austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

She goes down the stairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief

Class has been wending its way closer to the end of term, by the way. We just got past the final withdrawals deadline, which has produced a flurry of students asking me what grades I have recorded for them so they can evaluate whether they want to carry on with this or just surrender to an inevitable doom. I don't mind answering those queries, even though the students really ought to be able to figure out the averages on their own. I figure that any discrepancies between the scores I have recorded and the scores the students have on their papers have to be tracked down, the sooner the better, and they might as well get their protests in early.

But I have had several students asking for withdrawals. bunny_hugger may be gratified to know that one of them was the student she was particularly offended by in my statistics class, the one who'd walked out of the class --- walking upstage of me, too --- five minutes before the end of class, and who'd spent most of the class sleeping. (Or, at least, with his head down on the desk.) He said he'd felt he was really getting something from the class, but he just did too poorly in the early weeks and descriptive statistics parts so at least next time around he'd be on top of things.

A couple have had non-class-related reasons. One claimed to have just gotten a nurse-training job (I didn't get the exact position clear) in North Jersey, with training starting right away. I can certainly understand skipping the last couple weeks of a class to take up a job in one's chosen field. Another was hired by the Seaside Heights police department and had to begin training; I imagine they want everyone up to speed by the time the summer rush begins, which the way this winter went might have been around the 12th of January.

These withdrawals were easier than the student who dropped last term, but the number who have excuses not related to ``I'm just going to fail anyway'' makes them easier. And the students saying they're looking forward to trying this again with me next term is heartening.

Trivia: In 1934, Printer's Ink listed a set of physical ills created in whole or part by advertising, including, ``acid indigestion, athlete's foot, body odor, calendar fear, coffee nerves, dry skin blight, folliculitis, intestinal fatigue, paralyzed pores, sandpaper bands, scalp crust, sneaker smell, and underarm offense.'' Source: Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, The Man Who Pursued Him, And The Age Of Flimflam, Pope Brock. (Calendar fear? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it had to do with making women ashamed of having a menstrual cycle, which gives me the engaging alternate-history inspiration of birth control pills being discovered at the start of the Golden Age Of Body-Shame-Based advertising and their being pitched as a way to save society from that messy menstruation bother.)

Currently Reading: The Boiler-Plate War, John Foley. It's an interesting mid-60s British book about the introduction of tanks in the Great War.

PS: Trapezoid Week comes nearer an end in How Two Trapezoids Make This Simpler: a more complicated drawing makes it easier to spot the interesting things going on. That happens, sometimes.


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