Following Directions January 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beyondtheoutside @ 12:29 PM

Most important thing I have learned through taking this English class: follow directions!
I have seriously been amazed at how poorly people take directions. Here are some of the things the professor said that other people did not pay any attention to:
–>Do not use contractions
–> Double space your papers
–>Heading should be as follows: Name, Date, Class, Professor
–>You must use three criteria
–>Your essay is to be 2-3 pages long
–> Your paragraphs are to be at least 5 sentences long. They can be longer, but no less than 5 sentences per paragraph
–> Your essay must be at least 5 paragraphs 

These instructions were not only written on the chalkboard, but also clearly written on the handout assignment that she gave to each of us. I am frustrated that people in my class will not follow instructions. For example, we did peer editing yesterday and the girl I was paired up with did not follow even one of the instructions. In fact, we were supposed to have written an evaluation of a movie, tv show, or book, and she wrote a summary of a book, and did not even name the book correctly (she called it Iliad and it is The Iliad). Her paper was 4 pages, 4 paragraphs (one that was only 3 sentences), she had about 50 contractions, her paper was double spaced but she made the margins different than the standard (points will be taken off for that). She did not use any criteria because she did not write an evaluation paper! And last, but not least, her heading was:

And then she wrote it “English 101” in pen because I told her what professor Kambui had told us to make as our heading.
This girl was not the only one who did not follow instructions. The girl sitting to my right also had not double spaced her paper, she used outside sources (a big no no for this paper), and she didn’t even WRITE the paper-she had taken the class before but got a C- grade so she is taking it again so she just printed out her paper she wrote for the class last time. She also had about 30 paragraphs but not even one of them was 5 sentences long. gr.
Honestly, this makes me very thankful for my homeschool education. I am slightly frustrated with my classmates (primarily because it pulls me down when we’re supposed to be doing peer editing and the only mark I have on mine was a mark through the words “in conclusion,” she kindly informed me that “professors don’t like when you use ‘in conclusion’ ” I asked my professor and that is not true. I was hoping I would get helpful criticism and help with my paper from this girl, but nope). Even more than being frustrated though, I feel bad for these people. The girl I worked with, she is in her sophomore year of college-she is taking English 101. Some how she made it through highschool and was not even taught how to follow directions. I really pity these people and wish they had the opportunity to get a really good education, or in some cases, that they had taken the opportunity to learn from their education provided. It is very sad. But back to my point-I am thankful for the education I was given. I am thankful I was in classes with teachers that wanted to see me learn. I am glad that God gave me a brain that functions correctly, and I am thankful for my professor.
Now do not get me wrong-I do not want you to think that everyone in my college class is dumb-that is not true-just the majority of them. One woman is probably in her mid 30’s and she is not excelling in the class. She has a good excuse though-English is not her first language and she does not know the language very well. This guy Cliff is really smart, and so is Paul. Some are not that bright, but they are trying. I just wish that you could only go to school if you wanted to learn. That’s all. I only wish these people wanted to learn. Oh well.
Anyway, I just wanted to post real fast before going to read more about  Critical Thinking, work on editing and revising my essay, writing two chapter summaries, and reading A Shepard Looks at Psalm 23.


11 Responses to “Following Directions”

  1. ~M Says:

    Hey! Just because people went to public school — it doesn’t mean they are dumb! lol

  2. beyondtheoutside Says:

    If that is what I implied, I did not mean that in the least!!!

  3. Megan Says:

    That is so funny because when I started going to the community college right after high school, I was thrilled to finally be in school with people who wanted to learn. It is interesting how you and I had very dfferent experiences.

    ps. I went back changed my contractions. Do I have any errors in my writing?

    • beyondtheoutside Says:

      I did not notice any errors in your comment 🙂 Good job 😉 I mad sure I avoided contractions in my post also 🙂 I don’t think they are bad in everyday use though, just not for professional talk-like writing a paper for a professor.

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    welcome to community college, sweetie. haha soooo much fun.

  5. Steve Says:

    “I do not want you to think that everyone in my college class is dumb-that is not true-just the majority of them.” Lol, yes, like Elizabeth said, Welcome to community college. In my psych class, we had to write summary papers, and pretty much had those same criteria. Yet every time, there would be people who forgot works cited pages, didn’t double space or format right, almost ALWAYS forgot to staple the pitiful paper together. It really is sad, but hey, at least you should do well :).

    • beyondtheoutside Says:

      haha, that would explain why my professor said (about 23904823049823 times mind you) that she would NOT accept our papers if they were not stapled…must be a common issue!

  6. Sarah Says:

    I think contractions in everyday writing are good. Papers? Of course not. In everyday writing, though, not using contractions sounds weird, in my opinion, because most people don’t talk like that.

    I TOTALLY agree with you about being frustrated that people can’t follow directions. I’m constantly coming home and telling my mom (or other family members) about classmates who aren’t following directions. It is RIDICULOUS. But, I guess that’s how it is, and it starts in high school, so until the school system improves, community college probably won’t get any better.

  7. zoanna Says:

    Maggie, you are a prize. Every teacher’s dream. I think you should do a satire on the typical college class. The irony is, who but the smart people would “get it”?

    Actually, to taack onto what Sarah said, following directions (or not) starts in kindergarten. It actually used to be the number 1 indicator that a child was ready for first grade. I didn’t let my kids “graduate” from kindergarten until they could follow simple directions such as “Put your name on your paper” or “Count to 20 out loud” or “Give me a hug and a kiss.” IF they gave just a hug, I made them give me “do over.” 🙂

    AS a middle school teacher, I make the students format their papers with Name, Date, Assignment in the URH corner. I take points off (up to 2 per line) for missing info. In art, nearly 80 percent of the rubric is on following directions, no matter the art technique being studied. If I say it must have 3 primary colors and they give me red, blue, and orange, guess what? Two of my high A students got the first 70 in their lives in art because they didn’t follow directions. But I have never had the problem again from them.

    I’m sorry that colleges have become such a business that eduction isn’t always the primary reason for recruiting students.

  8. zoanna Says:

    BTw, this “professor” would not accept “In conclusion” on a paper. I think it’s weak. It’s almost as bad as starting a thesis with “I’m going to tell you in this paper….” But, to each his own.

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