October 8, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

What to Do? covid-19: day 564 | US: GA | info | act

This is an actual email I received this morning from a student in my online World Literature course:

Goodnight professor Gerald, on the test it’s said short answers. I got confuse because I thought it suppose to be short answers. I feel like your class is so difficult because even when I think am doing good, I’m doing horrible. I think I’m following the criteria, but I’m wrong. It’s hard to even keep up with those long novel and remember everything for the test. Even the discussions are difficult, hopefully I can pull through your class because I though this would be a fun class but it’s worst than a science class.

I’m not posting this to ridicule, but WTH? I don’t even know where to begin here. Yes, it’s difficult. It’s a college course. You have to read and take notes and engage in study and review, all of which might be suspect here. My instructions for the test clearly state: “Long Answer: Answer the question in essay form. Support your answer with specific evidence from the primary text. (20 points).” I know it’s just a literature course, and you likely perceive it to have no bearing whatever on your life, but yeah it’s challenging—maybe up to the levels of a science class. Imagine.

Seriously, what is this person expecting? Yes, it’s a core course, and most students who take it are non-English majors. But the resentment here is as palpable as is the lack of rhetorical awareness or, frankly, shame.