Ming Shun felt embarrassed. Not for himself, but for someone else ("Gabrielle") in his Introduction to Web Development course. It seemed that, almost every day, Gabrielle would just say something that made everyone grit their teeth and say under their breath, I can't believe she just said that.

While the course wasn't at the graduate-level, it wasn't at the entry-level, either. Web Development was at the 200-course (i.e. second-year) and had its share of prerequisites, ranging from Intro to Computer Science to Concepts of Digital Logic. Gabrielle not only lacked the fundamentals from these courses, but seemed to lack even the most basic understanding of computers. On the first day of class, she struggled for a full five minutes trying to turn on the computer before someone finally pointed out that she had to press the "power" button on the front of the case.

The first few lessons in the course focused on HTML and, despite repeated help and instruction from others in the class, Gabrielle just couldn't get it right. She started ever page with a <BODY> tag instead of the proper <HTML> tag, and insisted that it made more sense that way because HTML was "the language" and not a part of "the code."
Her "proof" of this was that, thanks to Internet Explorer's forgiving nature, the pages rendered just fine.

Gabrielle's grasp of "documents" versus "programs" was just as painfully embarrassing. After editing an HTML document, she'd always say, "OK, I'm now saving my HTML program and will run it in Internet Explorer." I won't even get into how much Gabrielle struggled with doing actual web development in PHP.

Now I suppose this story is one that can describe just about every struggling Computer Science student that will eventually change their major to Communications. There's only one difference: Gabrielle was not a student in the Web Development course. She taught it.
Sadly, this just reinforces that old (and often untrue) adage: those who can, do; those who can't do, teach; those who can't teach, teach gym; and those who can't teach gym, teach Introduction to Web Development at WTFU.


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