Monday, April 23, 2007

Seriously, If We Want Things To Get Better, We Really Must Start Sending These Unsent Letters

Dear undergraduate who constantly interrupted me during the conference that I was generous enough to give you, outside of my normal office hours, for half an hour:

I'm not sure why you think it's acceptable to interrupt. Didn't anyone teach you that it was rude? You'll notice that I don't interrupt you, even when your opinionated generalizations took over parts of our class. I steer you politely and firmly back on topic, because I have stuff to do in that class. Because I'm your instructor. Remember that bit? Where I'm supposed to teach you things? That's one reason why you shouldn't interrupt.

Let me make that more obvious for you. We are not peers. I am ten years older than you. I'm willing to be friendly. I'm not willing to be interrupted by a little gobshite like you. I have two more degrees than you. Two. Having read your academic writing in all its forms for three months now, I can say with certainty that I know more about how to write an essay than you. You could really use my advice about how to structure these paragraphs, and how to adjust your tone. Trust me, you could.

No, really! After all, I'm the one who's going to grade this on Tuesday. Don't you think that my advice about how to transition might be useful? You'll think it when you see my comments under your final grade, including the one that says: You need to work on your transitions.

In conclusion: Don't talk over me when I'm talking, and don't interrupt when I'm doing you a massive favour. You don't know better, trust me. And you are extremely rude.

Your underpaid instructor.