said...

I tell my students they drop a grade automatically if they use the phrase "nowadays" or "now a days" or "now adays." It's not a real word!

Jennifer said...

I agree with Meredith - phrases like "nowadays" or my much-despised "in today's society" are usually followed by some kind of statement that is historically inaccurate or suffers from presentism.... I wonder if history teachers have the same frustrations