The College Geek – The (Un/Re)discovered New Norm

pablito

 

WELCOME! Guest Blogger Pablito Carrera

It’s official. Geek is now the new norm for college students. College students might be living a geek filled life and the best part? Some are none the wiser about it. But, what of the student that already knows?  Well, they might consider it to be a curse. The past could have something to do with it. Society used to define the word geek as a derogative term. However, the unwritten rules of social normality have changed with the times. The word geek has evolved to be a compliment and even a fulfilling lifestyle.

So what makes someone realize that they are in fact a geek? Having love for your studies isn’t the only deciding factor. Our enthusiasm for hobbies can also allow us to become geeks. It’s not surprising that our interests can even create our own little world for us. As crazy as it might sound, we also go out of our way to live up to the standards of our interests. Essentially, everyone ‘geeks out’ when they do the things they love.

Society’s view of geeks has drastically improved over the years. We live in an age where being a geek is no longer defined by liking sci-fi or fantasy anymore, although the stereotype is still running strong and is used heavily in the media. The popular television show, The Big Bang Theory, has popularized the characters for who they are. Nobody in the show is ever afraid to show their true self. How sad is it when we hide in our true identities because of what others might think?

I wish more people could encourage others to study harder and have integrity for everything they enjoy. No one should ever be criticized for being the way they are. Its not our fault – we didn’t choose to like the things we enjoy. It even gets to the point in which students are criticized for having love for their studies. Nobody should ever feel bad for wanting to be better than who they are right now. The fact of the matter is, everyone is little geeky in some way – whether we like to admit it or not.

In praise of our geeky idols, please post your favorite television geek.

 

1. Policing Papers, Verne, 4/14

studymode

 

There’s nothing I dislike more than ‘policing’ term papers.  According to Deirdre Verne, “Policing papers is an investigative act performed under duress by instructors fed up with blatant plagiarism.” (“Policing Papers”, Verne, 4/14­1)

 

I recently read a paper I suspected had not been penned entirely by a student’s own hand. I reviewed the student’s citations, reading each reference carefully to identify where the student had lost their way. After an exhaustive, but fruitless, citation search, I felt as if I were an “instructor under duress, fed up with blatant plagiarism”. (“Policing Papers”, Verne, 4/141)

 

I quickly shifted gears and began “the investigative act of policing a paper” (“Policing Papers, Verne, 4/141).  Since my valid citation search hadn’t yielded the source of the student’s paper, I Googled  ‘free college papers’. This search brought me to StudyMode.  Ha! Found it.

 

So how does StudyMode work? Students can submit papers for the purpose of sharing with their peers. It’s like a study buddy. Unfortunately, in an academic setting, sharing answers is the same as cheating.  What if you have nothing to share? You can still cheat by simply purchasing another student’s papers. In this case, the topic I had assigned was available for about $90.

 

My solution. To avoid policing papers in the future, I’m going to assign a topic, write it myself, submit to StudyMode and wait for my own work to cycle back to me. I’m hoping this will reduce my “duress caused by the investigative act of policing papers by instructors fed up with blatant plagiarism.” (“Policing Papers”, Verne 4/141)

 

Spell Check Shucks!

Calling all business students! Here are some common (and uncommon) misspellings that I’ve taken a red pen to in business papers. Some, I see regularly. Others come out of left field. Regardless — they’re, their, there — good for a chuckle.

 

SWAT Analysis – unless you’re planning on batting me over the head with the paper, the business term is  ‘SWOT Analysis.’

 

Costumers – Although there’s an outside chance your paper is truly about circus folk assigned to dressing clowns, I’m think the correct term is C-U-S-T-O-M-E-R-S.

 

Two Million Three Hundred Thousand Dollars – I realize the game here is to stretch the page length to meet the minimum required. However, business professionals tend to be efficient. Try $2.3M.

 

Tack Ticks – If I have to say a word out loud to understand the meaning, you have a problem. My advice – change your writing tactics.

 

The 8am Class – Where Dreams Go To Die

Welcome Guest Blogger!  – Nick Piccora

 

 

The 8am Class – where dreams go to die. I mean that quite literally. Dreams do die when students have to wake up to report to class, which is usually around 6:30, just to get a reasonable start to the day. In most cases, students do not get the required 8 hours of sleep per night, and usually wake up in the middle of the REM cycle, leaving them groggy for the rest of the morning; which may be the reason why so many students are seen falling asleep in these classes.

 

 shutterstock_91930403

 

Although some argue that an 8am class is a good thing, mainly cause it allows one to start their day early and be done with class early, the majority of students agree that the 8am is nothing to be desired, and especially at a commuter school such as WCC. My commute usually takes 25-30minutes on a good day, which means I would have to leave my house at 7:20 to make it in time for class, luckily the parking lots are not full at this point. However, if I were living on campus, or off campus, I would be allowed to stay asleep that much longer, in extreme cases till 7:50, as I will be allowed to explore the wonderland of my dream for that much longer, as I could be saving a damsel in distress, hitting the game winning homerun, or flying throughout space.

 

 

It is also interesting to note that for the 8am class, the way students dress shows how much appearance matters to someone waking up at 6:30, and usually because they are groggy and just thankful to make it to campus without sleeping at the wheel, they are dressed very comfortably. This means they are wearing PJs and a jacket. If these students were reporting for a later class, say at 12pm, then they would have the opportunity to take a shower, pamper themselves, and will show up for class the way they wish to look and not like they just rolled out of bed, although most students who do this are usually too tired to care that they look like they are still sleeping.

 

 

But now here comes the more interesting question, do students actually learn this early in the morning? Well let’s take an example of a student who wakes up at 7am for an 8am class at WCC. They must eat, dress, brush their teeth and be out the door by 7:30 to make it in time. In most cases, they will have to skip one of these in order to have enough time to make it in time, and usually that means skipping breakfast, the most important meal of the day and by skipping this step you are already at risk of not learning at your optimal capacity. When the student finally reaches the classroom and sits down, they then realize what they are in for, a 2 hour lecture about a topic they are not interested in. This is the ultimate storm, as now sleep is beckoning the student back to it’s domain, and in most cases, it wins.

 

 

Meetings




Awkward Student Encounters

I know it’s weird for students to see a teacher outside of class – at a local restaurant or the supermarket.  Even seeing me walk to my car on campus, freeks some students out.

Come on, how else am I supposed to get home?

Just to be fair, I’ve had some strange encounters with students outside of school that have given me the willies, too.


Here are my….

 

TOP 5 AWKWARD STUDENT ENCOUNTERS

 

5. The Emergency Room

 

A student, who looked perfectly healthy to me, insisted on chatting me up about class while the tip of my 3-year olds index finger was hanging from a thread.

 

4. The Dermatologist

 

Let’s just say I sat across the waiting room, in case whatever the student had was contagious.

 

 

3. CVS

 

The student was the pharmacist and now, fully aware of my medical history!

 

 

2. Loehmann’s Dressing Room

 

Remember the open concept dressing rooms?

 

1.The Ob-Gyn

 

Yes – we were both pregnant.

 

Got an awkward encounter with a teacher or student? See if you can top mine. 

 

Absent

Faking The Note From The Doctor

It seemed legit – a note on letterhead from a dentist explaining a student’s absence as a result of a tooth extraction. Just one problem, the student’s face showed no signs of major dental work. A puffy cheek and a little drool would have done the trick, but that was not the case. Normally, I’d have let it go, but the student in question was chewing gum when they handed me the note.

I considered asking the student to open her mouth so I could get a peek at her stitches, but I didn’t want to single her out, especially given the assumed stress of her recent oral surgery. To be fair to the student, I’d have to ask the entire class to open their mouths and since I don’t teach chorus, my options were limited.

Instead, I returned to my office and called the dentist. Sure enough, the student hadn’t had dental work in over two years.  Bottom line – a forged doctor’s note is good, in fact, this particular doctor’s note was very believable. However, I strongly recommend physical evidence to seal the deal.

Therefore, I’m please to submit physical evidence (see photo below) of my recnt fall on a patch of ice. I’m hoping my students will find this evidence sufficient to substantiate my up-coming missed weeks of class!

 

When I’m done with the boot and the crutches, they’ll be available on Craigslist under “Medical Supplies to Supplement Student Excuses”

 

 

Like


 

So like, this is like, why you didn’t get the job.

 

Interviewer:               Can you tell me what you learned at your last internship?

 

Recent Grad:               It was like an amazing experience. I like, learned so much.

 

Interviewer:               What’s your passion?

 

Recent Grad:              Um, like, I’m super social and like, I really love clothes and music. I just really, like wanna be around that stuff.

 

Interviewer:               Thanks for coming in today. We’ll let you know when we make a decision.

 

Recent Grad:               Like when? Do you think this job will, like, happen for me?

 

Interviewer:               Not likely.

 

 

This is what will get you the job.

 

Interviewer:               Can you tell me what you learned at your last internship?

 

Recent Grad:               The most important skill I learned was how to communicate professionally.

 

Interviewer:               What’s your passion?

 

Recent Grad:               I’m an extravert, and this quality has helped me build a network of contacts. I’ve learned to convert my Facebook
passion to a building a professional LinkedIn network.

 

Interviewer:               Thanks for coming in today. We’ll let you know when we make a decision.

 

Recent Grad:               Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I look forward to seeing you again.

 

Interviewer:               I think that’s likely.

 

 

Hope this comparison helps. The first interview story was told to me by a hiring manager looking for a recent college grad to fill an entry level position at a social
media company. Guess that job is still open!

 

Tired?

Puffy Coats Linked To Sleeping In Class

 
 




Help me understand why students wear down filled jackets with the hoods up during class.  Why not just bring a blanket and a pillow?  We both know you’re about to fall asleep.  In fact, I’m watching you fall asleep, and as soon as you do, I’m going to tell the rest of the class what to expect on the first test.

RMP




 “Rate My Professors”
Sanitization of Education

 

If you haven’t been on my site before, you may have missed the fact that in addition to teaching college, I’m a mystery author. By nature,
I’m suspicious and I get a kick out of delving into people’s heads.

 

What better place to see what students are thinking, than on RateMyProfessors (RMP). If there was ever motivation for murder, the comments generated on this site are enough evidence to send someone to the slammer. If you’ve got comments like “you self-absorbed
ego-maniac”
, “this is the worst class ever!!” and “you’ve ruined my semester”,
I recommend you watch your back.

 

My favorite RMP hobby is to track professors and then watch how the negative comments mysteriously disappear.  At first I thought was going nuts until I realized that teachers are regularly appealing their negative comments and RMP is honoring their requests to have them removed. 

Talk about customer service – RMP is so fast I’ve seen slamming comments erased in the time it took to refresh my screen.

 

Then I wondered what possible excuses are being used by professors in the  “Report This Rating Box”. 

 

I’m dying, this is not how I want my grandchildren to remember me.

Please delete or I won’t get tenure.

I propose a trade. Remove this comment and then lower my hotness rating.

 

I vote for honesty and a ban on RMP deletions. Anyone else?