Three solutions for school game.

Darlene Sybert (c557506@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 16:49:13 -0500

My original post
> > I believe this would be as difficult to achieve at the Freshmen level
> > as "parent as friend" is with young children. Not that you can't have an
> > amicable and caring relationship in both cases, but I believe both groups
> > need the security that some-one whose been there and knows is going to
> > help them get all these scary things sorted out... and if this
> > person of experience feels confidence in them, they begin to feel confident
> > also...

What I am trying to say is that I don't think the students buy this
collaborator or co-learner routine although, of course, they'll go
along with whatever rules you set for the game. Do they have a choice?

But they know who is learning and who is teaching...and if you abdicate
your role as teacher, who will have the authority in their eyes to give
them the praise and encouragement that is necessary for them to achieve
the satisfaction of accomplishment, of a job well done: something that is
important in the creative atmosphere that should be cultivated in
a writing class: a class without the kind of definite "right" answers of
math and biology.

When parents try to be friends instead of parents, children have to make
decisions they are too young and inexperienced to make.

When teachers try to be friends and colleaques to undergraduates,
especially freshmen, instead of teachers, students have to make decisions
they are ill equipped to make. I believe that it is important to start
off as you are going to continue, i.e., that habits can make a real
difference. So I think college students should learn in those first
classes, including comp, that this is the real world and game playing,
excellent excuses and last minute, hastily completed assignments aren't
going to cut it...come to work late two or three times and you're out of
there type philosophy, if you see what I mean. If we are going to talk
about "real" assignments, let's put it in the framework of the "real"
world. Would an editor allow a writer to set up his own criteria and
judge his own performance? No.

Whatever "real" writing assigments any of you have had, you have probably
not been able to set the rules for it yourself....There have been some
kind of parameters for you to follow and someone else deciding (with a
paycheck, I hope) whether or not you fulfilled them.

Darlene Sybert
University of Missouri at Columbia (English)
...I felt like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific--and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise__
Silent, upon a peak in Darien. -Jn Keats