I had a recent encounter with a student who informed me of her very busy schedule. She wrote, “I work full time, I go to school full time (taking 4 classes), I go to my internship twice a week (8 hours per day), I attend meetings for my Academic’s Club at CSUDH (California State University Dominguez Hills), and I plan activities for my club.” She continued to write about leading a fundraising event on campus which adds to an already busy schedule. This, coupled with the fact that the student has a family, is a very full schedule and life.
The student’s objective in writing me was to state that the course assignments interfered with her very busy schedule and “becoming a major stress” for her. I was being unreasonable for assigning (too much??) course work. Really? This is my problem? Also, what is interesting about this email is it will travel further than just my inbox. I’m sure when this student completes the teacher evaluation, she will criticize the amount of work for this course and how unreasonable the professor was to her academic and personal schedules.
In teaching and speaking with the millennial student, most want it all! Working part-time or full-time with flexible schedules, spending time with their children, scheduling vacations when-ever and wherever, affording all the popular electronic devices, and collecting a reasonable paycheck is expected. It is expected now…not later.
I applaud the person who wants it all. However, in filling our schedules with a list of things to do, we must do the very best on the tasks we accept to do. To complete tasks just to “check them off” our “to do” list is doing harm to us and those involved on similar tasks. Take the time to learn how to write well and communicate with others. Learn how to focus on tasks; “just do it” doesn’t apply. Giving more than what is expected from a professor is “A” work; giving the professor what is expected is “average” or “C” work. Has this grading measurement changed?
So, is having it all…fact or fiction? I’m not sure. But, let’s not confuse quality and quantity or sacrifice quality for quantity.