I think educators need to set their expectations to reality.
This is akin to expecting a passionate answer for why you want to work a minimum wage job. I’d argue it’s worse. At least, you’re paid for the time you invest in that job. College is the other way around. You pay them to invest your time. Not to mention grades are what determine whether or not you pass the class, not passion.
Perhaps if “general ed” weren’t a requirement, educators would see more students with a passion for learning because said students won’t have to get the course over with to get to the courses they have interest in.
I hate essays. I hate being told what to write about and what formats to use. I hate having to pad out papers for the sake of fulfilling the requirements. The fluff has proven to be more irritating than much else. The fact that almost no one would participate in discussion if it weren’t a requirement should say something.
What I hate most is needing to pretend I have something nice to say when I don’t. No, this essay about songbirds doesn’t make me want to learn about songbirds. It’s too long, nearly put me to sleep, and I’m relieved it’s over. No, I don’t want to tell you where I’m taking my classes from. These classes are online and my location is not your concern. I don’t care you like roller coasters and you don’t care I eat too many sweets.
The essay I completed is not due for two weeks, but I did it on the first day because I wanted to get to the point. And the point was “complete this assignment”. I didn’t turn it in, but I completed it. Now, I wait. In the meantime, I’m still trying to come up with a sugary, fluffy introduction for the discussion boards. As this post may suggest, I am only good with the sugar that goes in my mouth. Faking sweetness? Not so much.
There are classes I’m interested in required for my degree, but “English” and “First Year Experience” aren’t on that list. I would prefer Spanish and a class about finances. Unfortunately, not options at the moment, so I’m doing what I need to do to get to them.
On the upside, it seems these classes are providing sufficient material for my blog. I can’t remember the last time I did back-to-back posts.