Studying English in the Post Test and Term Paper Era

This is a follow-up to my last post, obviously. My online course is in full swing, and the syllabus was not a shock, because I have been involved in post secondary education in recent years, but it was a bit disconcerting. My course will be graded on forum entries, book presentations (reports), think pieces (term papers by another name) and the now ubiquitous annotated bibliography. No tests at all.

My husband asked, “Are you just doing 100% busy work?”

I said, “Yes” but he is male and I like to keep things simple for him.

Mostly, this course is busy work. Going to grad school nowadays seems to be a training ground for production of organic fertilizer. There is, however, some reading which is rather interesting, especially since the book reports are to be over young adult novels. Mostly, I skipped that sort of reading when I was the appropriate age, so apart from an occasional “coming of age” story, I have read little YA stuff.

To say that I am looking forward to these works is over-stating my position, but the assignments will force me out of my comfort zone a bit, and that is useful.

Still, I was always a good test taker, and I will miss having the opportunity to show what I know.

Back to School— for me!

For several years, I taught basic English classes at a local technical college, but in the past year, technical colleges in Georgia are the new junior college, so my transcript didn’t quite pass muster. So, it is either go back to college (for one course) or do as Candide suggested and cultivate my garden. If this doesn’t work out, I do have a plan for upgrading the plants around here….

Just registering was an adventure. I think I am the oldest person they have had lately. They kept asking if I was okay to climb the stairs, and I am thinking, “my knee surgeon did a good job— let’s live large and climb the stairs!” Anyway, I have a big credit card bill for tuition and five books (yep, five books for one course) because the course, which is really an education course, has an English prefix. Ironically, the problem with my transcript is a course which was taken in the English department which has an education prefix, so I guess that is fair.

Whether or not I will ever teach again is weighing in the balance, so I will no doubt put some effort into this new endeavor. However, if this fails, then I guess I will put the plant plan in the que!