Week One Reflections

Week one of the first semester 2012 is almost over and I’d like to reflect on a few events that have stood out for me. Some years I think I am in Groundhog day mode this week as some things just seem to come around, again and again and again!

I talk with staff who have not prepared for their first week of teaching as well as they should/could have. I don’t know if they are bogged down with research or perhaps had one week too many summer break/holiday, but there always appears to some academic staff who have left it too late. They unit is not fully populated with content/links/discussions, and students can see that, which is sad if it is their first year at a University (this happend at my last University as well!). It looks¬†amateurish and unprofessional.

I heard over table conversation this week, the tale of three first year students. All three commented on their lecturers swearing in class. None were too shocked or upset, but the fact that all three were surprised that it happend at all is telling I think (and we are not just talking about small swear words, but the F word, and others). I appreciate that for some areas of study, using a broader lexicography may be appropriate, however all three student subject areas were not the languages, but mainstream subjects.

I find the inappropriate use of swear words at University unprofessional. There are times and places. If I hit my thumb with a hammer when building something, a good F word eases the pain a little. But to be said for effect with first year students?

I like these two quotes on swearing from Hugh Prather:

“When I swear, I am being something rather than saying something”.

“Profanity fixes the other person’s attention on my words rather than my thoughts”

Have a great weekend all. Another fine sunny weekend is forecast for Perth! Be lucky!

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