Friday, May 8, 2015

Life in the Pissant Swamp: The Case of the What Time is the Final Exam League

Just when I thought life couldn't get any more surreal in the passant swamp it goes and gets weirder.

Today I gave my first final examination of the spring term. At Catskill College, just like at most other college and universities I am familiar with across the US, our final exam schedule is different from our normal term schedule. Todays exam was for my 12 noon US History, 1877-today, class. Our final exam was scheduled for 11:00 as my syllabus, as the calendar I put up in Blackboard, and as the Catskill College Academic Schedule available online at anytime, from anyplace, assuming the system is up and the page is not down, note. One student, who arrived more than an hour late for the exam, however, apparently didn't get the message despite the redundancy and ease of access to the final exam information schedule. I assume he or she mistakenly thought that the exam was given at the same time the class met during the term--he came around noon--or that he did not look at the syllabus, Blackboard, or the school academic schedule, or, if he or she did, that he or she did not look at it carefully and closely.

But are these hypotheses really accurate? Inquiring minds want to know. Recently I have been forced to rethink my understanding of student behavior. The reason is something one of my students told me last semester when I asked why students were wearing slippers to class these days. I initially hypothesised that perhaps some Hollywood or music celebrity had made wearing slippers outside popular, cool, rad. What my student told me initially surprised me but made so much sense afterwards as I thought about it. We wear slippers to class, he or she told me, because we are lazy. Does that explain all this surreal and real student behaviour that sometimes often pops up in the passant swamp now and again? Inquiring minds really do want to know.

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