It has taken me much longer to grade my student papers than would be required if I were efficient and able to concentrate. Instead, I had to stop several times and calm my nerves by reading a newspaper and then calm my nerves even further by reading a bit of literature (in this case, Dostoyevsky).
The level of the homework assignments submitted by my students was insulting.
Insulting to me as their professor who has spent hours planning the lectures and hours commenting on their drafts and additional hours contemplating on how best to engage the students and have them appreciate the power and beauty of words. I am sure I can improve as an instructor; I have no doubts in that regard.
But the quality of these assignments was also insulting to the students themselves. It leads me to seriously wonder if my students even care to learn, even care to improve their writing skills, and if their level of concern is so low, then what do they want to do with their college degree?
Or are their times so tight, their lives so full, the pressure in their lives so high, that they lack the mental energy to learn in their classrooms? What is taking up their time and causing them such anguish and angst?
When did it happen that universities became a breeding ground for future employees and no longer a place of learning? Degrees are gotten, paid for, for the sole purpose of obtaining a job, and that job is obtained for the sole purpose of societal prestige and a sufficient income. What an extraordinarily sad state.
And have I become merely a cog in that vapid machine?