breaking: fainting goat disease detected in student researchers

Apparently this is now is an epidemic on college and university campuses affecting students’ ability to take notes and start their research.  A terrible affliction.  Some intrepid researchers, non-student researchers mind you who must be resistant to this virulent strain, have found some striking…findings.  Consider the following preliminary symptoms (among several) and decide whether or not they may be related:

  • Students used words such as “angst”, “dread”, “anxious”, “stressed”, “disgusted”, “confused” and “overwhelmed” as the one word that describes their reaction to receiving a research assignment.
  • The majority of the students we intereviewed did not start on an assignment – thinking about it, researching or writing – until two or three days before it was due.

Mutually exclusive?  My thoughts exactly. More to the point, I gleaned this fascinating grain of psycholuminescence further down:

On the downside many participants considered formal library instruction of little value to them – not because it wasn’t helpful or informative but it was hard to recall what was learned when it was needed for an assignment.

Hmmmm, signs of neurological stress and memory loss, particularly during sessions of library instruction.  We need some test subjects and further research.  Hopefully our note-taking abilities we won’t be afflicted.

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4 responses to “breaking: fainting goat disease detected in student researchers

  1. Wow!

    Thanks for opening our eyes to a totally new explanation for some of our findings. We were blind to these possibilities.

    Therefore, we are now hoping to apply to the US Dept of Agriculture for funding to explore the possible connections you raise. This could be even more serious than even we anticipated.

    Thanks again!

    Mike E

  2. Emily Toastwater

    Honestly, I think this was an awfully rude entry, even for someone with the excuse of being a gonzolibrarian.

    There’s no need to rude. My question back to you — if you know all this, then what are you doing that’s productive to help change the situation?

  3. Emily Toastwater

    You didn’t put up my comment, but that doesn’t change the fact: you acted badly with this rude post.

    I’m an academic, not a librarian, but it seems to me you have a great deal to learn about how to conduct yourself professionally and respond to research done by your peers. Affectations and a failure to be considered and respectful will earn you a reputation in the long run.

    Please don’t behave like a Fox news commentator when you encounter an alternative opinion.

    • Hello, Ms. Toastwater,
      First of all, thank you for commenting on my blog. I am not available at all hours to approve comments, but rest assured, yours have been approved and are now visible.

      Next, the point of the post was to demonstrate, somewhat sarcastically, that student researchers often conveniently forget how to take notes during library instructional sessions, as opposed to during “normal” class hours. Their emotional responses to receiving an assignment are also directly proportional to the time (or lack thereof) they invest when starting their research. Thus, the myotonic goat is a metaphor for the easily excitable though lazy student who won’t begin research until the very last minute. Thus their responses, like the fainting goat, are predictable.

      As for changing the situation, is it the now the librarian’s responsibility to force students to take notes during the sessions, or make sure they start their research in a responsible time-frame? Yes, we can always find new ways to reach students regarding research habits, but there are lessons and skills they must learn themselves.

      Sorry if I offended, yet I was merely pointing out a similarity, gonzo as it may be.

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