There’s obviously a writing connection to this post, but I’m actually thinking more of teaching. See, writers know their audiences pretty well. There’s mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, horror, western, etc. Sure, there are subgenres, mixed genres, and even tight niches, but we have a pretty good idea of who would want to read our books. We write for them.
But with students . . . we don’t know. I was talking with some teacher friends, and we’re at a loss to understand this particular audience. We used to. But over the past few years, it’s changed. We’ve all experienced the students who stop showing up. We could deal with that. It’s easy, we either withdraw them or we fail them. No problem. But we’ve got a new type showing up, now. They attend all classes, but never hand in assignments.
We’re all stumped. More than that, everyone in the class is coming from a different history, different personal and educational backgrounds. They have different educational goals from getting into an Ivy League university to having no goal at all (there’s far too few of the former, and far too many of the latter).
I can’t even walk it back and define them as a group that chose to get an education as many are doing it only for financial aid money or to please their parents.
I don’t really have a point to all this. I don’t have a realization to help me go forward. I just needed to put this out there. I’ve still got over a month to prepare for the coming semester, and I’ll need every bit of that time, as I’m planning some procrastination.