Friday, May 12, 2006

Another Student Who Passes When He Shouldn't, And It's Only Us Profs Who Feel The Pain Of It

Hey you, my student in the required for English majors course, a senior. Yes, I'm talking to you. Couldn't really do that in class, since you missed most of the class, for which your big excuse is "I'm a senior." Just so you know, I've got one student in my other class driving home every weekend to help take care of a parent with a serious illness and another who is undergoing rounds of medical treatments in a hospital and is in constant pain and they've missed (much) less class than you have, and also handed all their written work in.

But I wouldn't expect you to respect this maturity on the part of your peers since you've demonstrated complete disregard for everyone in our class. You didn't contribute to any one else's workshops of their papers, and yet, because it's 10% of your grade to turn in a paper and get it workshopped you emerged from whatever senioritis ward you've been confined in to get them to put in work for you. And then, on the day itself, you left them sitting there waiting for you for 20 minutes. That was the last day of class and the only reason they had to be there was for you. I wish I had let them go just five minutes before you arrived. I would hope you felt shamed by their generosity, but I fear you did not even notice it.

Also, yes, I did notice that you never did the reading. The big tip off wasn't that you never had a book in class (I understand that some students can't afford all the books and go to the reserve desk) but that the things you said were utterly stupid and ignorant and would never have been said by someone who did the reading. Here's a tip for the work world: Sometimes bullshit works, but not if your boss knows the subject better than you do. Here's another one. Leaving your phone on the table in a class of 10 people and tapping messages out on it or checking messages on it when you're supposed to be paying attention is not subtle. Doing it after you're asked not to is even less so.

But I will thank you for one thing. You might be thinking that your argument that you should get a D because you are a senior impressed me with its depths of passion and insight. Nope. I had to give you a D because of the way I set up the equations on my grade book program. You should have failed, but mathematically you made it past the breakpoint by about 2 points. Now I know how to reword the requirements and mathematical percentage information on the syllabus to make sure that someone like you can't take advantage of my predilection for treating students like people who want to learn something rather than just purchase their degrees.