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August 21, 2014 2:02 PM   Subscribe

The Shadow Syllabus: Writer and professor Sonya Huber offers some bullshit-free advice for her college students.
posted by dr. boludo (12 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

I’ll tell you exactly how to get an A, but you’ll have a hard time hearing me.


Thank you.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:12 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]

That was great. Thanks for posting.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:21 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]

So is this something she actually hands out to her class or just a kind of "what I wish I could say to them"? Actually, reading through the comments it's clear that she doesn't give this to her students, but she's thinking about maybe doing so and some of the commenters are planning to give it to theirs. I think that's a mistake. That is, while there's much in here that it would help a student to understand and to think about it also--tonally--writes certain checks that the instructor can't cash. That is, it sets instructor and student up as peers (the whole "we're all going through the same anxieties, man; you'll drive me crazy and I'll drive you crazy" thing) in ways that, institutionally, they just aren't (the instructor has the power of judging the merits of the student's work; the individual student's perception that the instructor is driving them crazy is relatively unimportant to the instructor, the instructor's judgment that the student is driving them crazy can be extremely significant to the student).

I think it would be o.k. to link your students to a statement like this and say "you know what, there's a lot of truth in this and you should think about it." I think it would be a big mistake--and would be doing your students a disservice--to issue something like this to your students along with their regular syllabus etc.
posted by yoink at 2:22 PM on August 21 [9 favorites]

"I like to think of this as a flat classroom type organization."
posted by oceanjesse at 2:27 PM on August 21

Secret: I’ve texted in meetings when I shouldn’t have and I regret it.

You! Could you please stop texting?

Thank you.
posted by bukvich at 2:42 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]

I've browsed MetaFilter in meetings and I regret nothing.
posted by escabeche at 3:08 PM on August 21 [10 favorites]

Texting in meetings (really, the only reason I still have apple products is because of iMessage on my laptop) can sometimes be the only way to psychologically survive the average academic roundtable bullshit session.
posted by zinful at 3:30 PM on August 21

It might be too subtle for the students who really need it. And I don't mean the students who aren't good at the subject but still want to do well, those learned how to make their teachers feel good about teaching them long ago.
posted by subdee at 5:22 PM on August 21

can sometimes be the only way to psychologically survive the average academic roundtable bullshit session.

So, so true. It's great, except when you forget to mute the laptop, and the whoosh or ding of a send/receive tone sounds, and everyone in the room glares at you without actually looking your way.

(Also, when replying to emails, don't type too fast or much, or everyone else knows you're replying to emails and not taking notes.)

(But then, who cares, I'm answering emails because this meeting is unproductive. If you kept people on point and on task, the meeting would be productive and I'd be fully engaged, so stop judging me. Also, the piece in the FPP is great, but I would not actually hand it out to my students for the reasons yoink mentions.)

posted by LooseFilter at 5:25 PM on August 21

It might be too subtle for the students who really need it.

It might, but it reads like its actual intended audience is other profs.
posted by aaronetc at 5:47 PM on August 21

I desperately needed A’s when I was in college because I didn’t know what else I was besides an A.

That's close to home
posted by thelonius at 5:56 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]

Source explained here: "While I was writing [syllabi] this month, I started this file to vent everything I wanted to say but couldn’t."
posted by girandole at 12:23 AM on August 22 [2 favorites]

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