Month: November 2017

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer…Can I have an Extension, Please?

Heidi Bludau December, 22, 2015 Ah, yes, the end of the semester…the time when we rush to catch up on grading, students repeatedly ask what they can do to make up their poor performance the previous 13 weeks of the semester and grandmothers start dropping like flies. This time of semester, I can’t help but be reminded of the classic M*A*S*H* skit where Klinger “receives a letter from home” informing him that his mother is dying and he needs an emergency leave. We next learn of all the previous like letters he has received over time, ending with “an oldie but a goodie – half the family pregnant, the other half dying.” While we joke about the depths to which students will stoop, hopefully just short of murder, to get out of final exams or to wrangle last minute extensions, we still have to consider the broader context. Life does happen to our students. Life happens to us. I was intimately reminded of this about two weeks before the end of the 2013 fall semester. On a Friday night, I was in a car accident. While I walked away with only a few bruises, aches and a mild concussion, it still threw me for a loop. Not feeling capable of teaching on Monday, I cancelled my classes and suggested to my students that they use the time to prepare...

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Placing Stickers on Student Papers for Positive Reinforcement

John M. Coggeshall Clemson University March 2, 2015 As a senior male professor with grey hair and a beard, I have no trouble presenting an image of gravitas in the classroom; I also have a relatively low percentage of A’s in my classes. Thus, I need to find ways to appear “friendlier” to my undergrads without compromising academic rigor or modifying my own personality. I have discovered a simple but effective way to inject a little brevity into grading. My wife and I donate to several charities (e.g., Nature Conservancy), and we get an overwhelming amount of “free” mailing...

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Processing Anthropology from an Undergraduate Student’s Perspective

Caitlin Homrich May, 18, 2014 Anthropology courses and curricula are experienced by students uniquely, as each student brings a unique perspective to the classroom, fieldwork, readings, and assignments. Among the various factors that contribute to this perspective, such as reasons for taking the course or previous education within and outside of the department, is the student’s identity—race, ethnicity, class background, language, gender, etc. My own time in anthropology courses has shown that students can hear and understand the same anthropological concepts from the same lecture or activity in very different, sometimes even contradicting, ways. Usually, this is due to...

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