Thursday, July 30, 2009

It was an argument by analogy. Analogy!

I'm here again with tales of students. This one isn't so much frustrating as funny. Very funny. So funny that it makes me giggle just thinking of it. Because I am a bad person.

Anyway, the assignment for the final paper in this class is to react to Arthur Levine's and Jeanette S. Cureton's "Collegiate Life: An Obituary." In this essay, they argue that the four-year residential college is dying, due to a number of pressures caused by a shifting population of students and changing goals for college education. In the final section of their essay, they provide a number of possible courses for colleges to take to retain a sense of community. One possible essay I suggested was discussing those solutions and considering their efficacy.

Early in the essay, however, they also included this paragraph:

Think about what you want from your bank. We know what we want: an ATM on every corner. And when we get to the ATM, we want there to be no line. We also would like a parking spot right in front of the ATM, and to have our checks deposited the moment they arrive at the bank, or perhaps the day before! And we want no mistakes in processing-unless they are in our favor. We also know what we do not want from our banks. We do not want them to provide us with softball leagues, religious counseling, or health services. We can arrange all of these things for ourselves and don't wish to pay extra fees for the bank to offer them.

The essay then went on to suggest that students want a similar relationship with the university that we want with our bank. My student read that to mean that students want the same things. I got an essay discussing whether an ATM on every corner would be effective in building community and retaining students from matriculation to graduation (though she didn't use those words). Apparently, frequent ATMs would be a draw for this student, though she thinks that every corner might be excessive.

Am I wicked for laughing? It was just a rough draft . . .

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