Finally finished my semester (grading still to do, but classes & exit exams are done...) and am immersed, with Katie B, in a now-nearly-desperate attempt to finish the exercises for Chapter 3 of Ed's European history textbook.
Subject: the thesis statement.
We've been trying to create a thesis-statement algorithm. And not just an algorithm, but a foolproof algorithm. I'm the guinea pig.
I thought we had it nailed -- finally! -- and......
So: starting over.
It's a good thing I went to school in the days before commencement speakers telling students they're not special and classroom teachers creating opportunities for students to fail against an exemplar of excellence (an actual comment I saw an actual teacher actually make on a Facebook thread concerning the you're-not-special commencement speaker, who is also a teacher.)
I would be in big trouble if my high school teachers had spent a lot of time creating opportunities for me to fail against exemplars of excellence.
That would be way too much failure for one person to surmount.
Take this afternoon. (Please.)
Ed and Katie and I were dealing with the failure of our algorithm (actually, the failure of my algorithm, which I'd come up with while dealing with the failure of the previous algorithm the 3 of us had hammered out just a couple of days ago).
Today's algorithm involved telling the student to start by picking a sentence in the textbook and turning it into a who-, which-, why-, or how- question.
Sounds simple, right?
So, the sentence we tested (on me) was:
It is difficult to determine which country was most responsible for WWI.
Which I instantly turned into the following question, while exclaiming 'This is easy!:
Which country was most responsible for WWI?
The question I was supposed to turn it into:
Why is it difficult to determine which country was most responsible for WWI?
So then Ed and I got into a whole long argument about whether a college student would or would not make the same boneheaded mistake I had just made, since any fool (we're foolproofing, remember?) could plainly see that "which country was most responsible for WWI" was not the whole sentence.
The whole sentence was "Why is it difficult to determine which country was most responsible for WWI?"
So there I was, the progenitor of an algorithm I myself could not use, having to argue, at length, that 18-year olds who are taking their first college-level history course are as dumb as I am.
Which I successfully did.
Change of topic: I've become a Facebook person, heaven help me. Mostly because Debbie S. said I should: that's where the moms are, she said.
Facebook is pretty fun -- and it's different from a blog, somehow. Different in a good way.
I'm thinking of putting up a ktm Facebook page, but I want to keep it relatively separate from my Irvington life & have to figure out exactly how that works.
I think ktm readers would actually have to join the FB page (which is fine with me but possibly annoying for you --- ?)
Back to work.