The Lounge
Moderators: spoiled_candy, nomoreexcuses, Mollybygolly, peaches0405


I filled in for a professor, just as a personal favor, earlier today. Haha, because of the nature of my substitution, I now have "guest-speaker" status at the general branch of where I attend school (which is a clever way for the uni to not have to pay someone...professor friend sprung for lunch, though--and for me to not get marked absent for missing a couple of my own classes :D). And guess what the subject was? Music Appreciation. Anyway...

Taking roll seemed to take forever in the first class I taught--there were more than 40 kids. I say "kids", but most of the students looked to be in their 20s, some were obviously older.

As I'm getting into the Classical period, and the nerves are subsiding, I ask, "who can tell me where Vienna is?"
I hear several voices say, "Italy." 

"Nope, not Italy. Come on, guys, Vienna. Where is it?"

"Rome?"
"Germany?"
"England?"
And more uncertain utterances of "Italy."
One girl says, "I think it's in Romania."

"Okay, it's still not in Italy--I think some of you are thinking of 'Venice.' It's by Germany. Where is Arnold Schwarzenegger from?"

*silence*

"Austria! It's in Austria, guys. Vienna was very important during the Classical period. Who can name three of the main composers from the Classical period who are mentioned in the chapter?"

*silence*

"Come on, guys. You've got it in your notes. Somebody give me a name."

A few half-hearted mumblings. I hear "Beethoven."

"Good, Beethoven. Now who came before him?"

"Wolfgang Ama...dee-ous--"

"Good. Amadeus. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Looks like you guys are scheduled to watch Amadeus in a few days--it's one of my favorite movies. Okay, there's one more talked about in the text. Who was he?"

"Hay-den?"

"Yes, good. Haydn--'Hi-din.'"  

Between that, kids having their own little conversations, and asking me questions that had nothing to do with the material (and having no idea how to phrase those questions so that they made sense)...I was all twitchy before the next class even sat down. Thankfully, that class was better...they still had no clue where Vienna is located, nor did they know how to articulate in their own words what they had in their notes. The strangest part was that all of them seemed to speak in sentence fragments, even when I asked for an opinion.

"What led to the doing away with improvisation by composers?"

"More amateurs."

"Who can give me some of the characteristics of a symphony?"

"Four movements."
"Usually lasted 30-45 minutes."

"How would you describe the ending of that piece?" *after we had listened to a movement from one of Haydn's symphonies*

"Triumphant."

"Triumphant? Good, good. Why was it triumphant?"

*silence*

"What instruments were used to give it that forceful, triumphant sound?"

*silence*

O.<

When I was entering in participation points, I looked at grades (technically not supposed to, but it couldn't be helped because of the way the grading page is set up). Not one of them (out of over 80 students) is receiving higher than a low B (many are failing). I talked to my professor friend about it. He said he didn't know what to do. He said that it isn't just in his classes, but it's especially prevalent in the arts classes. The students are less than apathetic. Getting a "C" average is the goal now. He even told me that most of the students to whom he's offered extra credit to raise their average to a C have turned down his offers.

A lot of programs (mainly the arts) have lost funding, because of poor academic performance. Apparently, it's only the math and computer undergrads who are still meeting standards.

I'm afraid.

61 Replies (last)

This is a 4 year university located in the western hemisphere?

I don't know nothing 'bout music appreciation, but my mother would have beaten me if I couldn't have answered your first two questions... of course, I'm old, and I think geography was part of elementary school curriculum, and composers taught in chorus... but still.

The fragmented answers are often the results of 'call outs' rather than students being called on.  If a bunch of people call out a fragmented answer, it's less likely you will choose a specific student to put on the spot.

Facepalm

 

Original Post by kelrantymus:

My husband is a BFA and our university required them to also be double majors in business and maintain a 3.0 or they were asked to leave the BFA program.

I think the university or college has to put some more stringent requirements in place. Or have a BA of Arts and a BFA for those who want to do more and be more intense and have that business side, too. It annoys my husband to no end the number of "art majors" who are lazy, clueless and apathetic. I could go on about what he has done with a BFA, but that's digressing.

I don't get people who choose a major and then don't engage. You people are paying a ton of money to be there!

No they aren't. It's pretend money: their parents, subsidized loans or both.

It wont dawn on them how foolish they've been until they graduate with no marketable skills because of a low gpa in a vague major identifying them as someone who never really learned how to work at anything; and are then stuck trying to find any job in a competitive economy in order to pay back loans they took out to ensure their bright future (without them having to work...)

Original Post by ignayshus:

Original Post by kelrantymus:

My husband is a BFA and our university required them to also be double majors in business and maintain a 3.0 or they were asked to leave the BFA program.

I think the university or college has to put some more stringent requirements in place. Or have a BA of Arts and a BFA for those who want to do more and be more intense and have that business side, too. It annoys my husband to no end the number of "art majors" who are lazy, clueless and apathetic. I could go on about what he has done with a BFA, but that's digressing.

I don't get people who choose a major and then don't engage. You people are paying a ton of money to be there!

No they aren't. It's pretend money: their parents, subsidized loans or both.

It wont dawn on them how foolish they've been until they graduate with no marketable skills because of a low gpa in a vague major identifying them as someone who never really learned how to work at anything; and are then stuck trying to find any job in a competitive economy in order to pay back loans they took out to ensure their bright future (without them having to work...)


Still...several of those students were in their late 20s to late 30s. In my second class, there was a man there who may have been 50. It's way passed time to take initiative and be proactive. I didn't even mention the attendance. The prof that I filled in for takes points away after a certain number of absences--more than ten of his students are failing from poor attendance.

coack_k, the geography thing shocked me a little, too.

The scariest part is that I'll actually be teaching a bio course this summer. I'm dreading it even more now than I was. It's a basic course, so I won't likely have many science majors. I'll just have a bunch of bored kids who'd tie me up and throw me in the basement if it meant getting outside quicker. To be fair, I'll feel the same way about them. Heh.

Original Post by ignayshus:

This is a 4 year university located in the western hemisphere?


Mebbeh. Mebbeh not. I'll let you know after the red tape clears from me having taught the class. Technically, I'm not at all qualified to teach a music course and I wasn't cleared to be a "guest speaker" and justifying even having me as one is going to take some craftiness. :P Ask me again once it gets sorted.

Is it a general course or a major requirement?  I know that a lot of students don't take it seriously when it is one of their generals. 

Original Post by sweetpea62:

Is it a general course or a major requirement?  I know that a lot of students don't take it seriously when it is one of their generals. 

It's an elective. It's not required at all, unless one is majoring in music.

i took music appreciation in high school... nobody cared about it. (i did, of course. i was in band. that was heaven to me, haha.) some kids just take it because it sounds easy. i don't think they realize they actually have to learn. they just expect to play around on the keyboard or something. it's really quite sad that people don't care about the arts. :(

a lot of people only sign up for classes so that they will get financial aid/loans. i've heard soo many kids bragging about getting thousands of dollars for school... then dropping out. this one guy said he used his to buy $500 worth of weed and a stereo system for his car. they show up to class just long enough to secure the money, then disappear. it's really going to suck when they have to pay it all back in a few years and can't because they have no job.

 

 

Original Post by ignayshus:

Original Post by kelrantymus:

My husband is a BFA and our university required them to also be double majors in business and maintain a 3.0 or they were asked to leave the BFA program.

I think the university or college has to put some more stringent requirements in place. Or have a BA of Arts and a BFA for those who want to do more and be more intense and have that business side, too. It annoys my husband to no end the number of "art majors" who are lazy, clueless and apathetic. I could go on about what he has done with a BFA, but that's digressing.

I don't get people who choose a major and then don't engage. You people are paying a ton of money to be there!

No they aren't. It's pretend money: their parents, subsidized loans or both.

It wont dawn on them how foolish they've been until they graduate with no marketable skills because of a low gpa in a vague major identifying them as someone who never really learned how to work at anything; and are then stuck trying to find any job in a competitive economy in order to pay back loans they took out to ensure their bright future (without them having to work...)

Scarier still, it may never dawn on them.They may end up in a McCorp. doing sub-par work and receiving "adequate" ratings for 50 years. It's why the Chinese are eating our lunch.

That's one of the disconcerting things. It is an easy class. Even if a person were only to do a mediocre job on tests, he gives enough extra credit chances to more than make up for that. In order to make an A in his course, one just has to show up and make a moderate effort. And his extra credit offers? You have to attend one of the concerts the university puts on (free to students) and write 500 words about it. It's worth a test grade.

I just...don't get it.

The theatre director is also a friend and he's made allusions that his classes are similar. That, given my background, makes me die a little inside. When I attended a production not too long ago, one of his actors not only forgot his lines onstage and just gave a piss-poor performance, he also gave a thumbs-up to one of his frat buddies. But the director could only work with what he had...which was crap. I hope all hell broke loose on that kid the following week--I'm sure it did. The director ws furious.

This is pretty simple minded.. but sorry ..

you get what you pay for..

The kids that got "sent" to college generally don't have the incentive, with the 'rents footing the bill...

I had work/study, loans and scholarships.. I have always been proud that I managed it on my own. 

I guess you, as an academic type, have to look for that one diamond in the rough.  Good luck. 

Original Post by amwick:

The kids that got "sent" to college generally don't have the incentive, with the 'rents footing the bill...

I don't know if it's so much who pays the bill, but whether the kid had any kind of real desire or knowledge of what they wanted to do with their life.  

I knew from my sophomore year of high school what I wanted to do, and was nothing but thankful to my parents who were dedicated to making sure I got what I needed.

I think if more high school students were exposed to different careers and were counseled on their options, they wouldn't wind up wasting their time and their parents' money.

I agree with that, santo. I had zero career counseling in high school. I'm just now learning what's out there. It's still kind of annoying to know that I've only recently realized that there are other career options that I would have wanted to consider.

And don't even get me started on the anxiety those stupid career placement tests caused me. I figured that if mine didn't say that I was suited to be a doctor, I'd be a failure at life...then I was just as terrified that it would tell me that all I could be was a doctor. That's what counted as career advice at my school. Forty minutes with a multiple-choice questionnaire once a year for four years.

#15  
Quote  |  Reply
I went right into engineering school from high school and while I could live at home room and board free while school was in session, I had to scrape together every penny of the tuition and books myself, not to mention keeping a cheap piece of crap car on the road and paying for it's gas and insurance.

I didn't qualify for government student loans because I lived at home and my parents made way too much money, and they refused to co-sign a loan. It meant that I needed to work my ass off to have the cash in hand to pay the bills at the beginning of each semester. I made good use of every penny.

I was lucky and had scholarships that covered most of the first year which helped me get a jump on the cost of the next three years.

i'm an adjunct professor at one of the top private universities in the country.

my students continuously get questions wrong about stuff you learn in elementary school.... it makes for good facebook status updates!

As an art major I have to take 2 stupid courses of either music or theatre... both of which I care nothing about. So...

I'm taking music this semester. So. Boring.

Original Post by cptbunny:

As an art major I have to take 2 stupid courses of either music or theatre... both of which I care nothing about. So...

I'm taking music this semester. So. Boring.

if it's boring, it's because your professor sucks.  a good prof can make ANYTHING interesting.

that said, as an artist, i can totally see the value in music or theatre...think about the concepts that cross the disciplines.  one of the most beneficial things for me in my own studio practice growth was an NPR interview with philip seymour hoffman...

can you take studio courses, or are you doing x history, bunny? a drama class might be fun, no?

sorry - i mean acting. or mime, even!!! how great would that be?

My 10 year old speaks in fragmented thoughts. Thought it was just her. When I get them I usually start shouting random words out to her to get the point across that it doesn't make sense. So i'll get "milk" from her and I'll shout "ants". Then I ask her a "Can you phrase that in a proper sentence please?". Maybe more of a cultural thing that I hadn't noticed before.
61 Replies (last)
Advertisement
Advertisement
Allergy Remedies
Is It Possible to Go Natural?
The side effects of allergy medications keep some people from using them. Natural remedies can be a great alternative, but some are more effective than others.