Friday, January 30, 2009

I see you have learned to work the Google on the internet machine.

Welcome to some new readers, thanks for joining in, it's fun to have you. (Secretly I feel so popular after all the comments on my last post).

Today I bring you two stories.

Story one:
My pseudo-niece has an entourage of stuffed animals. (I'd post one of her mom's cute pictures, but really we all know how that goes for me). Last night, I started my class in our regular classroom and then we walked over to the computer lab to finish up. We had to go to the computer lab in the other building, and none of them knew where it was. So I told them which classroom, but then they just stood around until I started walking.

I was walking down the hallway with a massive clump of 12 people following me. I turned around and told them they were my entourage. They thought it was funnier to act like my kindergartners. But I almost felt cool to have an entourage like Lily.

Story two:
This morning I began reading my students' journal entries. This is my English 102 class, so these students are at least in their second semester of college. We are working on critical reading and critical thinking skills, so their journals are written responses to the assigned readings. After reading several entries, I turned around to my office mate and said, "I don't think I can assign journals anymore. I can't stand to read these!" He's good at being properly sympathetic. (Unlike me, I just laughed when he told me 5 of his students said 3+3=9).

The responses to the journals were frustrating, because the students seem to intentionally misread what the author is saying and take it to the extreme. So they react with hatred to some idea the author has proposed, when in reality that is not what the author said.

That was my main reaction, but here I will give you my favorite line. Because not only is their thinking underdeveloped, but their writing is too.

This student is reacting to an article that we read entitled "Children's Culture and Disney's Animated Films," in which the author describes what Disney movies teach children. His focus is parents and educators who, he claims, need to be more aware of the underlying messages that they surround their children with. The student wrote, "The purpose of this article is to aware people that disney is not all what it is ment to be."

All errors are hers. But what I really enjoyed was "to aware." When did aware become a verb? Is it a change of language that follows the path of "Googling" and "texting" and "Facebooking"? If it is, do we need that change of language when there is a perfectly good verb for that -- i.e. to warn?


  1. I normally don't like to comment on English Professors blogs due to my poor spelling and grammar skills, but I couldn't resist!
    I too read articles about the evil of Disney in my college english class and I have ever since been anti (especially that blasted princess movement). Love the reference to Lilly's entourage, hilarious. In response to an earlier post: to embed a you-tube video click on the HTML tab at the top of your post (while you're writing in the main box). you can write your post in the "compose" tab or the "HTML" tab. the "HTML" tab is for embedding stuff and other codes that I don't know anything about. copy the embed code from the you-tube page and then paste into the HTML screen. hope that makes sense. please don't judge my grammar from this post.
    (This the longest blog comment ever, kudos to you and me)

  2. Are you sure they are intentionally misreading? Or are they just reading it to find an emotional response so that they can write something with feeling rather than just summarizing "Disney can have subversive themes that parents and educators ignore. While there are some redeeming qualities, the author contends .... " blah blah blah. Also, sometimes you start to read something with a frame of mind that sets you up to hate what the author says.

  3. Disney Hater's should just get over themselves and accept that Disney really has created the happiest place on earth. I dare you to go to Disney World and not be happy!!!

    (How's that for a random, emotional response? :))