Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Science Fair

I have had way too many things happening this year to make it clear that I've gone over a precipice-yes age is just a number but that number sometimes means something.  Although I still feel 16 inside, I am not and sooo I was asked to be a non biased judge in the elementary school science fair.
As a college professor, I now know where the bad education starts.  Yes, as a college professor, I get the young adult but at 5th and 6th grade, apparently using youtube, the internet in general, and wikipedia as sources is acceptable.
Bad habits begin early and it looks like I found out Pico Canyon is an enabler when it comes to that.  My first assignment in my Media and Society class was a current events assignment.  Basically read an article and tell me who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Many of the 18-20 year olds taking the class couldn't do this and all I ever wanted to yell out in the class was that this was an assignment I was doing in 6th grade!
I also recall learning in 7th grade how to do a research paper.  We had notecards and developed an outline. This is something that many California Community College students can't do.  We also learned that year what was acceptable and credible sources to use in a research paper and how to document them as well as how to create a bibliography.
8th grade at Hawthorn Junior High had us spending a 5 week module on scientific method and how to run an experiment.  Although I saw many creative and inventive things at the science fair, I saw many kids projects that could barely follow directions and barely earn a passing grade.
This just brings me back to when I would grade papers in my classes and weep for the future. I always had exciting and well written papers but I expected it to be the majority and not the few notable exceptions.  Many students didn't even bother to spell check before turning in the schlock to me.  Often I would return it to students and refuse to grade it until they gave better work.
All I am saying, is when doctors start to practice that are younger than me, I might one day ask someone with me to just smother me with a pillow, knowing what I know and what I've seen. _______________________ _________________________________

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