Monday, March 29, 2010

Alton From Apollo Beach Tells the Tale of Dimwit Dave.

I have a student, Dimwit Dave, who is one of those slack-jawed mouthbreathers who has already blown passed the attendance/participation penalty. He easily has eight absences. The first penalty was a letter grade at 5 absences. The penalty is a half letter grade for each absence after that. When he does show up for our
8am class, he strolls in 20-30 minutes late, put his head on the desk, and naps, sleeps, drools, farts. He's missed two quizzes and is otherwise merely average.

We have big presentations coming up in this class, so last week everyone signed up for individual meetings with me to go over what needs to be in their presentation, look over how they build their credibility, attention-getters, their persuasive arguments, etc. Sooooooo.......

On Saturday morning I received the following email from Dimwit Dave:
"Dr A, what time did i schedule for our appt? I believe it was on march 24."

My Reply:
"Dear Dimwit Dave, I don't carry all my paperwork home with me on the weekends."

On Tuesday I received this: Dimwit Dave:
"It is no longer the weekend so...... Would you by chance know when I have to meet with u tomorrow?"

"Dimwit Dave, You need to get you act together and learn some responsibility. It is not my responsibility to inform you of when YOU signed up for a meeting with ME. I believe it is at 11am, but at the
rate you are going with absences, tardiness, missed quizzes, it may not matter how well you do on this speech."

When he came to our meeting after a cordial greeting I said: "Listen, I am not trying to be an asshole, but you pay me to be an asshole. You pay me to challenge you, critique you, and harass you, so you are smarter when you end this semester than when you started. You need to think about whether you want to stay at the university or not, because at this rate you are merely wasting your time and money."

His work wasn't done. He had no outline to speak of. He had no answers to my inquiries. He had nothing worth commenting on. As he shuffled out of my office I quoted what Judge Smails said in Caddyshack: "Well,
the world needs ditch diggers, too."

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