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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: November 5, 2002
Latest Update: November 25, 2002

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Site Teaching Modules What NOT to Do If You Want an A

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, November 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

Let me try to make this perfectly clear. I DO NOT consider five paragraphs in messages spaced from September 3 to November 7 to be an adequate measure of learning in three classes unless some of them are pretty powerful messages, which they usually are not. So try thinking in terms of "If this is the measure for my grade, what would I like the teacher to know that I've learned?" Still confused? So read the curent issues of the Dear Habermas journal for which reading all classes are responsible. Try reading the many comments in which I show you how to edit your work for an A or a B.

DO TRY not to piss off the teacher who has been at her computer putting up comments with all the damned sincerity she can muster all semseter by informing her that you have sent e-mail (5 messages, read but not yet up - you might have known why had you been present in class) and stopped by her office. Well, too-de-ly doo. Last time I looked most of us were short on discretionary time and half of us had the flu. Oh, and I must have seen at least a couple of dozen students in my office this week, so how come I didn't see you? Oh, sorry, I had the flu last week? Well, I'll certainly try not to offend you that way, again.

Now that I've got that out of my system, Pepinsky's Peacemaking Primer, in Arrigo's Criminal Justice Social Justice, which was one of the texts for the students' course), for heaven's sakes don't tell me that now you're scared to come and see me because I'm pissed off. Kids, use your heads. It takes time to negotiate every comment you write, edit it, and put it up so that you can clearly see how to edit it to an A or a B. I'M TIRED. I can't get to ALL of them. You need to use the ones I put up, so you'll learn how I grade. That's referred to technically as transfer of learning. This semester was an awful lot of work. When you ask for something, say please and thank you. Don't jump to assume that I haven't done my work. Didn't I teach you about illocutionary discussions? At least I did if you came to class, and if you didn't, then you're on your own with the site, so you better be up to handling the site. I know we're all grown ups here, but even grownups need to give each other the benefit of the doubt and try to use the manners their mothers taught them. That's how we got the world so screwed up, by not remembering our manners, and respect and dignity for Others.

I don't mean to be mysterious. I'm trying to be perfectly clear, remember? So here's the message over which I flipped:


"I have sent you a number of emails and came by your office to speak with you a number of times and I have not received a response from you ever. What is it I need to do to make sure you know that I am understanding the material?"

Student Name

No "Dear jeanne,"nor any other form of address that might soften the insult, no "excuse me," no "I don't know how I missed you," no "thank you." My mother would have flunked you. No acknowledgment that measures of learning is up on the site. No acknowledgment of recent comments with details on how to edit your work to an A or a B. Hello? Is this student in my classes? I'll bet you could get a good job as a bill collector. By the way, the parallel construction should be "have sent you . . . and have come by your office." And the first one's a run-on sentence. But who's counting?

Kids, please don't do this. It's not good for my blood pressure.

love and peace, jeanne