Monday, April 23, 2007

A New Week, A Little Smackdown

A – Yes, I know how extremely overworked you’ve been at your very important job lately, so much so that you have asked for yet another extension of the due date on an assignment that all the other students (who also work full time) handed in last week. But judging by your loud conversations with your friends before class, I gather you’ve managed not to miss a single episode of “American Idol,” “CSI,” “Law and Order,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Office,” “House,” “Dancing With the Stars,” or myriad other TV shows all semester. As adults, aren’t we supposed to be able to prioritize our tasks? Or is college merely a petty nuisance that interferes with your real life?

R – The answers are, respectively, no, yes and no. No, it is not OK for you to leave lab two hours early every week to pick up Junior from soccer practice. Yes, you will miss important things if you do leave anyway. No, I will not come up with alternate assignments for you to make up for labs you don’t finish. If you want to get a college degree without attending classes, try one of the online universities. Or just buy the appropriate piece of paper from one of those guys on Craigslist.

B – I deeply sympathize with you. I know how hard it is to lose your mother. It must be doubly hard on you because this is the second time she has died. I remember, though you apparently do not, that you were in another class with me several years ago and had to miss the last week and the final exam to take care of her funeral arrangements in another city. I allowed you to submit a reduced final assignment via email then so you wouldn’t have an incomplete to deal with along with everything else when you came back. This time I want to see an obituary and/or a dated funeral program first.

C,W, I, and H – What part of accelerated program do you not understand? In order to get your degrees in four years as opposed to the eight to ten it would take going to school part time in a traditional program, you have to cover the same amount of material in half the time. You were told this when you signed up for the program. I know it’s a lot of reading, but you only have to take one frigging class at a time. Stop whining and deal with it.