jueves, 8 de noviembre de 2012

Causes of failure (V). No Class Today. Mañana mentality

English is a very open language. I always surprise myself finding Spanish words in written and spoken English. Easily, English incorporates words from any language.

An American co-worker used to talk about the "mañana mentality". He meant to describe the way of life of doing nothing; using the excuse that things will be done tomorrow. I always thought that term was his personal invention. However, a few months ago It surprised me to find a New York Times headline where they used the word mañana. I googled mañana in two English online dictionaries. Webster did not include the word on its database. However, Oxford dictionary had it.

Also, I searched for the word through the New York Times. I found a critique about Jorge Castañeda's book: Mañana Forever? Alexandra Starr, the article author said: 'In “Mañana Forever?” Castañeda contends that the behavior of the cardenistas in Tepoztlán is reflected in broader Mexican culture. Mexicans don’t believe in the efficacy of collective action. They shy away from confrontation and are too accepting of a corrupt status quo.'  The article recall how Jorge Castañeda was urging the local cardenistas to put up a fight against 70 years old incumbent party, the almighty PRI. Feeling defeated by his fellow citizens' attitude, Jorge Castañeda decamped to Mexico City the very next day.

In this blog I have commented many of the reasons why our electrical engineering students failed to succeed.

I have not introduced very basic things like punctuality and responsibility. Two basic concept which are not taken in consideration in the search to improving student performance, professor's teaching or institution quality. 

Let us take, for instance, professors responsibility and accountability. At our department It is so easy for a professor not to give his lecture. He only has to hung up a misspelled add to a wall saying: No Class Today, and that's it. Chairman, fellow professors, and everybody else take the same attitude Jorge Castañeda saw on his trip inland Mexico. In Mexico Cardenadistas were afraid: "The local PRI guys would have made their lives hell." By the contrary, here there is no fear; we all are PRI.

MOOC is teaching us more than academic knowledge. It has lectured us on key issues like: Honor Code. We are witnessing the way a class is organized. We are learning how to distribute knowledge and the importance of scheduling things.

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