Getting Your Foot in the Door

The official motto of Metropolitan State University of Denver is “We Educate Colorado.” That’s a good motto, but I don’t remember it, or any motto, for that matter, from the mid 70’s when I taught a couple of courses there. Back then it was known as Metropolitan State College: it changed its name just a couple of years ago when it started offering Masters degrees in a few subject areas.

One of the courses I taught was “Introduction to Psychology,” using a straightforward lecture/discussion format with grades based on several quizzes spaced throughout the semester, plus a final exam. It was pretty much an ordinary course that you would expect to find in most colleges.

After the first quiz, I passed back the graded papers and began discussing the results, providing information on the kinds of answers that I considered correct. After I discussed the third or forth item, one of the students raised his hand and asked, fully seriously, why I was going over the quiz in such detail.

I explained that, “Some students might find it helpful on future quizzes. Furthermore,” I went on, “for students who got wrong answers on the quiz, I felt that giving them the correct answers would be an important part of their education.”

“Hrumph!” He snorted. “I’m not here to get an education. I came here to get a degree!”

I was speechless. He may not have understood the college’s mission, but he sure knew what he needed to get a job.


About Jesse

My name is Jesse Blatt. My first name is actually “Ramon,” but I haven’t used that name, except for official purposes, since 1970. I have a high school diploma and a PhD…nothing in between. I’ll get around to explaining that in a post sometime. From time to time I will be posting true stories from my past, though not in any special order. I’ve been fortunate to have had a dozen or so different careers, most of them very satisfying, some fairly frustrating, and none that I wish had never happened. In my many former lives, I have been a mail clerk, radio and TV engineer, radio announcer, electronics engineer, college instructor, psychologist, research consultant, Federal employee, supervisor of research professionals, computer programmer, web designer, instructional designer, construction site handyman, and carpenter, not necessarily in that order.
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