Wednesday, January 09, 2008

is something wrong here?

Ever have a day when you think:
What in the world are people thinking??? Are they thinking? Or do they expect me to do all the thinking and the working and the problem-solving for them??
To be fair - for the most part, that's my job. Answering questions, helping students plan their futures (whether it's long-term, or helping them plan the next few days) - and for the most part, I love it.
This week is a busy week. The first week of classes ALWAYS is hectic, and for some reason, the first week in January is almost crazier than the first week in August. Or at least, a different kind of crazy. But knowing & expecting a crazy, hectic week doesn't always make it that much easier to deal with when the time comes.
I just got off the phone with a student. Our conversation went like this:
"Good morning, this is Katie. Can I help you?"
"Um. Yeah. Um. I just, uh, changed my major to Business PreLaw. I uh, need to know what classes to take."
(sidenote - classes began on Monday. It is now almost noon on Wednesday.)
"Okay - are you familiar with the business requirements? Have you looked at the requirements online or taken any of the courses already?"
"Uh. No."
"No you haven't taken any classes for business, or no you're not familiar with the requirements?"
"No, I don't know what's required. Uh, where would I even look online to find that?"
"Well, you can type "Business" into the search engine on the homepage, and it will pop right up..."
We went on like that for a few minutes - and lest you think I'm a cranky, unhelpful adviser - I pulled up his record (he'd gotten 0.0 in EVERY class last semester, by the way) and recommended a few courses for him to try to enroll in. Also recommended that he bookmark a few of those oh-so-helpful websites for future reference.
(And while I was in the middle of typing those last sentences, he called back. He'd forgotten everything I'd told him, and wanted to be told again. Ack.)
Now, I don't have a problem with students asking for direction & clarification. It's not their job to know everything about the University. What I do have a problem with is this alarming trend of people who are unable to do anything for themselves. They will not keep track (in any way) of their requirements for their degrees, they will not try to hunt down any information on their own or do any research... they want the easy way out of everything.
Here are some things I've heard in the past 2 days:
"It's my senior year. I mean, I just don't want to work that hard."
"Well, I live in Owen, and I'd rather not have to walk that far to class" (the class was maybe 15 minutes away)
"Studying abroad in the fall is easier than telling my roommate I don't want to live with her again."
"I just want to get the he!! out of here. Which class is the easiest?"
"All you have to do is get the right professor and take the right class, and you'll get the right grade. It's just a game."
I think there are TONS of awesome things about young people - I enjoy them VERY much and wouldn't be doing this job if I didn't think that teenagers and college students are some of the coolest people. Many of the high school and college students I know are incredibly mature, selfless, funny, articulate, and motivated. And I love them dearly.
But there are some scary trends that make me shake in my shoes. Just a bit.
(Thanks for letting me rant a little!)

2 thoughts:

Chris said...

To answer your question at the start of your post: almost every day :)

Mary C said...

Man! You must have the patience of a saint!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Love your blog- I'll be back!