Monday, September 04, 2006

Pains and Joys of a Term's End

Term break has begun officially last Thursday. It spans 11 days and currently I am on my 5th day of vacation. Well not really a vacation because I have so much to do. In fact, I have much to do, I decided to post my to do list. This way, if I am unable to do my tasks, I will have to face the embarassment of not being able to do all those that I promised to do on my blog. All these I have to do in, the remaining 6 days that I have. Oh my...

So much for a break. I'm counting my blessings though. I can't imagine how I'll manage all those if I had to teach as well.

Last term went well for me. I'm really blessed and I thank the Lord for that. Last term did not go so well for some of my students though. It was by choice if you ask me.

I had students who failed because they cheated in their project. How was I sure? They used servlets. These students were not taught how to use servlets. I taught them beans and jsp because servlets might be too complex for them given that their OOP foundation is very weak. To all those who graduated years ago, I am talking about a different specialization.

I knew they did not do it so I asked where in the program they call the doGet method. I knew they will not be able to answer that because they will not be ablt to find the explicit call in the program anywyhere. Eventually, (after draining me of my energy) they admitted that they cheated. You'd think it would end there. No. They were asking for a compromise. Wow... Talk about bargaining. I made it clear that they are in no position to ask for a compromise... Hello!!!

I asked them to write a letter admitting what they did. I did not tell the Discipline Office but I gave them a 0.0. A zero in the project is an automatic 0.0 since the project is 40% of their grade.

The did write me a letter which I got days later. They apologized but in their letter they stated, "... we believe we can prove that we have learned something in our subject. If indeed we did not meet the objectives of the course, we will gladly accept our punishment.." Aggh... How do you make these people realize that the objectives have nothing to do with their getting a 0.0. They cheated. In the handbook it clearly states that that merits a 0.0. Arg...

These students I remember to throw tantrums when they cannot run their Resin or their jsp files... I checked some programming assignments and found out that they also cheated in their homeworks and they have the gall to tell me they deserve to pass.

I did not want to look at their code anymore, until I got curious about an error that showed in the Resin window. I asked the students. I knew what was causing the error and I wanted them to realize where the error was coming from. Unfortunately, the student began to tell me things that were irrelevant, making it apparent that they did not do the project.

They later on admitted that they did not do the project. How stressful it was to fail these students. To think I have spent so much time trying to help them learn the concepts. One of these people came to me regularly, asking me things that were as basic as passing parameters and creating constructors. I have not been as disappointed with my students as I was this first term of this school year. Sometimes, I just want to say... what a waste.

On a lighter note, a student of mine in Personal Effectiveness (similar to ORIENT before) texted me, telling me that she failed. It touched me, that she asked me...

Miss, I need your advice. Kasi I'm not sure if comsci should be my course. I'm really sad cause I failed compro and algtrig. At first I only thought that I would fail compro but I didn't expect to fail Algtrig. I used to believe in myself because my family and friends had high hopes and now I let them down. I act happy, I fooled them into thinking that it's okay. I'll do better next time but right now I don't think I can. The only think I can do well is to cheer people, make them feel better.


I am glad that she saw me as someone she can talk to. In the end, she realized that it's not yet too late and failing these subjects does not mean she is going to be a failure all her life. I told her of a friend I had who failed COMPRO and when she took it again, got a 4.0. I told her that this girl is now enjoying programming more than ever and is receiving a very high salary. I asked her to reevaluate her performance during 1st term. It may be, that there were things she should not have done but did or things she should have but did not.

I know where she is coming from and how in college, failing a course seems like the end of the world but it's not. I know so many who failed a subject or two or even more who have good jobs and are having fun. In the end, it's not the grades that will matter in college but what you learn that will. Of course, I do not tell my students this, this is strictly need to know basis because they might not take their studies seriously anymore.

4 comments:

mjgrace22 said...

touched naman ako dun sa kwento mo about your student who texted you... i wish i also had a prof like you nung frosh pa ako...

share ko lang... i chose comsci because it was the "hot" course when i was in high school... plus, i didn't get into up or ateneo... i liked my course better in ust (chem eng, i was really good in chemistry nung HS) but the culture there turned me off...

so i went to la salle and took up comsci... 1st term ko, i didn't really have a hard time with my courses except compro so sabi ko sa sarili ko, if i get a decent grade sa compro eh hindi ako magshi-shift... i never liked compro pero nag-exert ako ng effort not to fail so i got a decent grade... ayun... tinuloy ko na...

2 years later, 3rd yr college, i realized that it's not for me.. the problem is, i don't know what i wanna do plus, late na para mag-shift ako... ilang terms na lang, graduate naman na ako sabi ko sa sarili ko... so kahit ayoko, tuloy pa din...

so eto ako ngayon... i have an okay job, i don't really like it. I still don't know what I want to do pero for the mean time, patitiyagaan ko muna to.

Looking back, lagi ko naiisip na dapat nag-shift na lang ako sa course may kinalaman sa strengths ko (marketing, management, whatever)... i shouldn't have sticked with comsci... ayan tuloy, hindi ako happy sa career ko...

yun lang hehe... sana hindi matulad yung student mo na yan sakin :)

dRaMaQuEeN said...

I always tell my students who plan to shift to first know what they want. If they are unsure, they will not be happy anywhere.

When you were my student, I have always admired you for your ability to multi-task. You were all over the place doing so many things for SC!

It's not yet too late. If you want to take up marketing, you can still earn marketing units or be like Cha, she's an IT grad but she's in marketing. I think your undergrad experience can land you a job in marketing.

You don't have to quit your job right away. You can experiment. Try out for marketing jobs. Check out jobstreet... Maybe you'll land yourself a job you like. The Lord will plant you where He wants you to bloom.

God bless!

Vienna said...

hindi ko naisip mag shift nung college ako. pero the past few years, pakiramdam ko nasa maling field ako. ang siste, kung hindi ako sa IT industry, hindi ko rin naman alam kung saan talaga ako dapat. haaay.

dun nga pala sa comment mo sa post ko, thanks! i myself couldn't believe what i was going through. akala ko dati na feel ko na yung ma stress. may mas grabe pa pala. :) i hope i never have to go through that again.

Snakes! on! a! Plane!! he he. I watched it again yesterday with my brother. :D

dRaMaQuEeN said...

again? you saw that movie again? arggh... Iba ka talaga Vienna!

Alam nio yung mga shine share nio na ganyan sa akin useful para sa students ko kasi kinikwento ko sa kanila yan. :D Don't worry i change the names. Itatago na lang kita sa pangalang Vienna :D