Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Past is Murder

Well. Not really.
But History teachers who think all electronic devices should be banned because all technology is the Devil Incarnate are.
I mean, I get that some kids sit on Facebook or Twitter or search the net instead of paying attention to teachers. I can even understand why a Historian would find the Computer Age disenchanting (they are, after all, in love with the past....where computers didn’t exist).
But what about those of us who work more efficiently with a computer? Whose educational experience is actually hindered without the assistance of a keyboard?
My history class is a three hour long lecture twice a week (YAY summer courses and their condensed nature!). We cover a lot of information during that time. The bare minimum of notes we (should) take in that time is eight pages. That’s a lot of writing. (You may be thinking to yourself: Melissa, I thought you loved writing? And I do. But when a teacher is babbling away and you’re trying to get as much down as start missing things. Your notes are incomplete. And your hand aches like crazy)
I’m a fast typer. I can catch the majority of a lecture and translate into my own words, while still leaving time to actually listen to the instructor. All of this is lost when I have to write it out. I get the bare bones of the lecture, without much detail. I’m too slow at handwriting. Also, my writing is illegible – I honestly can’t read my chicken scratch the next day.
This stresses me out. A lot.
Since high school I hardly write at all. (I mean I do, but not for extended periods.) Most of my work is done on my laptop, so my writing skills have only deteriorated. And, I’ll be honest, they were horrendous before.
Grandma and Grandpa would tell me that honing my writing abilities is a good thing. And, to some extent, I agree. I do not agree however that this should be done at the expense of my learning.
I really wish my teacher could be more understanding on this matter.
I mean, Mom had the brilliant idea to use a tape recorder. This way I could simply listen to the lecture the first time round and the second time, take notes at home. This way I would also have a better understanding of the material before going into the note-taking stage.
You would think this would be a reasonable alternative.
The problem? My teachers are incapable of compromise. They banned ALL electronics in their entirety. I even asked my teacher today, explaining the difficulties I was experiencing, all to no avail. (Apparently they don’t agree with the Enlightenment movement. For those of you not familiar with the Enlightenment, it was an intellectual movement focused on reason (essentially. I would explain more but I don’t want to bore you too much.))
So despite the fact I find the subject matter incredibly interesting, the manner in which the class operates is going to make me pull a muscle in my hand. And how awkward would that be to explain? A writer pulling a muscle by writing (seems ironic, doesn’t it?). My family would tease me mercilessly. Probably more than they teased Mom for tripping on the sidewalk (over nothing) and breaking her arm.
My hand might even fall off. It certainly feels that way right now.

(The picture is from here. Electronics shouldn't be banned in classrooms. Neither should Gremlins. They are too cute to be banned! I mean, both problems could be solved if people just followed the appropriate rules of conduct. Why do stupid people spoil everything?)
Word Of The Day: Lurdan - An idle or incompetent person


  1. I think that picture is of a furby. Why is it on there? I don't know. That sucks though that you can't use your laptop. You should kill them muhahahah. Just kidding that would probably be a bad idea. I'm excited to hangout with you tonight. What should we do? Hmmm

  2. I LOVE Gremlins!!! Don't get them wet!!!! Your history teacher SUCKS!


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