you know what?

I had an interesting experience in my evening composition classes. I teach two sections of what most people know as Freshman Composition I. It’s a challenging class during the day. Add to the mix the likelihood that the majority of my students are older adults returning to school after years of raising kids and working full time, and the difficulty grows exponentially. I have to compete with the kids who are constantly textmessaging and the older folks freaking out because I expect them to submit their papers to an on-line plagiarism detection site and they can’t handle the technology. And to think I used to believe the challenge was getting them to back up their work.

Last night’s lesson revolved around the creation of effective thesis statements. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been doing this for almost 25 years. I can create an academic thesis statement on any mundane insipid topic you throw at me. I can write about healthcare, war, and ice cream.

I discovered last night that I can do this in 140 characters or less.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Are you kidding me? Has Twitter affected the way I write? I’m a little depressed. And a lot amused. Sadly, only a couple of people got it when I did my little dance of incredulity. Oh well.

As a result, I present to you this neat little video that might get you thinking about your own social media use.

5 thoughts on “you know what?

  1. In my Secular Franciscan Fraternity, the Region encourages us to take care of as much business as possible by using email. We are expected to spend a minimum of 1.5 hrs of our meeting time strictly for formation and not talking about who will do snacks next month. We have members who have email but do not use it. Simplicity is not suppose to = lack of technology but some refuse. It makes communication difficult. Phone trees are ineffective as well.

    I did my degree completion program with Shorter College (soon to be University). I finished in January 2006 and marched in May 2006 w/a Summa Cum Laude in Management. I remember well wrestling with a couple teachers over appropriate thesis statements.

  2. A very timely post today Maria. I just listened to my favorite talk radio host tell about teenagers inability to communicate in person. He mentioned that they send 200 text messages per day, ask each other out/break up via texting, and haven’t learned how to actually talk face to face. Social interaction is changing around the world.

    Last night we took our 10 yr old to her (Fall 2010) 6th grade school orientation. They passed out summer reading lists and summer math packets. The entire “math packet” was a single page directing us to web sites, requiring her to complete the exercises online and print off results. WE DON’T HAVE A COMPUTER OR PRINTER AT HOME! (Have used work-provided laptops when needed.) Guess we have to get one now…can’t put it off for much longer.

    1. Part of the discussion last night was the reluctance of so many to get on-line. It poses a real accessibility problem — the new haves v. have nots is no longer the actual access to technology, but the ability to integrate it seamlessly into our lives. Increasingly, with ebook, on-line course, media drop-boxes, and who knows what else, my less tech-able students are actually incapable of submitting their work.

  3. Amazing times we live in. This is off topic, but the video reminded me how much I worry about the quality of the social interactions we have now. It’s been a long time since I sat down and had a really deep and meaningful conversation with someone, face to face. Or a meaningful conversation that wasn’t influenced or transmitted by some electronic means.

    Must be time to go camping and sit around the old campfire.

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