WHAT’S FOR SUMMER?
The summer schedule is finally out. Due to budget constraints, the university is offering only two history courses this summer, both lower division. Here’s the schedule for these:
HIST 210 Session 1 MTWR 1:30-4:30pm, Constance Orliski, instructor
HIST 270* Session 2 MTWR 1:30-4:30pm, John Maynard, instructor
*This course cannot be applied to the history degree.
Are Summer Courses Easier?
Some students think that courses taken in summer will be easier than courses taken in the school year, as most summer courses run for a shorter period of time and tend to have a more laid back feel than their academic-year counterparts. Whereas this may be true, such conventional wisdom was taken to the extreme at Trade Tech College in Los Angeles, where some twenty student athletes from USC enrolled in Spanish 3 last summer. These students had heard about a 73-year-old Spanish teacher “with an engaging teaching style and a generous grading philosophy,” according to the Los Angeles Times (2/2/07, sec. D1). Besides being much less expensive ($141 at Trade Tech compared to about $5,500 at USC), the Spanish course enabled these students to get a passing grade to satisfy USC’s advanced foreign language requirement. The instructor says that the students all told her they’d have gotten Ds had they taken it at USC. Indeed, at least one of the students was ineligible for sports because of low grades. Of the Spanish teacher’s twenty-five students, five earned Bs; all the rest got As. USC ended up disallowing the class and not accepting the transfer credits, irritating both students and the instructor, who summed up her approach to grading this way: “I’ve never given an easy grade in my life. You come to my class and work, and I see you want to learn, I’ll give you an A. I see some lazy ass, coming late all the time, acting like he doesn’t care, I won’t give him an A. I’ll give him a B.” Her final thought? “The most important thing in learning is that everyone likes the teacher.”
We hope students like our teachers but also recognize that it takes more than regular attendance and effort to earn an A—yes, even in summer.