Friday, March 24, 2006

Reasonable. Seems Reasonable. I Mean We Can't Control the Spin of the Planet, the Tides, the Whims of Fickle Quarks. Why Can't Professors Help Out?

A professor of History at a college in Georgia sends along a student email:

Dear Dr. W,

I know that I probably deserve the grade I'm getting, but I have to ask you to help me. The reason I haven't been coming to your class all this time is because I feel embarrassed. After I had missed almost half the classes, I just couldn't bring myself to start coming. I have a lot of friends in there.

I understand that it is getting late in the semester, and it's inconsiderate of me to be asking, but I have no choice. I'm in bad shape grade-wise because I am on academic probation. If I get lower than 1.8 this semester, I will be kicked out of college. I thought I'd concentrate on my other classes, and not worry too much about History. But now I realize that I'm going to get an F in your class, and that will destroy my chances.

I would never ask to make up everything, but if you could let me take the midterm I missed, I'd really appreciate it. I missed it because I was sick for three weeks. I didn't even know I'd missed the midterm until someone told me about it a week later.

If you'd let me take the midterm, maybe that would get me prepared to do well on the final exam. I know I haven't been in class, but I've been studying really hard. You have to help me or all of this studying will have been for nothing!

Thank you, Dr. W. I look forward to your response.