From a student’s perspective especially one engrossed in the material I hate it! To think taking a class on one of the comics industry’s most revered writer(Alan Moore), and then study one of his most culturally rich works, I would absolutely hate the idea that some students were taking it based primarily or somewhat based on reason number 3!
Anyway I’m looking forward to a great class the rest of the semester.
On a side note whenever I get a chance to I tell people I’m taking a class on Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to people at my local comic store or conventions are jaw dropped and blown away to how awesome that classes are taking interest this material.]]>
@Dance: That’s probably true–sounds like I need to get organized about that now, though. Thanks for the tip!]]>
Anyway to develop some of those types of things?]]>
Actually, this class is strange for an English class–it’s almost exclusively male. And the class’s visible racial/ethnic mix doesn’t change.)
My problem isn’t some misplaced frustration that the students are “skipping”–I know that they’re doing something meaningful, and generally assume that they are trying to keep up. I’m fine with that, the same way I’m fine with students who miss class for touring musical or theater or other activities.
It’s just REALLY HARD to muster the energy needed for a productive discussion–which in an English class is almost always the main point–when we walk in and see so many folks gone. The same way it is on the day before/after spring break, when so many people are missing. Also, the individual class session feels trivialized by the absence of so many people at once. (1 or 2 missing people out of 30? No problem. 7 missing? Plus the 1 or 2 who might usually miss on any given day? That’s harder to shrug off.) That they’re gone for a legit reason doesn’t change that. I think the mechanism is probably similar to the one described in this article on how tardiness is contagious.]]>
I don’t know that I have an answer for you, though. I don’t know where you teach or the general student demographic you have (Division I-A, revenue-producing sports can provide its own demographic). Is it that when 25% of the class is gone that the demographic shifts? (Fewer men? Few men of color? ….)
At my institution– and in my case– the majority of students are White. The student-athletes are Black (vast majority). Many of the courses I teach are a majority student-athlete student population. It’s interesting the shift that comes from the majority/minority roles that students assume. In my classes, that majority/minority role is frequently reversed (Black as majority). When a large percentage of students are missing on any given day, it might shift that majority back to the White side . . . that shifting can be problematic.
But my question: why is demoralizing for you (and your other students) to have that many students miss a class at the same time? It’s not as if they are skipping class to play a pickup b-ball game or something. They are “working.”
I’m interested in knowing more about your situation if you are willing to share.]]>