Thursday, October 16, 2008

not cool

Today was unexpectedly not cool. I went to Media class to find a few students sitting in deep discussion, something about Mrs. Turner not coming in yesterday and today. As more students arrive and still no sign of Mrs. Turner or any English Dept. rep, half of the class leaves to the English dept. office on the sixth floor. 15 minutes later they return with this tall, hard-faced blond woman. She lets us know in a heavy Eastern European accent that Mrs. Turner was in the hospital, undergoing surgery for an organ transplant -- she does not know which organ -- and that it was likely she would not return for the rest of semester.

Without letting this thought sink in to any of us, who sat there dumbfounded, shocked, slack-jawed, she leaps into her history in "academia" and her background as a general know-it-all from Lithuania. She discloses that she is a English Comp professor. She then makes a class who has known each other for 9 weeks re-introduce themselves instead of bothering to look at our syllabus or textbook. In some odd way to get to know us, she launched into a political rant; calling Mccain a zombie, a disgrace, stating that she hopes we all voted Democrat, called Sarah Palin a few names...and even though I agree with her on many of those things, I found it very inappropriate. She didnt even know us, or our views. Her attack on McCain sent one girl, who we know to be born of wealth and a life-long Gold Coaster with parents with a long history of military service, running out of the room with tears in her eyes. She came to class expecting us to catch up on Chapter 4: The Internet, but instead had her beliefs picked apart by an English teacher we only just met today.

The teacher's next assult on us was her disregard for our lesson plan. She scowled at the essay list Mrs. Turner wrote for us, and told us that our act of discussing media together as a class was no longer called for. According to the new teacher, "feelings come second to research and I am not concerned with how you feel about media." This is a mistake. I learned more about media in this class than I ever expected and that was from the experiences of my other classmates and Mrs. Turner..talking about which newspapers we read and why, which shows we watch and why, what magazines mean to us and why and all along tieing it in with our reading.

The new teacher wants us to change what was planned as reflective essays to hardcore research papers. We all already took English 102. We took this class to learn about Mass Communications and Media, not about how to write a bibliography. We need a Media teacher, not someone who tells us she will make up her own projects that have nothing to do with the work we have done so far. This is not what we signed up for.

I miss Mrs. Turner.

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