Thursday, October 4, 2012


Today in my teenage angst, I looked upon a group of high-school age freshmen with a weird maternal love and pride. These freshmen are my Psych B classmates, who generally insist on texting, talking and doing their Chem homework during class. Not that I'm any different. I just don't have anyone to talk to.

We wrote our midterm today. A fairly average experience for myself, having survived three apparently untransferrable semesters of introductory psych. Academic Institution! You're already transferred in two  400 level psychs. Is another introductory 100 level credit really necessary? Damnit!

Annyywwaayy. I sat in the lounge below our classroom following the exam, texting and sort of (but not really at all) reviewing for my next exam. Several freshmen emerged and exclaimed their exasperation with the exam. You're welcome for that exemplary alliteration. "The true and false was so hard," they said, "Why was so much of it based on the textbook? I didn't read the textbook, did you?" I found this precious for a number of reasons.

First, because I have been there. Oh have I been there.

Second, because the group launched directly from that discussion, into a complex explanation of previously assigned Biology homework, and the scientific process there-in. Clearly these children had been High School science success stories. I was not student. I certainly survived my high school science classes, but not with the 98% that these kids inevitably got. It's funny how objective fields like Bio and Chem make a 4.0 gpa available to anyone who can kill their lab assignments. I was far too disinterested for this, but nonetheless admired those who found this achievement comforting and doable. One of the boys noted that the comma splice is a concept that he has no interest in understanding or applying. That too, I admire. He knows his strengths. He is also willing to identify his laziness. That, at the age of 18, or even 19, if I happen to be underestimating him, is admirable.

My highest hope for him is that he will not let his struggle in the humanities undermine his academic experience. I want him to fall into an area of study that allows him to excel, while still developing the 'nit-picky' skills he needs to fully succeed. Sweetie - speaking to that freshman now - that means learning how to avoid comma splices in your lab write-ups.

I don't really understand why people bemoan freshmen so much. Freshmen become seniors, who then bemoan freshmen. I'm grateful to be at a stage where I appreciate the process, right down to it's hilarious-to-watch beginning stages.

God bless freshmen, every one. I am currently agonizing about whether or not that's a comma splice.

PS. That pic is me as a freshmen. Yes, I am still a Diva. Though I'll deny it and be horrendously offended if you ever call me one.

No comments: