I had a new student today. As I normally do, I was lenient since this was his first visit to my program. Many of the students have used the museum offices to do work before and they aren’t aware there is a new sheriff in town. I’m a mean teacher, as my little sister can attest, but fair. I ease them in with a fair warning:
- Rule #1: Nothing gets printed without proper citations.
- Unofficial Rule #1A: If I’ve seen you more than twice, you write your own homework – none of this copying/pasting off Wikipedia stuff. I’ve seen the assignment – it says “write one paragraph” not “copy one paragraph”.
- Rule #2: Sign up for computers in advance or wait your turn. We only have 3 available computers. If you come crying the day before an assignment is due, you maybe out of luck. Plan ahead.
- Rule #3: Whatever Miss Jessica says goes. This is not verbalized unless someone crosses the line. I try not to use my “most serious voice” except on necessary occasions.
- Unofficial Rule #4: No Loitering. If you aren’t doing work, you are volunteering for the museum.
The kids that have been using the program for months were chiming in as I rattled off the familiar speeches. “Oh good,” I thought, “I’m getting through.”
The poor new kid, however, looked horrified at the thought that he might have to extend the effort to rub two brain cells together.
“But the teacher doesn’t care, just gives the same grade.”
I used my secret weapon:
“Well, do you want to be the same as everybody else, or better than everybody else?”
“Better!” chimed my peanut gallery.
“The same.” chimed the new kid.
Shoot. That backfired, didn’t it? Maybe I should form a different approach for the children who look at me with big scared eyes. Or maybe it’s better that they go to the library where (as I understand it) they charge 10 cents per page but don’t bother you about what work you are doing. My program is geared toward one-on-one education so I’m willing to help anyone who will put in the effort to think about assignments ahead of time. If my new friend comes back after hearing my stipulations he’ll be greeted as the prodigal son. I’m pretty sure I lost him forever after the bit about “no copying”.
As with the H&M Modern Classic ladies line, which works to portray a chic, yet stylish, image, I went with the clean look in the shop: all books together, all mugs together, all Where is Simon, Sandy? items together, etc. While cleaning out the storage shelves I came across and area that looked surprisingly like the Visual’s Room.
I guess that doesn’t matter much. The real problem, of course, is that the core issue is a learned skill. People expect to get something for nothing – like when they expect to study in UK universities while handing in sub-par work to the TCI Community College. How long will it take these folks to realize that they can’t rely on government for food/shelter/water/education if no one is working for it. Where will the tax money come from to pay for all those benefits if the citizens don’t put in a little elbow grease? Canada is setting up the hospital because no one here is qualified.
The cruise center, then? A big corporation like Carnival must have oodles of money. Why not just sell the entire TCI to Carnival and have done. Carnival: the first business to officially own and operate a country better than the current residents.
It’s possible that’s in their long term plans – maybe I should buy shares.