Ten Things I Hate
About Tertiary Education
- If you
missed class, contact a classmate to get notes and check the course
website for any updates. Do not email me after the class to ask: “Did I miss
anything important?” because I will provide a one-word reply: “Yes.”
- If you
are having trouble with material, do not wait until the last few weeks of
the semester to contact me for assistance. If you could make up a
semester’s worth of work in two or so weeks, you wouldn’t need my help in
the first place. If after the first several weeks, you are not doing well
on quizzes and are having trouble doing the first paper, come to office
hours. But see #3:
- If you
don’t read the readings, I
cannot help you. If you ask me to help point you in a fruitful direction
for an essay in the 7th week of the course, and I ask you:
“What does McMahon say about that aspect of Cold War?” and you reply: “Whose McMahon?” the only direction I can point to is
- If you
have questions about a reading, come to office hours and say, “I don’t get
it,” I will then ask you what specifically you don’t get. If you say “the
whole thing,” I will hand you a copy of the reading, have you read the
first line, and ask you what you don’t get. If, however, you show up and
say “I don’t understand what Tilly means on p. 17 by ‘accumulation’ versus
‘concentration’ of capital. I mean, he doesn’t give a clear example,” I
will then explain the distinction.
- I have
office hours so that you can ask me substantive questions about the course
and consult with me about any other matters (e.g., you will be off-campus
for a valid reason when there is a quiz). Substantive consultations (i.e.,
discussions about international politics and theories of international
politics) count toward class participation. Often, however, no one shows
up at office hours. I can pick my nose and browse iFilm but I’d rather do
that at home than in my office.
say that 90% of life is just showing up. Unfortunately, my class is part
of the other 10%. Sitting solipsistically in class earns you nothing. I
grade participation, not attendance. If you get a poor grade on an essay
or quiz, the plea “But I attended every class” is irrelevant. When you
attend class, you should participate during discussions or ask questions
if something is not clear. For example, if I say something that
contradicts what was written in the readings without acknowledging that it
does, you should ask about the discrepancy. I do not take formal attendance.
I get paid whether you attend or not. I also get paid whether you get an A
or a F.
I’m talking during class, you shouldn’t be. When one of your classmates is
speaking before the class, you shouldn’t be. If you want to have a
conversation with a classmate, leave the room.
- “When’s the next quiz?” To answer that
question, I will look at the syllabus. Maybe you should too, or rather,
instead of me.
don’t carry all the papers and quizzes around with me all the time. I hand
them back after they are graded. If you missed class when I did so, you
should come to collect them at office hours. Don’t ask me for the paper or
quiz at the next class you happen to attend; I probably won’t have it.
email me to ask for a grade. I hand graded items back in class. I wrote
the grade down on the item and in my grade log. Most are posted to the
WebCT gradebook later. If coming to class or office hours to collect the
item was too arduous for you, looking up the grade and emailing it is too
arduous for me.