Two of my three classes don't have actual physical syllabi

I’m having a cow!

… they have what? Metaphysical syllabi?

One of them has a stupid calendar/message board on the web which gets changed regularly. This means I can’t write anything down. The other one doesn’t even have that, it’s just the teacher telling us what to read before the next class.

Screw saving paper! If I can’t tape it to the wall, how am I supposed to know what to do when? Schedules are the balm for my neurotic little mind!!

I haven’t handed out a paper syllabus in years. Students lose them , claim “Oh, I wasn’t here the day you handed them out so I didn’t follow it,” etc.

I do put the syllabus up on my website, and you can print it if you want it. Is that not possible in your situation?

I have an extremely bad bad memory, so if I don’t write things down repeatedly I won’t remember to do them–this includes remembering to look at my planner to see if there’s anything I should be doing. So if I somehow lost a syllabus I’d get another one so fast your head’d spin. Fluid and uncertain futures drive me batshit crazy because I’m always afraid I’ve forgotten something.

Get thee down to a school supplies store and get thyself an agenda. It’s what I’m doing for the upcoming year.

Speaking of class issues, I can’t seem to figure out what books I’ll need. I was never given a list when I registered or paid tuition…I’m confused. The morons at the bookstore weren’t any help…

Yes I am a new student, so I’m afraid I may be overlooking something obvious because I don’t know what I’m doing. Blah.

Pensandfeathers, you’ll probably get a list of books you’ll need on the first day of class. Your instructor will most likely run down the list and tell you exactly what you need or don’t need, whether you can buy it used or off campus for a better price, etc etc etc. Relax. You usually don’t need your books for the first day of class. First days are for going over the syllabus, introducing yourself, and other things like that. Just slow down and take things as they come. You’ll be fine.

Speaking of syllabi, my first semester of college, we didn’t get the syllabus until more than halfway through the semester. And then we ignored it completely. An English class, go figure.

Thank you, I feel a lot better now. :slight_smile:

I have one, I just don’t have anything to write in it!


No problem. I remember the feeling well, lo, these many moons ago. Soon you too will just wonder how many digits your book bill will go to. Hooray for textbook rental!

Teachers who do not give detailed (and that means assignments for each class listed, even in a general sense) deserve to be thrown into the depths of hell.

Um. Detailed syllabi.


In defense of composition instructors (or just me): often the class needs to be adjusted part way through (an assignment is easier/harder than expected, and therefore needs less/more time). If a full breakdown of all readings/assignments is given on the first day but then the schedule gets changed along the way, students could get confused.

(As atonement, for all of my literature courses I give a complete breakdown of what readings are getting covered on what days and when every single assignment is due–and I stick to it religiously. So if I screw you over in my freshman comp class, at least you’ll be set in my lit class).

Damn, I grimace to think I’m have become a old fogey enough to play the “well, in real life” card. But,…

any job that is well organized enough to have a rigid schedule 4 months in advance is going to burn your ass out on anal crap in 2 years. Jobs that are interesting make you go with the flow and wing it on uncertain criteria all the time. Get used to working in a clusterfuck and pulling shit out of the air, because unless you are independantly wealthy, uncertanty is the spice of working life.

Could? Could? HA!

Thy syllabus is, from the teacher’s standpoint, a work of evil. Either you spend hours making one only to have to change it later and students never comprehend the changes, only mooing “but that wasn’t on the syllabus…” or you follow it faithfully and students don’t read it and claim they don’t know what was required, even after verbal reminders.

But, in my experience running a vocational college in Illinois, a written syllabus for each class had to be turned in to the state each year. Is this not the case for non-vocational colleges and universities?

A few of us keep everything online. Paperless is so much better.

I had a couple of classes with online syllabi. I preferred that; however, when I did feel the need to have a print copy of the syllabus, I just printed the webpage.

For one English class, the instructor assigned the reading to be completed for the next class at the end of the class session. This was due to two reasons: (1) a good deal of the reading was dependent on how far the class had come by that class session, and (2) she wanted us to read the assignments with a particular purpose in mind, that purpose which she also explained at the time of the assignment. There was, however, a syllabus for this class–a number of sessions had “Reading as assigned” listed.

Yeah, there are obviously classes in which that doesn’t work as well. In those cases: all major tests and assignments should be indicated on the syllabus (online or on paper, who cares), and general topics, as projected, should be noted with the caveat that one would see how it goes.

I once had a class where nothing was indicated on the syllabus except tentative dates for the midterm and paper being due. Not even the topics which would be covered, which he pulled out of his ass three weeks into the class - too late to drop it.