Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If They All Expect the "Gentleman's B," Couldn't They At Least Dress Better?

Last semester, after I added a writing component to a few of my classes, my students were shocked—ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED!—that I was more than willing to give them a zero if the crap they handed in didn't fulfill the clearly articulated requirements on the assignment sheet. It's as if the directions were just general suggestions instead of what they would be graded on.

As an example, one student, upon receiving her zero, actually told me I wasn't allowed to give a zero. I informed said snowflake that I could award a zero…and then promptly proved to her why she deserved it. Right there, after class, I quizzed her on the material to be assessed on the assignment. She had NO CLUE what I was talking about. You see, little snowflake arrived 10 minutes late for the class this material was taught in, decided she didn't need to pay attention, and web-surfed for the remainder of the lecture.

This entire class was filled with students who felt entitled to receive grades they did not earn. They habitually ignored instructions (which were given in both orally and in writing just in case something was unclear), decided that proofreading just wasn't necessary in this class required for their major, and thought that my expectations that they come to class, pay attention, and not web surf were just too high.

They all felt that just handing in something —anything—would at least get them what used to be called a Gentleman's C (which of course is now a Gentleman's B at most schools). Excuse me for actually grading them on their ability to perform to measurable criteria, which of course they all claim I didn't do; to admit that would be for them to admit they didn't do the work. I was unimpressed with most of them, and the fact that most of these idiots will just be passed along by other, lazier professors disgusts me.