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September 5, 2007


Posted by dogpossum on September 5, 2007 7:11 PM in the category teaching

ozzyosbourne.jpgFirstly, here's a picture from this week's lecture. We are all about celebrity this week.

I have about a million emails in my inbox from panicky students, all asking me if their ads are ok for the assignment. The assignment is due next week. I also have a bunch asking for extensions, for reasons ranging from 'I just haven't had time' to 'I'm sick'.

I'm not sure what to do about them all, so I'm ignoring them.

The "can I have an extension because I haven't had time" excuse is a tricky one. One of the challenges of working with students who are supporting themselves financially with shitty jobs while they study, or who have families they're supporting, is that they're not on campus terribly often, and they work shitty jobs for the other 4 days a week they're not at uni. What do I do in this situation? On the one hand, part of the assessment task is being able to manage your workload. On the other, these guys really are working shitty jobs that leave them zero wiggle room - they really can't ditch a shift just to do an assignment. And it's not like they're slacking - I've noticed more and more students are having to work crappy jobs to fund their university study. And as I move down the food chain, away from the sandstones and down to the concrete slab unis, I find more and more students have less and less time for wandering around the library making friends with librarians or just popping in to see me to talk about assignments.
I think about the university of Melbourne's new 'American model' uni, where degrees are reworked to become postgraduate degrees, and I shudder. It's hard enough for students like mine to support themselves on bullshit jobs for the three years of an undergraduate degree. But to then put themselves through a postgraduate degree that doesn't offer a nice, fat scholarship... it's really a matter of access and equity.

Oh well. I'll answer their emails tomorrow.

Posted by dogpossum on September 5, 2007 7:11 PM in the category teaching