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View Diary: A response to Tom Vilsack (148 comments)

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  •  Too true (none)
    My mother is an Ivy League prof, and I've seen some of the paper she grades.  Many are quite reasonable, but there are always a few that are so badly written you really cannot make out what the student was trying to say, aside from the sheer brain twisting pain of trying to wade through their prose.

    A good friend of mine taught public school in the Bay Area (Oakland) for a few years, and taught AP English to juniors and seniors for part of that.  She actually wrote a small paperbound booklet of English usage and gave copies to all her students.  She insisted on teaching classics when she found out that most of her AP students had never been exposed to them.  

    She got in trouble for this with the other teachers, as well as for ruthlessly correcting the grammar, spelling, and  quality of argument on student papers.  The feeling was that she shouldn't inhibit their creativity by focusing so much on technique, and shouldn't force them to read dead white guys.  However, most of her students adored her, and several of them got into Stanford and comparable schools.

    She quit teaching, because of the high ratio of disrespectful students and parents, as well as the lack of staff support, and the long long hours.

    "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

    by sarac on Sat Oct 08, 2005 at 10:20:25 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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