Sunday, September 30, 2007

Adventures in TAing, case 1 (in a ? case series)

(One of the great things about being a TA at a university is that it allows me to recognize pet-peeves that I never knew I even had. In order to deal with some of the frustration in a passive-aggressive but slightly bemused manner that others may enjoy, I'll share bits and pieces of my favorite peeves here. Note: I changed the title of this ostensible series. It was a little too snarky, I think.)

Case 1: That funny habit that students have of overstating their claims by declaring them 'clear' or 'obvious'. As in, "we can obviously see that so-and-so is clearly a symbol of such-and-such", whereupon they proceed to explain why this is so for the rest of the paragraph. Clearly (tee-hee), this begs the question - if it's so obvious, then why do you even need to waste your/my time explaining it to me?

3 comments:

Geoff Klock said...

The best example of begging the question in the classroom: "You can't give me a C! I am an A student" Well obviously not...

Omar Karindu said...

I suppose it's still a step beyond the old, "Throughout history/human existence, X has always been true..." bit. It took me three goes at their one-page weekly responses to thrash that out of them this term.

neilshyminsky said...

Geoff: I've only gotten that line once, to which I only had to raise my eyebrow and respond, "You know what I'm going to say, don't know?" (And it elicited the desired response of "Yeah, I know, you didn't give me the mark, I wrote a C paper." What this little power-play says about the state of reader-response theory praxis by those in authority positions within the academy, I don't know...)

Omar: The first few appearances of 'Since the beginning of time/history/man/literature/storytelling...' always make me giggle. And then I'm just striking it out by about its tenth appearance.