The Good Students

I publish so many stories about the weird things students say and write because I want to entertain my readers. This, however, might create an impression that all of our students suck. That is, of course, not the case. The egregious cases happen but they are not the majority. This is why I want to publish a post about the great students we have.

Today, I attended the presentations by our graduating students. I am exhausted and can hardly move I’m so tired. But listening to those presentations was profoundly inspiring. A student who barely spoke Spanish at all when he came to our department delivered a brilliant analysis of the philosophy of Miguel de Unamuno,┬áNietzsche, and Kierkegaard in fluent Spanish. I still remember him struggling with the present tense conjugations and now he can read, analyze and explain such complex texts. And you know who got him interested in Spanish philosophy? Khm, khm.

Another student did really stunning research on the drug wars in Mexico. He rattled out the presentation at a break-neck speed because there was so much fascinating material he had to deliver.

We also heard very insightful analysis of Spanish movies that try to recover the historic memory of the Spanish Civil war.

These students come to us mostly unaware that other cultures exist. They speak no foreign languages and their vision of the world is extremely limited. We teach them to speak languages, get them to travel, and introduce them to the artistic production of other countries. And it’s so beautiful to see how country bumpkins who are not sure if femicide is good or bad and think that Argentina is a province of Spain are transformed into citizens of the world.

Is Femicide a Good Thing?

In class, I’m talking about femicide.

Me: In the area of Ciudad Juarez, hundreds and probably thousands of women have been found murdered. Many of the bodies have been dismembered. There is evidence that many of the victims were tortured and raped before being killed. These horrible crimes rise to the level of genocide against women.

Student: So it isn’t a good thing?

Me: What isn’t?

Student: This is for my notes. Do I put this in the column with negative things or positive things?

Nothing Bugs Me More. . .

. . . at the end of the semester than getting emails from students that say, “Please tell me what my current grade is so that I know what grade I need to get on the final exam.”

This is a slacker’s manifesto of scary proportions.

Don’t people realize that they are really antagonizing me with this? After getting 7 such emails in a row, I redid the final exam to make it much harder than I originally planned.

Bye-bye, WeightWatchers!

So first the tablet apps killed Netflix. Then, they killed television. And now they have also slaughtered WeightWatchers. I just found an absolutely free Android app that does what WeightWatchers used to do but much better.

The app is free of the annoying ads that overburden the WeightWatchers website. It is much easier to use and has options that WeightWatchers never heard about. And the app doesn’t try top sell you anything.

The WeightWatchers made a huge mistake a while ago when they made a supremely stupid decision to shift their system towards the Atkins diet. Every piece of fruit and every glass of fresh juice got penalized. The tablet app doesn’t do anything of the kind.

Bye-bye, Weight Watchers!