I dreamed a sophomore English class from Connellsville, Pennsylvania invaded the board, messed up my Buster Keaton thread, posted insults to the board members at large and each other and said such terrible things to me I was awake half the night unable to get them out of my head.
One of the worst things was one boy assured me they were in some sort of advanced or honors class (I think he used the term "Level C" or some science-fictiony sounding thing) and their behavior was much, much better than what might be expected of your average high school student. I lay awake thinking, "Nooooo! If this is the best we can expect from the next generation, we're all doomed!" Not only "Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far Away from the Stars," but we would all need little caves to hide in!
I thought they must have been let loose on the board unsupervised, but one kid said the teacher was there and one user identified herself as such and I let her know what the kids were up to.
But it must have all been a bad dream as lo and behold, when I come here today dreading what I might find, every one of their posts has disappeared! I didn't delete them (though it was sure as hell tempting) and Phil said nothing about having done so, so, since we're the only two moderators here, I guess it was all just a really bad dream on my part. Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion on our Ray Bradbury board.
Never mind, Dandelion. They'll have oodles of fun on the Buster board where they'll be welcomed with open arms...
I suppose this proves my students are more mature than initially thought. Many of them have posted lovely comments and I am proud of their efforts. Again, just a kind reminder that these students are new to message forums. As one of my students pointed out, they are off of social networks and engaging in intellectual conversations with people who are much more versed in Bradbury than they are at this point in their lives. This is a learning experience for them. I spoke to my students about the importance of posting appropriate comments on this forum. I wish you could have seen how well they accepted this constructive criticism. As I work with these college bound students each day, nothing within me tells me our future is doomed. My students are resilient, bright, and creative. Dandelion, thank you for the notoriety you have given my students. My hope is that before this assignment's end, you will have gained an appreciation for my students. They really are great kids!
LOL. I was going to say more but I see they still have a presence here and as such I don't feel entirely safe yet, especially being rather shaky from only three hours' sleep, max. Anyhow, I didn't dream them, and I didn't delete the threads while sleepwalking.
THANK YOU GOD, FOR SENDING PHIL!
It's been a pleasure (for me, if not for dandelion). I hope some of them will stick around after the assignment is done.
Thank you, Phil. My students told me today that it has been a pleasure to communicate with you. They really appreciate the way you have accepted them on this forum. You've been quite insightful.
To be fair, Phil, some of the kids were openly rude to Dandelion though I believe such posts have since been removed.
Nobody - least of all Dandelion - objects to their participation so long as they behave like young adults, which indeed they should be by mid-teens. It seems to me their problem is an inability to grasp F451 in a historical context, suggesting their education may not be as broad-based as one would expect. Only last night I was viewing a TV reality show, in which some Americans of less tender age had no idea where Japan was and absolutely no knowledge of the oceans surrounding the British Isles. Let's hope they don't try navigating the Big Pond - they could end up in Malaysia. Another couldn't pronounce Beethoven, let alone identify him. I believe the final response was "isn't he a dog?" This is not to say our education system isn't any better but perhaps it's an overall indictment of declining standards in our schools.
I am sorry if we have offended you. If you only knew how many times we had discussions in our class and actually how deep and intense they really get. I like having them quite a lot actually. Although i don't think you should take quite an offense, as teenagers it's sort of how we communicate and get our points across. I know it's a difficult concept to understand and doesn't exactly make sense but it's the best way i can put it. When we have discussions in class we always try to "top eachother" with something better, and would most likely find anyway to win. We are kind of like a really determined debate team, if you will. Although if there is anything that i have learned from dealing with younger children, with people in general and being a teenager myself, that when people do it they look for a reaction, and unfortunately that's what you've given them by posting this topic. You have started something juicy that they will love to respond to. It will only inspire them more. The only advice i can give you is to just not let it get to you, and stoop to our level. Although I'll admit it's fun to watch, it's one of the greatest debates we'd had in class.
Hope this helped you!
Do they take absolutely no responsibility for their own actions and the effects of their words on others? Do you, as a teacher, feel no need to apologize on their behalf or to require they make any atonement for the harm they inflict? If so, you are not molding and shaping responsible citizens. I signed up as a moderator here--not a dart board.
They were, but I made the teacher fully aware of the content and she seems to see absolutely nothing wrong with it, defends them, and basically backs up their accusations of what a big meanie I am for objecting!
Get this: out of the whole class, one of the kids who did nothing wrong apologizes without prompting. Lovely. Thank you!
Perhaps you didnt read my post under "Thoughts on Ray Bradbury" from January 25. I've posted it again for you, dandelion. Please give my students a chance.
My students are completing this project for an English assignment. Please bear with them as they are teenagers who are learning about Bradbury and his works. For some of my students, this is the first time they have participated in a message forum. They are learning what is appropriate and what is inappropriate in a professional message forum. We do not condone insults or rude comments in my class or in this message forum. The students have specific criteria on which they are graded. With that being said, it would be beneficial to my students if those who are more seasoned in Bradbury would lend their knowledge to these young people so they may enhance their current understaning of this author. I do apologize on behalf of my class for any inappropriate remarks made on this forum. While I am not making excuses for my students, I do ask your patience with them as this is a learning experience that encompasses more than Ray Bradbury. They are learning how to write, communicate, and formulate their thoughts in an articulate manner. We check this message forum each day in my class. My students have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this forum.
Thinker123, your efforts do make a difference!
If I may offer some common ground for all who may care. When an offense has taken place, the two sides have had a miscommunication occur between them. This is a literature site of well-informed Ray Bradbury readers. Many have been sharing anecdotes and inspirations for quite a few years. It is not always in agreement that posts are received once they are read. There are many challenges on a regular basis. However, a certain appreciative decorum, if you will, is understood and maintained.
A few years back there was an outburst that became vulgar, derogatory, and down right detestable. It was the only time that I refused to visit the site or offer my humble thoughts on Mr. Bradbury's influences on me as a reader and an educator. It was months before I checked back in; I was so displeased. (That is when our kind moderators stepped forward to volunteer their skills.)
Many of us have met with, written to, or sent a special gift to Mr. Bradbury. He is a person who has never let one of his "fans" down. In all of my personal exchanges (including countless times with HS students), he always returned a very generous response - beyond anything you would imagine from a famous, superstar writer! He never had to do so, but always did!
So, let's put it in perspective: Poe, Burroughs, Wells, Verne, London, Tolkien, Lewis, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Bradbury, Orwell, Huxley, Clarke, Asimov (to name just a few). We are talking about a man of historic literary and cultural relevance here. Sometimes when we are too close to the picture, we fail to see the image it holds. None of us wishes to diminish the learning that can be presented on board. If these last few days somehow make each of us a little better at reading, writing, or considering, than all benefit.
"I am very pleased by the involvement we have witnessed in many cases recently." However, you must realize that some of us on board are from the generation when a good discussion was held around our supper tables nightly, as a matter of routine (read RB's Dandelion Wine!). In my neighborhood and school days, a disagreement that carried on excessively was ultimately "settled," as we used to say, behind the shack at the local playground. Each participant came away a bit bumped and bruised, but it was over, and we soon carried on again like friends growing up together.
Yes, times have changed. I know. I've seen it firsthand in teaching and coaching situations for many years. Today, and here is where I hope some of you take a bit of this "to heart" and not read this as a blah-blah-blah out of touch waste of cyber-spew, the tendency to bully or apply cruelty is done without a second thought.
However, we only have had your comments by which to evaluate your characters. That's the unfortunate fact of the matter. Individuals arrive here from all parts of the world on a regular basis. If they have been turned away by recent comments, that too is unfortunate. Mr. Bradbury's life has been one of calling people together and celebrating each day fully. He is now 91 years young and continues to tell his tales...like the classic poet Homer!
I appreciate what philnic and dandelion do to keep things moving appropriately here. I also really enjoy the ideas of our young visitors. You will carry the messages "into the city" sooner than you realize. Be sure you know well of which you speak. Enjoy!
I don't know if you are aware of the content of the remarks that were deleted. Phil felt perhaps they should have been left temporarily as an "example" of what is unacceptable but these things, it is emphatically to be hoped, would NEVER be said in class and I could not allow them to remain on the board. They were blatant, hurtful, negative personal attacks which had nothing to do with anyone's own opinion on literature, and that is another hurtful and unfounded personal attack, to claim I would mock or censor anyone's real opinion. (Not saying you said this. The guilty know who they are, or should.)
Thanks for trying to help and no, that's actually not why I started the topic. I don't know what happened but when I got up, all these posts were gone. I thought Phil had finally snapped and deleted everything, (very unlike him, but whoa!) hence my remark above. (Oh, don't cry, Phil, I still thank God for you!) Then when I came back all the posts were back; Phil says he didn't touch them and I know I didn't and can't explain what happened to make them go and reappear. In a way I was somewhat relieved as at least some people still want to engage in civil conversation and not all the good posts were lost along with the questionable ones.
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