While I indulged in food and drink this weekend in Lawrence, student grievances were divulged. I spoke about how I should somehow convey to students on the first day of class that the investment that students give in the course is directly related to how much I give a shit about them.
This prompted me to finally create a scatterplot of the real, true, and 100% accurate data I’ve collected over several semesters on all of my students. I measured the investment that students gave in each of my courses (that is, their attendance, attention to detail, genuine concern about learning and not the grade, etc.) along with the approximate number of shits I gave about them. Here is the result:
Not only will this give students a great idea of the personality of their instructor, it will also give them a quick introduction to bivariate data and what “correlation” or “direct relationship” means. They can visually see that if they don’t invest much in the course, that I will most likely not give much of shit about them. They can also see that the more they invest in the course, the more I will give a shit about them.
It’s pretty simple, really.
What exactly is the definition of “10 shits given”? That means I may be a little more lenient with you when I grade your exam and you were a little vague. It means I would write a glowing recommendation about you. It means your name comes to mind when other colleagues of mine ask me if I know any good students to recommend for awards or scholarships worth vast amounts of money.
So, what does it mean if you give 0 shits? If I give 0 shits about you, that means I’m usually talking smack about you to my colleagues. I start stories about you with “I have this worthless, incompetent, and completely clueless student this semester that… ” yada, yada, yada.
This isn’t just my opinion. I’m speaking for about every instructor I know. So, if you’re a student, take heed. Invest in your course.