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Old 09-19-2007, 02:53 AM   #31
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No, I'm wondering why the others are not permissible. You can find a lot on a .org, especially internationally.
I do a lot of international and policy writing and I use a lot of .orgs (The UN for example). .gov can also be useful for econ and polisci. There's no blanket rule - you should look at what comes before the .whatever.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:22 AM   #32
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They've been a bit better this week. Monday was shaky, but Wednesday more people completed more of the quiz than I could have expected. So tomorrow we're going to back off a bit and I'm going to let them do something more fun. The theme of my Research Writing Class is Underground Movements Against Nation States. Instead of discussing the reading tomorrow, I'm going to have them analyze songs responding to contemporary terrorism.

I'm going to begin the class by discussing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" with them, and then divide them into four groups to look at the following songs, all dealing with the Middle East.

"Paradise" - Bruce Springsteen. A sparse, evocative, and haunting meditation on suicide bombing and the emptiness of death.

"Screaming at the Wailing Wall" - Flogging Molly. A criticism of the War on Terror with a lot of religious imagery. I don't want them to think I'm pushing an agenda, but the majority of popular music that addresses terrorism (and is not made by Toby Keith) does seem to cast a critical eye on the U.S.

"Cinnamon Girl" - Prince. A somewhat controversial video, but the song simply outlines racial prejudice directed at a girl of mixed heritage after 9/11. She of course transcends this by praying for peace and the end of war. While things are suggested, this doesn't have the condemning tone of the Flogging Molly song.

"Road to Peace" - Tom Waits. A very longish song which Tom half-sings and half-speaks. It's very prosey, and almost can be read as an essay with a lot of internal rhyming. A very detailed narrative beginning with a suicide bombing, then the retaliation by Israel, and finally the global ramifications. It's dense, but very interesting and ends with a very modernist notion that God may not be in control. It's probably going to piss some people off, too, but if it gets them involved I'm happy.

I will be playing the songs while they analyze them, of course.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:57 AM   #33
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That's awesome - I love excuses to play u2 in the classroom. I recommend also looking into songs about Stephen Biko, including Silver and Gold. Maybe these songs don't quite fit into "terrorism," it depends on how you are defining the word: from the perspective of the states or from a more neutral perspective. Also there's that Eminem song, Mosh, responding to the war in Iraq.
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:15 AM   #34
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That's awesome - I love excuses to play u2 in the classroom. I recommend also looking into songs about Stephen Biko, including Silver and Gold. Maybe these songs don't quite fit into "terrorism," it depends on how you are defining the word: from the perspective of the states or from a more neutral perspective. Also there's that Eminem song, Mosh, responding to the war in Iraq.
I started with a much longer list that included Eminem and RageA Against the Machine, as well as the Clash's "Spanish Bombs." But I decided since the four were all post 9/11 they could easily draw comparsions and consider differences. And none of them have any considerable obscenities.

As for broader-themed songs fitting the class, one of the questions posed at the beginning of the semester was about the difference between "rebellion" and "terrorism," and why the connotations are so different. I just decided on these four for some reason. The first day, I read vague descriptions of several events in American history - the rise of the KKK and the Boston Tea Party, specifically, and the guesses were everywhere before the big reveal. So I've been encouraging them to explore multiple perspectives the whole time. I'm just terrified that someone's going to write an evaluation that accuses me of promoting a "left wing" agenda. I'm just trying to cultivate the capacity to think about global issues.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:12 PM   #35
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Man, I wish you had taught the course I had to take! We had to read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson *shudder*.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:28 PM   #36
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Man, I wish you had taught the course I had to take! We had to read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson *shudder*.
oooh! That's a vivid story, isn't it? I know it sounds warped to say you like it, but well...I do like it.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:35 PM   #37
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Man, I wish you had taught the course I had to take! We had to read "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson *shudder*.
I love/am creeped out by that story.

If you've never read it: http://www.americanliterature.com/SS/SS16.HTML
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:03 PM   #38
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I love/am creeped out by that story.

If you've never read it: http://www.americanliterature.com/SS/SS16.HTML
I had to read that in 9th grade, what an insane story.

Lemon, I'd probably want to take your class if I was in college. In AP Lang right now we're doing a unit on Law vs. Morality and had to listen to music...

"Goodbye Earl" by The Dixie Chicks.

Not exactly music, but sounds and screeches that make me want to claw my eardrums out. Analyzing it for the "law vs. morality" aspect was cool, but having to listen to it was terrible.
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #39
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One of my past English teachers used "Zooropa" as a discussion starter.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:48 AM   #40
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Dude. make it count against them. They're not going to learn anything if it doesn't even count. It's best that they learn now that there are things they have to do, even if they don't like it. And, I'm sorry, how does basic English and good writing skills NOT have anything to do with good business practices? I can't tell you how many times I've had to resist the urge to retype letters my vet has written badly. And I mean technically bad, with redundant sentences, and the like. I don't use the best, technically perfect English here, but it doesn't really matter here. Were I to need to use it for a court case, or whatever, I'd be far more careful of how I use words, though.


Thank all that's holy for my favorite high school English teacher, Mr. Lovelace, who insisted on teaching us properly. I loved that guy - he was great. Easiest class ever, because he was tough on everyone. I actually wished I'd taken his class for four years, rather than two. I ace college entrance writing exams because of him.
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Old 10-07-2007, 01:25 PM   #41
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I'm TAing an undergrad course right now. It's incredibly frustrating. For example, they have bonus quizzes posted online and I can't tell you how many times I've gotten e-mails asking where the quizzes are. In the effin folder called "Bonus Quizzes!" Jeez, honestly. A good 30% of the class never tries to solve their own problems - they immediately go ask the TA when a simple 30 second search would have provided them with the answer.
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:10 PM   #42
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Yeah don't you just love that? I think I said earlier that nearly all of the points I was docking were just because the students didn't READ and FOLLOW the directions (which walked them through the assignments, step-by-step, these were not subjective exercises!). Part of TAing for me was sitting in the computer lab at certain times so they could come in for extra help or with problems they couldn't figure out. One semester, the ONLY person that came was a really great kid from the Sudan who did not speak English well so basically I re-taught what the prof was doing in class, just at a slower pace (and he picked up on it really quickly, not problems besides the language barrier). Well, the final day of open lab, basically ALL of the students show up, trying to finish assignments from all semester long and expecting me (the only person available) to basically walk all of them through every assignment they never bothered to do or read directions for. Hmmm, lets see....150 students of mine, a 2 hour open lab, and EVERYONE wants help at the same time? Not happening. Where were you when the assignment was actually due and when there was only one person ever coming to open lab?
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:23 PM   #43
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Originally posted by namkcuR
Power trips

I'm not a prof nor have I ever TAed(nor do I ever plan to), but if I were....I'd be lenient. Especially if I have a class full of people taking it purely as a gened requirement that has pointlessly been added to their degree. Just make an honest effort and I'll pass you. That would be my philosophy for those students. I'd probably be a little stricter for those students who are majoring in the subject at hand.
Seriously? I mean, seriously?
Wow. Well, I'm not a doctor, but I think it's okay to be lenient. I mean, if a doctor misses a cancer diagnosis, or amputates the wrong leg, or gives someone a deadly dosage of a drug, it's OK if the doctor at least makes an honest effort.

(Yes, I know that writing a paper isn't as important in the scheme of things as being a doctor...but your attitude toward education and the difficulties of teaching is maddening. If students aren't going to take it seriously, they should just go find a job. Those who teach take it seriously, and it's difficult not to take the students' laziness and apathy personally.)

I taught college English courses for over two years. I had finally had enough. It was at a public university, so I had students of all backgrounds and educational levels. But too often my job was reminding the kids that it was school.

S. C. H. O. O. L.

Why, in the name of all that's holy, would a kid who HATED high school go to college right away? Hell, I loved school/learning, but didn't start college for 3 years out of high school. And I'm damned glad for it, too. I worked shit jobs and realized that college was the only thing that was gonna get me out of it. On the frist day of my classes, I'd ask the students how many of them worked to pay for school, how many were on loans, and how many had parents who were footing the bill. It was often about 1/3 of each. I told the kids who were working that they didn't want their hard-earned money to go down the drain by failing my class. I told the kids on loans that they'd be paying for an F for years, so it would behoove them to pass. And the kids with parents who paid? I told them that they didn't want to have to hear about failing English 101 and 102 until the end of time!

And I don't care if the kids were going to be nurses, CEOs, or engineers. Knowing how to write a complete sentence is an extension of knowing how to speak one. A lot of college is learning how to be a well-rounded adult, and part of that is being able to express yourself logically and clearly in writing.

Can you tell that, even over five years later, it still bugs me that so many of my students just didn't care?

To those of you TAing and teaching--don't be pushovers. The kids who are farting around will figure it out one day, but you have to live with yourself if you give up and let them slide. A college degree needs to be earned to be worth anything.

OK, I'm done now.
thanks for letting me rant!
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:35 AM   #44
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Why, in the name of all that's holy, would a kid who HATED high school go to college right away?
I hated school -- starting right from somewhere in the middle of my very first day in first grade -- but I loved college. Sometimes it's just a matter of fit. I liked the sink or swim aspect of college and I also liked the intellectual freedom I felt there that I didn't feel before. I'm sure there were some people who thought I wouldn't last very long in college because I barely made it through high school (not because I wasn't smart enough, but because I didn't feel like doing the work), but I managed quite nicely.

I went to college right after high school.

Maybe it worked because I don't believe in "all that's holy."
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:18 PM   #45
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I've been teaching high school for 10 years and I seriously belive that students are getting lazier and more stupid every year (no hyperbole). I teach an elective class where, pretty much all they have to do is show up, participate and follow the rules to pass and yet I have about 10-15% failing at the end of each grading period.

It's a little discouraging to hear that college isn't much better. But it sounds like you're students are "shaping up" or at least learning to deal with the parameters of your expectations. Now to see if that crosses over to their other classes... THAT would be interesting.
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