Monday, October 30, 2006

Today's Student Takes The Cake, And Later Ends Up Choking On It

Despite my crabbing and bitching, I actually care whether my students "get" the material or not. This means that I am always available to the student who needs extra help and actually asks for it. In general, I'll do whatever I can (within reason) to help a student better understand the material. This includes referrals to our campus writing center, scheduling extra office hours and tutoring.

That may come to a screeching halt after Saturday's cake-winning experience.

Student C got her mid-semster (failing) grade notification on Thursday. After tears, drama, more tears, and wailed appeals, we agreed upon a tutoring session. She made an appointment to go over her previous papers, as well as the first draft of an upcoming paper worth about 15% of her final grade. Said appointment was for Saturday afternoon, lasting from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM.

I reserved the library classroom, procured and paid a baby-sitter, and hiked into campus, only to sit all by my lonely self in the basement of the library for two hours.

As the baby-sitter had already been paid, I took advantage of the time and graded papers. I stayed for the entire two hours (and then some), hoping she was just running late. At 3:45 PM, I packed up and went home to cook dinner, and play with the kids a bit -- pretty much what I wanted to do all day today.

Predictably, my cell rang at 4:45 PM -- C had gotten hung up at the mall, and lost track of time -- could I still meet with her this evening? I explained that I had sacrificed the afternoon, and was unwilling to give up my evening, as well. Plus, the library was closed.

C asked if she could come to my house, because it was really, reeeeaaaalllyy important that we go over her papers. No dice.

She asked for a Sunday appointment. Politely, I said no -- Sunday is the only day my husband has off, and it is reserved for church and family time.

C proceeded to throw an Old Testament-style temper fit, complete with rending of clothing and tearing of hair, complaining that I "didn't care" if she flunked out of college, it was my fault she was failing the class, and she ended with the grand pronouncement that she was going to tell her father, who would "handle my bad attitude."

Oooh. I'm shaking in my boots. So are my department chair and the Dean. As we went over all of the documentation this morning, eyes were rolling like slot machines.

As I walked out of the office, I met C -- on her way to lodge her complaint. She gave me the self-satisfied smirk of someone who thinks thay have the upper hand. I wish I could have stayed to see her crestfallen appearance.