Monday, November 25, 2019

Are you, in fact, here?

I take attendance by having the students answer a question. Usually I try to make it something creative or interesting, but sometimes I, like everyone else, just time out on creativity and come up entirely and completely blank.

Are you, in fact, here?

Everything along the spectrum of yes-to-no:

  • Yup
  • yea
  • I was here on time :)
  • alarm broke but I'm here
  • shockingly
  • yes
  • contrary to popular belief, yes
  • basically lol
  • physically, yes
  • briefly yes, from 9:30-9:30.5
  • Just so I don't get fined
  • Yes (probably not when you're reading this)
  • Yes. maybe
  • I hope
  • I don't know
  • physically, yes, mentally, maybe
  • perhaps?
  • Well. Maybe. I don't know. I don't know anything
  • in theory
  • No, I'm [first name]
  • NO
  • we are not here
  • No, my soul is somewhere else
  • No, I was here.
  • No one is here
  • 24 hours late
And then the other sort of answer:
  • are you?
  • who's "here"?
  • carrot
  • VC \leq_p WVC
A lot of existential waffling this morning.

This post's theme word is Bulverism (n), the logical fallacy of assuming that your opponent is wrong and explaining their error. Some uppity students are verging into brief Bulverism with their responses to attendance questions.

What is your greatest victory in life (so far)?

I take attendance by having the students answer a question.

What is your greatest victory in life (so far)? (Previously asked in 2016.)

(I want to give them the leeway to still be aiming for an even greater victory!)

Many students replied in earnest celebration of their victories:

  • ran 2 marathons
  • being the 1st in my family to go to college
  • getting into Swarthmore
  • becoming a zygote
  • making it through 2 years of college
  • going abroad
  • making it to senior year
  • being born
Others were more creative in their replies:

  • I solved Independent Set
  • solving 2+2
  • I solved SAT
Some were more unusual:
  • "stealing" 6 mattresses
  • can't think --- concussed
  • please let me know when you find out
  • nothing so far

To all the tired, striving brains out there: good luck with the end-of-semester, and try not to bonk into anything!

This post's theme word is contund (verb tr), "to thrash or bruise." Please do not contund your noggin.

Monday, November 11, 2019

What social convention baffles you?

I take attendance by having students answer a question.

What social convention baffles you? (previously I've asked this but don't seem to have blogged it)

Some responses were understandably baffling IMHO:
  • not putting elbows on table. why??
  • jaywalking >:(
  • why do people do absolutely stupid dares?
  • starting school at 8:30am
  • pretending to work 8 hours a day 5 days a week

Others were for pretty reasonable social conventions that (I hope) students actually do understand, they just... choose not to participate in... I guess?
  • small talk
  • lying
  • washing hands after using the restroom
  • sleeping
  • a lot of things, saying bless you? "thoughts & prayers"...
  • TikTok
  • most things young people do. Also, eating cereal as a meal. It's literally like eating chips as sustenance.
  • using chopsticks to eat chips, ice cream, etc.
  • talking to strangers

    Many students just outright want to be socially bizarre and asocial/prosocial in unusual ways. I get it. They're all great. I enjoy being in a community that intentionally accepts students who tend this way, and cultivates their eccentricities. College is fantastic and I'm extremely lucky that I never have to leave it.

    • social cues
    • socializing
    • quiet floors at Swat libraries
    • Swarthmore misery poker
    • asking "how are you" and always responding with "good, you?"
    • saying "how r u?" and not finishing interaction
    • socializing with people you don't like
    • pretending to GAF
    • "You should go outside once in awhile"
    This casts a pretty dark look at the mindset of students in my class. But more unusual and weird is what emerges from my favorites:
    • walking using two legs
    • everything
    • all of them I was raised in a barn
    • feudalism
    ... students are wonderful, unique balls of curious accumulated behaviors and thoughts and they are utterly, utterly fascinating. And apparently one was raised in a barn.

    This post's theme word is