Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Danger of the Pass/Fail Class

This morning started off well enough. My first class of the day was Writing 340, where we had the first paper of the semester due. Ew. That part wasn't so fun. But the good part was what we did the rest of the class.

We looked at a couple of epically long sentences from a variety of different books. One sentence was about seven lines long. The other one--where "massive" doesn't even begin to cover its length--was about five pages long. It was insane! So for the rest of the class, we practiced writing in a similar style of insanely long sentences, using commas, dashes, colons and semicolons as necessary in order to create a sentence that, although could easily be broken up into smaller pieces, was an extraordinarily long yet grammatically correct, much as this one is--yes, I could have stopped this sentence any number of times using a simple period, but I chose not to, proving a point and showing exactly what we did in class, though I'll admit that the exercise in class was more fun, because the group I wrote my sentence with wrote a massive story about a diner's experience in Denny's (the prompt sentence said "I love Denny's Grand Slam") and how their sad experience in this restaurant eventually ruined the breakfast of champions: The Grand Slam, coupled with a delicious sparkling Cherry Limeade (which I've never tried before, but one of the girls I was sitting was says it's delicious, and I'm inclined to believe her), all because of the frustrating stares of the fellow diners being so cold-hearted as the diner sat sobbing over her food, because her sweet dog Fluffy had died and she was sad-so sad, in fact, that her tears made her bacon extra-salty and essentially ruined her beloved breakfast.

PHEW! That was one sentence, by the way. Anyway, as you can probably guess, the sentence was extremely long and silly, but when we read it in class we got a lot of laughs!! It was exciting, and I left that class feeling pretty happy.

Then I went to Chinese... which is not so happy. I have no idea what's going on half the time in that class, because the teacher isn't always super clear. And I feel like I'm getting singled out at moments because I don't always do all the homework and I don't always put in a ton of effort. Not that I'm not trying at all--I always turn something in and I always try to follow along in class, but sometimes I don't put that much effort into the work--can you blame me? I'm taking it pass/fail, all I need is at least a C- and I'm golden! And it's not that I'm putting in D or even C-level work. So far I've been getting B's or higher on everything, even the half-finished homework. But it's frustrating to feel like they expect me to do more when I just don't have the drive, at this point. I'd rather spend my time on things that matter more, and which will actually affect my GPA. Sure, if I spent enough time studying I could get an A. But I don't really want to, so I won't. So I sat in that class feeling a frustrating combination of "ugh I don't care" and "What's going on?" I'm just ready to be done with Chinese and never have to take another language again. I'm just really terrible at learning languages!

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