Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stuff My Students Say

It's common for grad students and faculty to snicker (okay, guffaw) over the sometimes bizarre historical interpretations that our students come up with in papers, tests, and class.  I'm sure I came up with a bunch of those as an undergrad. That's not what we're here for today.  I have a different sort of student communication issues for your consideration:

From a female student in a 10-week survey course:

"My partner was all butt hurt that I started a month after her and finished a week early. ;)"

Wow. I swear like a sailor when I'm mad, but never in front of faculty or parents. I can see that sort of thing slipping out in conversation, but typing it in and clicking submit?

A female student in the same class:

"In the recent years, homosexuality has begun its shameless effort to be noticed, tolerated, but most notably, accepted. The media has given rise to several television programs with elements of homosexuality. Shows like Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Grey's Anatomy include actors leading roles either playing a homosexual or live the actual lifestyle."

She was posting on ancient Greek male sexuality and decided to tack that on the end of her post in a class in which several of her classmates had self-identified as being in long-term same sex relationships.  I bet you can imagine the reaction from the student mentioned previously, but she was far milder than I would have been in the same circumstances.

What on earth made either student think that it was ok to respond in this way?  Is it just the anonymity they feel when dealing only with a screen and keyboard?

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