Friday, December 19, 2014

Finals and the "Reverse Star Wars Effect"

 After giving many finals, here is an observation with regards to the beginning and end of a typical semester. Each one has a predictable reverse Star Wars effect.

A semester begins with loads of smiling students who all clap with eagerness, just like the end of Star Wars.  "Golly," says every instructor, "look at all of these shiny young people, this will be a great semester."
Class meetings pass, and just before midterms, everyone seems to buckle down, paying close attention to lecture and demos. Notes are taken, attendance is good.
 Shortly after midterm grades, A limited number of students stay focused while others start to goof off or focus attention on games or other stuff, attendance drops off, assignments are missed and at least one guy gets sick...for three weeks.
The end of the semester arrives. Project due dates pass, assignments are missed. Notes? What notes? Computers crash, files explode and the bodies of once smiling and clapping students lay strewn under tables, at desks, and the final brings out the war zone of time management, just like The beginning of Star Wars.
Happens every defies logic, I tell ya! So, the reverse Star Wars Effect repeats and repeats and repeats and ....

Emails I get.

"If you were an evil villain...

"Hi Jef, 

I was wondering, If you were an evil villain, what would you be? I kind of lean towards demon from hell. And lets face it, a demon from hell can fly, breathe fire and still fit in your house. So you have the cool factors of dragon with the convince of sleeping on the couch or a normal bed... Anyway, I realize that not everyone wants to be compared to that  and I'm sorry if being called a demon from hell offends you. I can also see you as a bear that uses a burrito bazooka or a sith lord. But I figured I'd ask you. Also people still ask about that semester and  what happened. So I figured if I was going to talk about what its like to see you mad I'd ask you. 
(Name removed to protect dignity)
I like orc warlord as a villainous position. But again ... Sith Lords shoot lightning"

"Office Appt. 

Mr. Jeff, 

It has been quite some time since our paths have crossed. (I emailed your school email already last week, but I really hope I didn’t receive a reply because you didn’t check it and not because reasons.)

This is unacceptable.

Fill out the proceeding form with a black pen (not blue) in triplicate (by hand each, do not use that triple page thingy with the yellow and pink pages that fade all the information, I mean, who can read that):

Official Office Questionnaire

  1. What times and dates are you available for a meeting of utmost importance?


Please respond in a timely fashion,

Mdme. (Another name removed to protect dignity) IV, Esq., PhD."