Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Go Ahead and Read This Post, ASAP, We Mean, If You Want To

Maybe I need to up my meds, but I'm besieged and beset this semester with students who make email requests and then end with, "Get back to me ASAP."

As soon as possible? Do you mean I should put your request ahead of anything else on my plate, husband, child, other students, my boss, my colleagues, my aching back, my broken down Pontiac?

I know "ASAP" is probably a benign and understood locution that I should just "get over myself" about, but it just seems indicative of these times, where I'm made to feel by nearly everyone that I'm working for the students.

Your recent comments on "students as consumers" has really hit me hard, because our college president is always using language like that. I leave faculty meetings feeling as if I'm an ogre if I don't spend half of my day cooing to students about their "entitlement" or their "progress."

I hate to be an old fuddy-duddy - I'm just 40, the "new" 30, after all - but when I went to college, I had to work my ass off for everything, even for the attention of my professors. It never occurred to me to make demands on them beyond the ones they already had taken on by running the classes I was in.

The world seems flipped on its head now. I feel a lot like the person who stood up for me and the rest of the professoriate when saying we are not the hired help. I want my students to succeed, but I also want more respect than what is implied in getting back to them ASAP.