Monday, March 24, 2008

More Spring Break Madness. The "Family Vacation" Ploy Doesn't Soften the Heart of Professor X

Dear Professor X,

I know that you have an exam scheduled for the day before spring break, and my daughter Gina requested that she take that exam earlier. You said “no” because you didn’t think her family vacation to Jamaica was a good enough reason. I think you’re being unfair, and now Gina is going to get an F for the midterm because you refuse to consider her situation. Therefore, I’m asking you to think this over again and get back to me as soon as possible.

Gina’s Mom

This is what I would have liked to write back:

Dear Gina’s Mom,

Where do I begin? I didn't just refuse her request because she is going on vacation; I refused her request because I have a class of 250 students. If I offered her an alternate time, then I would have to offer an alternate time for all students. This means reserving a room through the scheduling office, finding TAs to invigilate this extra sitting, creating a completely new midterm, and generally taking up my personal time that I don't get paid for just to make your daughter's already pampered life a little more convenient. She won't receive a zero on the test because I refuse to allow her to write it early, she'll receive a zero because she decided 10 days of vacation just wasn't enough for her and that extra day of vacation was worth getting a big fat zero on my midterm.

And you'll forgive me if you didn't get a course outline before the new semester started, but I didn't know I would have the pleasure of teaching your little princess. Had I known, I would have called you immediately to schedule my midterm around all of your family's plans! And since when did it become kosher for parent's to email university professors? Your daughter, despite her spoiled upbringing, is considered an adult now. This nonsense may have worked with your kid's high school teachers, but it isn't going to fly here. She needs to decide what's more important - her education or her tan line.

Professor X