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Monday, June 4, 2012


     The semester has ended, and it's time to take stock. I look at things that worked, and things that didn't. Always, always among that list is the revision of the syllabus. Some policies work, some don't. Among the most tedious of the revisions is instituting new policies to close out loopholes students worm their way into. It's tedious, and I feel more and more like a lawyer trying to micromanage every little thing to make sure there is zero misunderstanding and zero possibility of circumventing my will. Of course, in the process of both of these, the compromise is length.
      All of these policy explanations result in a syllabus that looks and reads like a contract to buy a car. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until it's like buying a house. Of course, this automatically negates the possibility of creating a document that is impossible to misunderstand. Also, students look at document that must be drilled instead of stapled, so never bother looking at it.
      I've tried to keep my policies short and to the point, but it is a challenge. I wish for a time when students would embrace college instead of seeking ways to manipulate the system. Policies should be more enlightened. But then, I like to think the world could be a better place if I try to make it that way. So I keep my policies short, and try to minimize damage, while accepting that manipulation is inevitable.


Anonymous said...

Good luck.

I'll share what professor's allowed when I attended university. Times New Roman 12pt and 1" margin.

Oh, and today, I suggest this site to everyone:


If I was a professor, I'd suggest my students run their first draft through that web app.

A3Writer said...

My professors allowed the same.

I will definitely use editminion, for the name if nothing else (I always wanted a minion). Thanks for passing that along!