Thursday, December 4, 2008

"The Regulars." Mildred from Medicine Hat On Cutting the Kids Some Slack.

RYS shames me. I have no spine. I am spineless. And yet I cannot help myself. Worse, I do not want to.


Dick Doberman: May I have an extension because my dog died?
Mildred: Provide me with documentation of your dog's death and you may have an extension.

Tommy "Tiger" Teebox: I have to miss that exam because I'm on the golf team and we're in the provincials that weekend.
Mildred: Oh yeah, I saw that in the campus paper. Okay. I'll excuse you from that one.

Infectious Irene: My paper is late because I have strep throat/tonsillitis/the flu/ have been throwing up for four days.
Mildred: Bring me a note from your doctor and you can have an extension.

Dearly Dumped Dora: My boyfriend just dumped me for my roommate.
Mildred: Bring me a note from counselling and you can have an extension.

But here's the thing. I don't actually care. I don't like to be played, and I ask for documentation if they haven't already provided it because I want external verification of whatever their excuse is. Also, I don't want to reward dishonesty. But provided they're telling the truth, why should I give them a worse time than they're already having? I have no problem with cutting a little slack for people who are legitimately, for whatever reason, having a hard time right now. I don't see why I should be a hardass.

I don't grade on a curve, so their possibly slightly increased grades are not threatening anyone else's. Sure, not everybody who was sick that week let me know; some of them soldiered on through a high fever or domestic tragedy or whatever, and their mark may have suffered because of it. But I can't help the ones I don't know about.

I know, when they get into the real world they'll be expected to perform. But in conditions of legitimate illness or domestic emergency employers will cut them some slack too. Why shouldn't I?

Plus, the amount of paperwork involved in student appeals is insane.