500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 16

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Not owning a horse I cannot say if that is true, but I can say this certainty, “You can give students advice and suggestions that will only improve their work and most of them will ignore you.” This I know.

HunchFace of Big Rapids (me) was goaded into going to class to be a judge in the second Chopped event. I should have stayed home. Really I should have. I am at that stage of healing where you feel much better than previously and go out and overextend yourself and end up feeling worse. Thankfully, the only thing I did was judge a contest where the winner was as obvious as the people who didn’t try at all were.

The real reason I shouldn’t have gone had nothing to do with the Chopped. It had everything to do with me going through their portfolios while they “worked.” Last week before the ridiculousness that was my current HunchFaceness and the short holiday after a long holiday, each student presented their portfolios and received lengthy commentary from each of us on how to improve their presentations and portfolios.

Yesterday, they presented them again. From what I heard, if I did not know better and I may not, many of these students are determined to fail or at least demonstrate that they do not work outside of what they view as scheduled work hours. However, I did not know about this as I missed yesterday’s class. Thus, I went through their portfolios looking to see if anyone had taken our advice, suggestions, and commentary to heart and worked over the break to make improvements.

I counted two. One of which was major improvements, kudos to that student.

Yes, just two.

One went backwards. I did not know that was even a possibility given where that student started, going backwards was something to see…and not in a good way.

The majority of them did nothing. Not even something as simple as checking to see if all of the links worked. I was not feeling good in the first place. By the time I was done going through the portfolios I was into irritated and when I saw the work that some of them did and then defended in rather unmotivated ways I close to angry.

If any of them read this, please understand that when you create anything and are asked to defend it, do so with more than a shrug and a “well its what other people did.” Have some fucking pride in your work and if the work you did was shit at least have the grit to say, “I did shit work” or “I don’t care” or “I did what I could” or anything better than what I get out of my children.

See that is my benchmark of late, if I would see the work or hear the excuse out of my children then I know how much effort you put forth. Perhaps if these were people graduating with a degree that said “Professional Communicator of Technical Subjects” I wouldn’t care or even notice. But these students are supposed to presenting their best or at least best work within a time limit (Chopped). This means working off the clock. Taking pride in your work. Taking criticism and…well fuck all a whole host of other things that I am too frustrated to type out right now.

I am hoping in the coming weeks as the deadline gets closer that they step up…I do wonder though.



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