12 Step Program

I got an email from a student who would like to take my AP US History course this fall but is a bit nervous about my course, though she contends that she would really like to try the Carson experience. So, I got to thinking about that “whole” Carson experience and re-pulled this post. After reading years of old letters, notes, e-mails, and teaching evaluations from various HCHS and CAC students, I noticed a pattern. Below are the 12 most commented things from students through my first 8years of teaching. I decided to omit the wonderful things such as student autonomy, great class topics,teaching,annual cookouts, etc.

Top 12

Dear student, according to students you get to…

12. listen to the same bad jokes all year — all four of them.
11. hear about his Atlantic Market research and work on race and independent schools.
10. hear Carson say “moreover, furthermore, case in point, and thus” throughout a class discussion.
9. ask Carson how Karl Marx fits into every equation, discussion, and assignment.
8. learn about Carson’s children: Sam and Denver (his cats).
7. follow all of his arrows from alphabet A to alphabet B.
6. take an exam or a quiz in which he scored a 100% on; Carson of course wrote the thing.
5. use terms such as nation state, actor or actors, polity, and idiot frequently.
4. make up words such as commonsensical and historiography (which is a word).
3. study the French Revolution six months before (and after)it is scheduled to be taught.
2. hear him say, “according to Carson” or “give your soul to Carson”
1. ask him about his cool ties.

Funny, and I am not sure how to take this email I got from a student who has made it clear that my class scares him to death, but he wrote this after I served as a guest lecturer in an Economics course a week ago. My classes are not that difficult, you just have to open the book and read. I do like it when a student takes the time to send an email such as this.

I just wanted to personally thank you for coming and talking with our class. I don’t necessarily agree with all of your viewpoints, but it was very interesting to hear everything you had to say. I know I used to always tell you that I take summer school so I don’t have to have you as a teacher, but being able to hear you lecture our class was very awesome. Thank you so much for taking time to do that. I appreciate what you do here at this school Mr. Carson, and I hope you realize how much people appreciate you even if they don’t always show it.

In Christian love,


6 thoughts on “12 Step Program

  1. “Give your soul to Carson.” I LOVE it…

    I think it’d be fascinating to get this kind of feedback from students. TCC offers an open response to the end-of-term surveys, but most kids don’t bother. I wonder what kind of idiosyncrasies of mine stand out to my students….

  2. You really tell students they should get a 100% because you did on an exam you wrote? That is great. I must use that one. No excuses now for students not doing well.

  3. mrschili — I like honesty from students. Sometimes they are too honest, which is cool. CAC did not conduct student evaluations like my current school, but students always found a way to let me know how they felt. Some of my best classes were there.

    Our current faculty evals. force students to mark a comment vursus filling in bubbles that mean very little at times.

  4. I thought the exact samething. Case in point was from a few years ago. I recall one student who clearl was bored to death counting how many times I used it in a class session. I this she stated 16 times.

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