My Feelings on Student Peer Editing

I think peer review in a general sense to be a good thing, I was aided a great deal today by discussing the assignment with a peer. I discovered that I was making the paper too difficult for myself and needed to focus on only a small portion of the original article instead of the whole thing. As is often the case with me, I was over thinking it. But something else came up that made me want to slap “Student X” across his ignorant face and excuse myself from this social experiment that is community college.

Paper editing and the constructive criticisms versus nonconstructive criticisms situation is what I think makes student peer review a big crock of crap.

I have to listen to “Student X” tell me I don’t understand the assignment, while I read the assignment back to him from the guidelines ten seconds later refuting what he just said and the professor chimes in to back me up and then in the same moment take his review as anything but asinine trash?

I think not.

I am simply expressing the lack of fairness here. I spent time on his paper, I really tried to help him make it better and really tried to use my knowledge of English and composition to help him build a better final draft. And what did he do for me? Handed me back an unmarked draft sheet and repeated himself four times on the review sheet with nothing whatsoever that could be called “constructive” in any fashion.

I am sorry I did it. I’m sorry I spent even ten seconds reading his paper. He can talk to the professor if he wants revision help, he doesn’t have anything to contribute to other students in the form of peer review editing.

This is why think peer review editing is a waste of everyone’s time, unless carefully organized so you do not have students of highly different skill levels working together whatsoever.

Because “Student X” is writing a paper based around an article saying that “American students are lazy” and personally I think the better issue to be focusing on today is that: “American students are STUPID!”

It is possible some of this may come from the instruction, in this case.

The instructor made a point about not “just giving positive feedback” and perhaps “Student X” and others only hear this as “give negative feedback.”

I don’t believe this to be a case. I think critical thinking is needed to do editing and not to discuss concepts freely, and critical thinking is a rare commodity these days.

I have always had a passion for learning and academics, but people like “Student X” are the reason why I likely will never get into becoming an educator.

I have no tolerance for idiots.

Moonhowlings: Al Alborn Part 3

U.S. Army veteran Alan P. Alborn expands upon his thoughts found on the Coffee Party USA YouTube channel:

Coffee Party USA

You might remember the two videos featuring me that Moon Howler posted on the anti-BVBL website earlier this week. I was approached by Annabel Park ant Eric Byler for the past couple of weeks asking to discuss my view of the world. There was no “set-up”, no “prompting”, no “feeling me out to see how I felt about the world”… frankly, they just wanted to learn what “an old white guy” thought about the state of our Government. I qualify. They conducted a straight and professional interview. It’s my opinion that they did a “fair and balanced” piece that accurately captured my thoughts about a variety of subjects. The first video is now all over the internet… so I’ve gotten my fifteen minutes of fame. I was humbled by the product.

To my surprise (because of the subject, not the Producers), they created a couple of pretty good videos and posted them on their youtube website Facebook. That was followed by a get together with a Washington Post reporter who just watched us in action and an article in the Washington Post. After the article in the Washington Post appeared, something interesting happened… people started establishing local chapters and signing up on Facebook to learn more. The last time I checked , the number of people signed up was approaching 18,000 with chapters in well over half of the states (and growing by the minute).

So, here’s my question. Do you think we should start a Coffee Party here in Prince William County? I’m an “old soldier” who thought I had fought my last battle; however, I’m beginning to think that perhaps I have one more battle in me. This battle would be to try to go against the forces of the status quo, the Neocons from the last century, the groups who would like to turn personal religious beliefs into public policy, the people who don’t recognize the value of a multicultural society and the fact that America isn’t lily white any more (and that’s ok), and any other group who hasn’t quite made it across Midnight, 1 January 2001 to step into the twenty-first Century.

Any group is the sum of its parts. The Coffee Party is growing quickly and absorbing a variety of views and opinions. The one thing we all agree on is that Government has to change… and we would like it to change for the better instead of rolling back to the last Century. I would appreciate your thoughts. I’m not hiding behind an alias; however, I respect your privacy and will engage in any respectful conversation.

If I get a lot of positive response, I would propose that those of us interested get together and throw our first Coffee Party to decide what’s next. Ask your friends and tell them about this site. I am not happy with the way America is going and don’t plan to sit this one out. I think I’ll find the energy for one more battle… this could be the big one.