Thursday, August 16, 2007

Looking for loopholes

I have worked through the mound of picky, piddly, petty little tasks piled on my desk and now there's no reason I can't start working on my third and final syllabus for the fall semester, except that I don't want to. I spent most of yesterday restoring the syllabus that had been eaten by my computer, and now I'm just tired of the whole process. Deadlines? Blech. Plagiarism policy? Yuck. Page numbers for reading assignments? Phooey.

The thing that annoys me most about writing syllabi is the need to anticipate every possible problem. I have to include statements about cell phones and plagiarism and rampant absenteeism and respect for differing opinions, when what I'd really like to say is something like this: "You are an adult. Please act like one: come to class, do your own work, respect your classmates, take responsibility for your actions." But no: that kind of statement has too many loopholes, and if there's one thing at which our students excel, it is locating loopholes and climbing through them--dragging their entire fraternity and the baseball team behind them.

My goal is to write an entirely loophole-free syllabus for my freshman composition class, and I keep telling myself that I can't go home until it's done...but I'd rather do it tomorrow. Can somebody find me a loophole?

1 comment:

Bardiac said...

I know a board whose rule was: Don't be a dink. It worked pretty well.

If you come up with a way to close every loophool, share and you'll be everyone's hero!