Monthly Archives: December 2013

Just try – not to get totally depressed


It seems there are more people in blogland honestly considering whether students want to struggle. All the time. sisyphus-happy

I just completed the “game theory” Coursera course. And I decided I didn’t. There’s scant satisfaction in pushing a boulder uphill  and then starting over the next day/week/section. Consider behavior when teachers are faced with 87 ways they can be graded as “unsatisfactory” on a subjective rubric: I am telling teachers to ignore it, because if someone wants to mark you as unsatisfactory, they will.

Now consider that students in my high school are doing this in 6 subjects a day, relentlessly, whether they like those subjects or not. Why would anyone think that this is how people thrive? I know that when I learn something, I like time to do it over and over again, until I get really good. And if I don’t get good, I like to be able to give up. I certainly wouldn’t like to have someone who is good tell me “oh, this is easy, just keep going.” Ridiculous. Students get 540 times a semester that they can be judged a failure. I gave up at 87.