As I sat down for a minute today, looking for a source of inspiration to write about, I thought of the decaying university system and felt myself distinctly uninspired.
In just the past five weeks that I've been teaching classes during the summer term, I've run into:
- more plagiarism than ever before (some 10 cases in five weeks).
- more students who think that turning in crap justifies an automatic A. (I've received 12 email complaints to date).
- more students who turn in late work (sometimes weeks late) then expect full marks. (My syllabus says late work receives no credit.)
- more students (30+) who email me to ask questions that were already answered in the announcement/class email. (This is driving me nuts!)
- more students who cannot read a six paragraph primary source document. (Eighty-five percent of the class missed the question on the reading.)
- more students who demand special accommodations (late work, extended exam time, changes in class policy, grade changes, extra credit).
- more students who've sent in grievances to my department when they couldn't get what they wanted. (There have been more this semester than all my previous semesters combined.)
- students who cannot read or write.
In the last case, I have to wonder why a person who cannot read or write would ever think that going to college is a good idea. Perhaps the answer is in the question.
The students who have tendered grievances is a most worrisome case of progressivitis. Progs have shown that if they yell louder, complain more, file grievances, and call people names, they can pretty much get anything they want.
(Perhaps that's why the progs hate Trump so much. He yells just as loudly as they do, but doesn't say the right things. Trump is a genuine threat to their modus operandi.)
The result of all this is a student population which is the least prepared in any generation and the most politicized (even taking the 60s into account).
These students are arrogant.
These students are ignorant.
The combination of the two is explosively dangerous.