Thursday, October 6

Survival tips for students

Here are some survival tips for students, with annotations and comments:

1. If it's a big class (25 or more), recite once a meeting, but make it substantial. If it's a small class (15 or less), recite more than once--but make it substantial.

Sabi ni lola Oscar Wilde, "The first duty in life is to assume a pose." So when the sem opened, I made a resolution that my role as a grad student was to be an airhead. Effective naman. Kaya lang napasobra yata ang internalization ko dahil feeling ko nahipan ako ng hangin at naging permanent pose ko na siya. Afraid.

2. Don't try to get on your teacher's good side by:
a) agreeing with everything she says or constantly nodding your head when she's talking or otherwise doing something that can only be described as ass-kissing; or
b) disagreeing with everything she says; in fact, quibbling to the point of making a pest of yourself; and/or
c) asking silly questions.

If you're a student, being the last to leave the classroom so you can say "Bye, Ma'am" isn't going to add any points to your grade. Definitely not, especially if you're going to pass a concept paper 3 pages long and doesn't have any citations. The only thing it accomplishes is that it makes you look like a stalker.

3. Ask questions during class time so other students benefit.

4. Read the assigned texts, do the homework, be prepared, don't wait to be spoonfed, keep your lates and absences to a minimum.

5. Follow instructions. Not following instructions is a sign to your teacher that you weren't listening (and maybe you weren't, but you wouldn't want her to know that.)

6. Never use the argument, "I'm entitled to my own opinion." Not only did you just resort to the most over-used excuse for not thinking, you're actually refusing to listen.

7. Keep your religion and morality to yourself. (This is also in deference to your classmates who may believe differently.)

8. Don't take your teacher's behavior as signs of friendship or anything else. If a teacher is professional, she'll do everything within reason to assist you. Teachers have different styles. Some are "nice," some are "casual," some are "concerned," some are "terror." Neither her assistance nor her style signify anything other than her desire to do her job well and provide you with the best teaching service she can.

Also, if you are too "nice," crack a lot of corny jokes, and dress like you're one of them, the students think you're a buddy, easy to bully. This is part of the reason why I attempted to wear "teacher clothes." Even if it's such a hassle to wear teacher clothes when you commute, and that by the time you reach the fifth floor your freshness is gone, you try to dress and act the part so that they'd think you mean serious business. And it is effective. But with the kind of weather we have now and you can't do your laundry that regularly, it's still inevitable for me that I'd appear in the now occasional jeans and shirt.

9. Your teacher was once a student, so avoid spouting bullshit.
Unfortunately, if you're the teacher and you spout bull, the students will definitely notice. Also, you can't just say, "My dog ate the lesson plan and today's midterm." One, I don't have a dog. Two, what midterm? (Hehe, kidding.)

10. Don't beg for a higher grade.
I don't care if you're on scholarship. You get the same chance as everyone else, so make the most of it. If you didn't do well enough during the sem, then don't seek extra points by asking to do more papers. It's just not done.

If there are survival tips for students, I also wish that there are survival tips for teachers. The first several months were really very chaotic. But in the two years I've been titsering, I've learned

a. not to give out my mobile phone number to students
b. that it's better to have smaller classes
c. how to schedule writing assignments so you don't drown in papers to check
d. to maintain my distance
e. that titsering makes you highly conscious of how you carry yourself in public
f. you need another job to support your titsering life.

These aren't exactly survival tips, but more like things that you should keep in mind while titsering.

10 comments:

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Anon Anonym said...

Hi Maam,

Your previous student here (2nd semester of 05-06 in Eng 10). I find this post hilariously appropriate with my current situation. I'm also teaching now and you're one of those professors that I somehow try to emulate. Hope everything's well on your side. Just want to thank you for being a good educator to all of us.

Best wishes,
2005-3929