Grad School Distress By Robert Vogt

Issue 6

I have a strange idea that it’s all out there already like online in little “this is what I did today in class and it worked really well…” And then taking it and putting it in the ‘flow’ mode or ‘zone’… and I’m praying that you’ll see what I put on paper (or NOT see it until you put your stuff up onto another file …) and then compare them and see which one we can pull the wool over their eyes with.

My horse-sense is that you have read it deeper and have a clearer understanding and could help make the book genuinely interesting…

AND THEN we could sort of put our little study in there as an inside side note and add quotes from students we’ve looked at and interviewed (like I said just ask them in a timed writing who their favorite teacher was and why and how they can best learn languages …) and we just categorize what they say [might want to do this while semester’s still going on …] and then we do like I said in chapter 4 or 5 about how to be a better teacher…some suggestions and as we go into it add Language Teaching 101 shit that we can easily find on some Dave’s ESL Café post.

We could say Fred a medical student from Malaysia when forced to memorize 50 medical terms that were totally foreign to him he would create flashcards and play flashcard games in which he placed them upside down and shuffled them around until he could guess which one. Sounds like a language learning strategy but it’s also a way to convince self to get into flow because you’re metacognitively putting the cognitive stress load of learning the words into a game. When we asked Fred why he’d go to all the trouble to make the cards he said that it made his learning more fun and interesting and he’d pretend he was in Vegas at a fancy casino. “When I took the test, I think I was the only one smiling because I had made it fun for myself and the stress [was] gone…”


Source text: A thesis advisor’s email.

Robert Vogt worked as a custodian for a number of years until switching to EFL educator after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. His work has appeared in Horror, Sleaze and Trash and Fuck Fiction. His chapbook “Stilnox and Stolichnaya” and his novel “Conceived in Iniquity” are available at