"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


funny things my students wrote

Today we begin a new, occasional series of humorous (and typically wrong) things my students write in response to quiz and exam questions. These are priceless:
  • "'States' rights' is practically code word for 'screw minorities' among forums of discussion." [Please note that this question had nothing whatsoever to do with states' rights.]
  • "I really have no idea what it is. I guess I need to go over my notes and find the answer to this question.

I love my job.


Blogger euphrony said...

When I was in grad school, I graded papers and did a couple of homework review sessions. I would look at them and think "I know I was clueless when I was an undergrad, but was I this lost?"

My wife is a stay-at-home mom, but has a MFA in theater and teaches some on-line courses (intro to theater) at a local college. She likes to share with me some of her students’ papers - I'm an engineer, and I know more about theater off-hand than some of these kids who are supposed to be studying it for a grade. Oh, and the excuses for why my paper is a month late (especially in a summer school one-month course) are terrific.

(Okay, after previous posts I’m a little self-conscious. How was my grammar and punctuation?)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:55:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Euphrony, the fact that this was a coherent narrative puts you miles ahead of the crowd. A+.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 4:07:00 PM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Could you PLEASE explain to your students that the plural of "forum" is "fora!" I cringe everytime I hear otherwise educated people say "forums."

I get the same reaction when I see bumpersticker proclaiming that the driver of the car is "a proud alumni." Hello! Alumni is plural--specifically plural males or mixed sex. Plural female graduates would be alumnae.
Since Latin was a dead language and incorporated some words into English LONG before the concern for inclusive language (a concern I share when it doesn't create linguistic barbarisms), there is no gender neutral singular. One is either an alumna (feminine) or alumnus (masculine). You have no other options.

Why is this so hard to get through to people?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:15:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Michael, I'll get on that. Right after I explain the difference between majoritarianism and classical liberalism for the 3,272nd time.

Sigh. At least these children weren't left behind.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:38:00 PM


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