Why? Why? Why?

I have begun to wonder what about students has made them question seemingly small assignments in class. Assigning a Music Video to be made, or writing a paper in an ‘Easy Class’ suddenly meets the introduction of the lesson with a few students crying (yes with a tinge of pain) ‘Why?!’.  This is becoming one of my pet-peeves with teaching I’ve noticed, the question just drives me a tad insane(r). I did give it thought though, maybe it is because I was unclear and this, like many other issues in my classes are my fault.

I reflected upon this and began to look at how this was set-up. We are looking at modern interactions with music, finished the creativity and artistic movement of Romantic Music and the Period itself, and we are writing papers on a music person/group of their choice. We still have time to cross through the end of the year (23) ish days and I think making a music video is fun.

Yet a majority of the class, correction Freshman population are digging their heels into fighting against this project. It isn’t going to destroy their grades.In fact I am designing it to help their grades out. These students are also the ones who are wanting to not write their research paper. What is causing this? Other than a noticed campus wide laziness within the freshman, there seems to be one thing that sticks out to me at this time.

That, is the fact that they are not being held accountable. Not in every class, not at home, not in life. Too often a freshman has an excuse made or prepared as to why something has not gone their way. Who cares!? This not the little Jimmy or Jill show, you need to figure this all out on your own and get on with it. I’m sorry you don’t want to do work, but college loves term papers, being able to create something in a week can help you out in the future at a job that needs a new idea.

I think we should all stop asking why and start asking how.

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