Monday, November 16, 2009

The Scourge of Online Homework

Hey, Kids! You know what time it is? That's right! It's time for...

YOU KNOW WHAT TICKS ME OFF?! Online Homework Assignments.

Have you ever had to put up with these things? If you're one of the lucky ones who said "no," then allow me to expound upon this scourge that is slowly infesting every school in the developed world.

I just spent my evening working on some homework for my College Algebra class. This is a fairly typical occurrence that happens about once or twice a week for me, and every time I do it I walk away from the monitor feeling completely drained and defeated. The agony doesn't stem from the difficulty of the work though, dear reader; oh, how I wish it did! No, what weighs heavily on old Zimmy's noggin is the sheer incredulity I feel that such a process could even exist!

Remember being in elementary school and how you would always get assignments to do in your book or on a sheet of notebook paper? Sure, you thought it was annoying then, but once the Electronic Age took full swing, those days were a thing of the past. Gone is the simple idea of writing on a sheet of paper and turning it in the next day. Instead we have this... this ABOMINATION UNTO ACADEMIA proliferated through such soulless sites such as this for the express purpose of making our lives as students all the more miserable. What's the problem with online assignments you ask? WELL WHERE SHOULD I FUNKING START?!

To begin with, it's not free. In order to get the access code to allow me to start up an account at my class's homework site, I had to plunk down $75 for a kit that had the information. You read that. That wasn't a typo. Seventy-five mother-funking dollars for a six-character password. I've bought designer shoes cheaper than that. When I realized that not only would I have to pay to do my homework, but pay that much, my blood literally boiled. Steam flowed through my veins.

Next is the accessibility. We live in an age where a reliable internet connection is pretty much essential to daily life. What classes like these don't realize is that even now not everyone has direct access to a reliable internet access point. Myself included. The connection at my house crapped out months ago and the one in my dorm is so shoddy it may as well not exist. I do all my net-based work in the school library, which means my access is limited. These assignments are completely dependent on having a connection, and if you don't have access to one by the time the deadline hits, you're just boned! You didn't have to worry about that from a textbook! You get an assignment, you do it, you turn it in. But with this piece-of-scat planning every single assignment carries a calculated risk of incompletion.

Finally, and this is what really gets to me, is that it's just excessive. There was never anything wrong with just doing work out of a textbook. But that's just the age we live in. People communicate with each other across the planet every day thanks to wireless technology. People download games and movies and stupid app after stupid app for their cell phones when all they should need is just a phone. We live in an age of electronic decadence where the simple way of things is tossed aside in favor of something needlessly complicated all in the name of "progress." Hell, given enough time people will probably start trying to figure out how to piss electronically.

And that's what ticks me off.

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