Things Students have Taught Me

(at college, no less)

“With Albert Einstein’s invention of electricity and light, the United States began changing.”

“Reconstruction was the political process of rejoining the southern states that seceded from the Union, causing the Civil War.”

“With states having to be reenstated such as Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia, political parties such as the Democrats and Republicans started to take over.”

“Many views changed in the aspect of what to do.”

“They compromised with the Wade-Davis Bill that stated that southern representation was equal to those citizens denied rights.”

“As a result of reconstruction the south was more urban and Industrialized. It had steel mills, textiles, and they also developed coca-cola.” (presumably they fought the Civil War buck naked)

“Reconstruction was mostly an issue in the political house of the crisis.”

“Cotton was being used as currency, for that if it raned on the cotton, it wont ruin, and it cant rotten. You had mid-easterners moving into the texas region.”

“While there was fighting on the western fronteir or the politics weren’t being friendly, you had people working different machines and creating new ways of living. In the farming society there was a machine known as the malboard which helped the mud not clump up.”

More to come as I finish grading. Let’s just say that some of these are… profound. Insofar as they reflect a deep, empty hole of an intellect.

Leave a comment


  1. Anna

     /  April 3, 2007

    Oh no, another night of deep brandydrinking looms…

  2. I always wondered why Albert invented the bomb…

  3. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007

    I think we dropped it on the wrong city…

  4. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007

    That is flipping unreal. A COLLEGE student said this? Oooooooooooh, save me a shot.

    Suddenly the phrase “Game called on account of naked chick” seems positively genius.

  5. This is why I couldn’t be a teacher. My comments in red pen.

    “Um. No. F”

  6. Sadly, many of them end up graduating….

    Here is some interesting fiction in the guise of essays.

  7. Anna

     /  April 3, 2007

    I think he actually had one comment and grade like that, SB…and Mike, we’ll save some brandy for you. That is, if the next crop of grading won’t produce gems like the ones I heard last night. I swear, I heard third graders with more coherency than these…

  8. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007

    I think you are being generous. I would just put “F” since putting down “F you F(*&^tard” would probably get me fired pretty quick.

    But then again, that would only occur if these heroes can actually read…

  9. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007

    I had more coherency than this in the second grade. Hell, my nephew has more coherency than this and he IS in the second grade.

  10. Doing college admissions all those years gave me some gems. I remember the old UD app had a question along the lines of “what book or books have had the most affect on you?”

    My favorite answer was written by a little genius from Dallas: “I like all book.”

  11. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007


  12. happycrow

     /  April 3, 2007

    Oh, that’s REAL coherent compared to what I’m about to lay on you guys…

  13. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007

    Oh. My. God.

  14. Mike

     /  April 3, 2007

    I am going to go outside and gouge my eyes out, I will be back in a minute.

  15. ::insane giggle::

    Welcome to my world!

  16. I just want to know what a malboard is… from my extensive research in google it appears to be an amazing contraption which functions as a speak-n-spell, barney-the-talking-dinosaur, and now – apparently a soil anti-coagulator with anti-adhesive properties!

    Wow! Love the goog.

  17. happycrow

     /  April 4, 2007

    “Moldboard Plow.”

  18. Mike

     /  April 4, 2007

    You know, this is making me wonder if I SHOULD have my eyes fixed…

  19. Alex

     /  April 5, 2007

    I was a teaching assistant many years ago in Grad. school – and I also saw some doozies in the chemical sciences. I had students which couldn’t handle their calculators and I also had students which had difficulty with basic English on the tests (they were US natives, not foreign students) such that they couldn’t figure out what the question was asking.
    I got all bent out of shape about it then, but I don’t know. Why? Because frankly some people are not meant for college; they really don’t have the intellectual capacity for it. They could be far better at other things which I would be pathetic at, but these same people have no business getting duped into paying for college that will never help them out. I’ve come to accept that many people have skills at many things, and not everyone can write an essay or keep a concept straight. For that matter – not everyone needs to.
    I suppose a better question to ask you Russ is this – how many of your essays you are grading are good and did absorb what you taught? Or is your offering here the typical fare?

  20. Steph

     /  April 5, 2007

    Alex…. you hit the nail on the head IMHO

    Did anyone else see recently that the German education system is being slammed by the UN as an anachronism? (,1518,473337,00.html)

  21. Alex

     /  April 5, 2007

    Here I am going on about education and I make a typo in the 2nd paragraph. It should be “…but I don’t now.”
    I still write some real idiotic sentences from time to time and yet I fully understand Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Thermodynamics. Not to mention that I’m also very good with concepts in science but I do very poorly at advanced mathematics.
    Oh well.

  22. happycrow

     /  April 5, 2007

    Grades were technically okay, as long as I”m not an English teacher. Composition skills are severely lacking…

  23. Mike

     /  April 5, 2007

    Ah. You make a great point Alex. Being a history guy, this kind of thing tears my guts out. But you are correct. I probably would have problems spelling some of things you are talking about.

    I think were part of this issue lies is the fact that we can look at this and go “I am really knowledgeable on this topic, but not so much here”. Then we run into the people who are “I am a college graduate/student therefor I know all” and heave the collective sigh.

  24. I’d like “I have an idea, and i can express it in such a way that my audience can comprehend me.”

  25. Whoah, Steph. Don’t let the Lizard Queen see that… that’s “tracking” by another name…

  26. Heh. I already knew about this, pointing out nations like Germany and Japan in a class a couple of weeks ago.

    Yeah, it’s tracking. Bleah! “Separate but equal” indeed.

  27. Steph

     /  April 8, 2007

    Tracking may be what the German system looks like on paper, but it is actually a very well thought out system of training. Think apprenticeships with actual potential, not hamburger flipping school.

    The schools that the companies run to train their employees, usually those with no more than a high school education, are very, very intensive. They are also a whole lot more fun than the university I “attended.”

  28. The problem I have with tracking is how early it’s implemented — in the primary school grades, as early as 1st grade. I see no reason why it should be delayed till the student is 15-16 years old, i.e., a junior in high school. That way, German-style apprenticeship tracking on one fork of the common education path and then traditional “college-bound” preparation on the other fork of the path can be offered to a person who has the ability to choose.

    This doesn’t happen in the public schools in the US, and I think it should.

  29. Mike

     /  April 8, 2007

    There are a lot of things that should happen in US public schools. This is just one of many. Anybody up for executing most of the NSEA?

  30. Steph

     /  April 13, 2007

    I very much agree with you on the US tracking, LQ. I saw how it played out with two of my children and the result both ways was a potential disaster.

    I particularly loathed the information paper they send home on gifted children. Somehow they forgot my 3rd grader could read it, and it was a stick of dynamite regarding how gifted kids can become socially isolated, tend to take drugs, have all kind of problems.

    I was also very frustrated by my 1st grader being tracked into special needs classes, with nearly half of his class.

    On a side note, when the majority of a class has to attend after school tutoring to pass the TAKS, something is wrong institutionally.

    All of the teachers were super sweet, very determined, and well-intentioned. I do thank God the school was available to us. I wish there was a workable solution for the teachers, though.


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