Monday, October 10, 2011

Some Books Need To Be Anonymous For a Reason

A friend tells me of a book that he picked up: In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, by "Professor X", an adjunct in English 101 and 102 at some community college.  An early sentence that really does capture what is happening as community colleges try to clean up the mess left by a generation of bad parents:

We are paid by the college to perform the dirty work that no one else wants to do, the wrenching, draining, sorrowful business of teaching and failing the unprepared.

Sad to say, I have days like this. Most students have a bit to learn, but they are at least somewhat ready for college. Many others are not, there are students who are clearly unprepared for college--some are unprepared for high school, and here I am, trying to teach them to write a very basic essay. While each of us ultimately responsible for our own actions, I look at the home situations that some of these come out of, and I want to slap some of these parents and ask them, "Is there any excuse for what you have done?"

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