For one of my history courses, our dear and kind professors thinks that it’s important and useful for us as students to have to read between 150 and 200 textbook pages a week for our GSI-led discussion session. After 10 weeks, and approximately 1500-2000 pages assigned, I can safely say that I have read less than 100 in total. That being said, I participate actively in discussion, and am on track to receiving an A for the discussion component of our final grade, amounting to 15%. While I certainly am not promoting students not doing their assigned work, seeing as many courses reveal that not reading will in fact definitely result in poor grades, it seems as though it is far too easy to get away without learning anything in the course. If I’m able of emulating the course concepts and sentiments of a given time period without reading a single word of the assigned text, what’s the point of assigning us reading at all, let alone such a daunting amount for one week’s time.
Certainly, I recognize the importance in some courses of understanding both primary and secondary analysis of a time period, I don’t really see the merit in spending multiple hours a week examining a text in which a sentence or two summary would suffice for comprehension and analysis. Perhaps some professors feel the need to assert the mental rigor of the course by mandating lots of work, or perhaps some professors just like their students suffering. With only a few weeks left, I have no intention of changing my reading habits for this class. Why bother?