note: This entry was submitted by FA, my "get it right," former student.
I have just completed my freshmen year at Penn State and have already witnessed a role reversal between students and the professors. Students running the classroom? Sounds like a pretty new phenomenon. But is it? No. High school was the same way, students complaining about work loads and their poor grades.
Things would certainly be different at a “university” such as Penn State, right? Not even close. My English course is the perfect example of these classroom realities left behind. The professor was up for promotion at the end of the year, and informed us that her grading would be a little tighter to meet the university quota, something she usually does not do. She told us this at the beginning to give us the opportunity to switch classes; no one did. After the first essay grades were returned, the problems started. The professor told the class that she has been receiving emails from students who were upset with their grades. Students even threatened to skip classes until the grading criteria were dumbed down. Why the hell should she care? But she did! She told us the next class that she was going to give up her promotion in order to please her students. Disgusting. The school has 44,000 students, none of which she will ever see again.
Why does she care? Why does she allow her classroom to be run by itty, bitty freshmen students? I don’t get it. I really couldn’t believe it. This professor should be worried about advancing herself in society, not her students who have not experienced anything yet.
This was not the only instance of “Students Gone Wild” (perhaps a new best selling film series) at Penn State, but certainly the most dramatic. I saw it in high school and thought I had escaped from it when I graduated. Instead, I graduated into a new form.