Archive for May, 2003

In today’s episode we enter the chat room as Jed and I are discussing the previous blog entry.

Steve: “well, apparently, when it comes to counseling, I’m a fish very far out of water”

Jed: “That doesn’t surprise me.”

Steve: “nor me”

Jed: “how did you find out?”

Steve: “my counseling prof apparently finds me overly critical”

Jed: “well, you’re a rational straightforward sort, whereas councling is more of an empathetic thing”

Steve: “I’m just kinda pissed that my personality type is adversely affecting my GPA, especially in an assignment where you’d think it would be good to be rational and straightforward”

Steve: “this was evaluating books, not counseling practicums”

Jed: “then yeah, that is a bit odd”

Jed: “To quote MAF, ‘rope, shovel, lime’”

Be sure to tune in next time to… As the Chat Room Turns.

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Grade and comment on the back of my Introduction to Counseling papers, which were written in response to the assigned readings:

C- Steve, While I am glad you bring a critical intellect to bear on what you read I am deeply concerned that your capacity to criticize is far better developed than your capacity to appreciate & learn from positive aspects of what you have read. Your paper stands out amongst nearly all the others in this way. Is this how you approach life & people?

Wow. I never thought I’d be criticized for being too thoughtful, or rather being too negative in my thoughtfulness. I think you’d all agree that, in person, I’m a fairly upbeat, optimistic, and kind fellow, so it feels a little odd to be nearly accused of being overly critical of people. Maybe I just don’t know how to write a positive “reaction” paper. If someone writes something good, what am I supposed to say about it? I apparently don’t know. In the papers in question, I made sure that I referenced the positive aspects, noting that they were helpful, insightful, commendable, etc. trying to present a balanced evaluation. Am I supposed to summarize the good points? If so, then that wouldn’t really be a reaction paper as it would be a book summary akin to Cliff’s Notes. Even if that is what’s expected, it just rubs me the wrong way. Why have me restate what the author says when the author can probably say it ten times better than I?

Perhaps it could be argued that restating what the author says proves that I’ve read the book. In that case, the tone of the paper is irrelevant, since a negative interaction can prove that just as well as a positive one. Perhaps restating author’s main points is supposed to deepen my understanding by forcing me to process the information into my own words. In that case, I would again have to point out that the title of the assignment would then be a misnomer, since I would no longer be reacting, but summarizing. Perhaps I’m missing the point entirely.

It’s times like these when I look back longingly on my days in math and science when things were either right or wrong because you either knew the right procedure or fact, or you didn’t. There was none of this subjective grading based on a professor’s unconscious standards, which have to be guessed at, and leave the student throwing darts in the dark.

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Have no fear! I am still alive! It’s time for a list!

  • My mom came for a visit. It was her first time in St. Louis since she helped to move me out here.
  • Finally went up the Arch! After two failed attempts, I finally reached the summit.
  • Went to the zoo… the day before the new Penguin and Puffin exhibit opened. Oops. I guess it’s a good thing I’m going again this week.
  • Washed and waxed my car.
  • Fired up the grill for the first time this year.
  • Got some nice new tires put on my car—a birthday present from my Dad.
  • Read a lot of The Lord of the Rings. Only two chapters left until I’m all done!

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Hey everyone! Quick, grab a drink and have a toast with me. My four finals are all done! They were really hard this time around, but I have survived. Hopefully, they’ll turn out well.

Anyway, after all the stress of studying hard and trying to get the highest score that I can, it’s kind of interesting to read about someone trying really hard to fail completely and then failing to do so. What am I talking about? I’m referring to one Colin Fahey, a 33 year-old, Ivy League educated holder of a Master’s degree, who decided to attempt to attain new levels of distinction by earning the lowest possible score on the SAT. Enjoy! (Kudos to Jed for pointing this out to me.)

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It’s May, and my blog has been rather silent. That can mean only one thing. Finals! Indeed, it’s Wednesday of finals week and I am halfway done—two down, two to go. Yesterday was a surprisingly frustrating day. I was planning to take my Gospels final in the afternoon, however, just as I was about to reach campus, I remembered that I had left the take home portion of the final in my printer. I drove back home to pick up the paper, and then all the way back to campus only to realize that I had forgotten my lexicon too! At that point it was already 45 minutes into the 3 hour exam period, so I decided that it would be best if I just went home to study for OT History and came back for the Gospels final that night.

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