Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Neverending Fun of Snowflake Email. How Else Can We Help Students Who Are Not Even Our Own?

Hello, Sir, (Thanks for using a proper salutation vs. "hey" or "yo")

I am a student currently taking Stats for Snowflakes under Professor Otherguy, who I believe is a colleague of yours. (Yes. Yes he is. Kudos to you for connecting those dots.) I am using the 10th edition of the Stats for Snowflakes textbook while the rest of the class is using the 11th. (And this is of concern to me how?) The only major difference between the two books are the practice question sets at the end of the chapter. (I can see why that would be a major difference, yes.) The questions are based on data sets found on a CD sold with the textbook, but because I am using a used 10th edition instead of a a new 11th edition like the rest of the class, I do not have the CD and I have been unable to track one down. (Caveat Emptor! Don't buy incomplete used textbooks!)

Therefore, I have unable to fully study for my midterm, which is on Saturday. (It is a balmy Thursday afternoon as I read this e-mail. At what point during the last month and a half did you come to realize there was no CD?) I asked Professor Otherguy what to do and he said you may have a copy (which I do because I used the 10th edition when I taught the course SIX YEARS AGO and haven't taught it since!) of either the CD or perhaps by email that you can give or lend to me.

Do you think you could help me out? (What, pray tell, could possibly be in it for me to "help you out"? You are in a different program -- I'll never see you in my any of my classes!) I could meet you either on campus or maybe you could just email the data of the CD to me. (Right. I'll drive to campus to give you a CD I might never see again. No wait. I'll use my time to zip all those files up and crash the university's mail server with one big ol' attachment. Uh No.)

Thank you in advance for your help, (You're polite, I'll give you that)