Autocorrect messes with an art professor's online lesson plans
|I thought that holding this semester's art history course online would make teaching easier. However, every time I announce an assignment to my students, autocorrect always fucks it up!
When I assigned a textbook reading on paleolithic art, my laptop changed it to "polydactyl art." All my students messaged me about how the section in the textbook mentioned nothing about polydactyls. I had to explain to all of them that I meant "paleolithic." One student neglected to read my announcement and turned in a sculpture of Willendorf with six toes for credit. Of course, I gave her a 0.
During our Ancient Mesopotamia and Persia unit, I asked my students to research Enheduanna, a Mesopotamian priestess and poet. I thought there would be no way autocorrect could fuck that up until all my students turned in weird stories about echidnas writing poetry! None of what my students wrote was relevant except for one student who researched Mesopotamian poetry. Surprisingly, this was the same student who turned in that six-toed Willendorf sculpture.
Then came the Ancient Egypt unit. I was as excited about this unit as my students were. What I wasn't excited about, though, was the many ways autocorrect could fuck up my assignments for this unit. I don't understand how it managed to do it, but autocorrect turned "gods" into "Squoz." I don't even know what a Squoz is! All my students except one said, "Fuck it!" and neglected to turn in anything except for the student mentioned earlier. It turns out that the barn she takes horseback riding lessons at has a cat named Squoz. Go figure.
Seeing that she was the only one who even tried anymore, I stopped giving her 0s and gave her credit for just turning in something. When "art market" got autocorrected to "art Mukuro," she turned in a drawing of her friend's cat sculpting the famous Aphrodite in her image. Somehow, "Greek vase painting" became "Squeak vase painting," and she recreated a vase painting she researched with all the characters as this white cat, whom she elaborated was named Squeak. "Nero" understandably became "Nemo," and she managed to write a fictional account of the rule of an orange tabby with that namesake as emperor of Rome. I was impressed by this student's creativity and adaptability, especially since I had given up on correcting myself at that point.
Because she was the only student getting credit for her assignments in class, she was the only one who passed. All my other students were understandably pissed, but I considered it too late to explain myself. I deserved their displeasure. I let my frustration get the better of me and refused to communicate for the rest of the semester. I've failed all these other students, meaning I've proven myself inept as a teacher. Perhaps I'll stick to offline classes from now on.