Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It'd Be Easier Asking a Leopard To Change His Spots. Agreeable Alex Holds Fast.

Yes, Freddie, I understand that your program requires a minimum grade point average. And yes, I understand that the B- you pulled in my course last term is too low for you to continue in that program. What's more, I agree that it sucks to have your term average be lower than you needed or wanted it to be.

See how agreeable a fellow I am?

But here's where we part ways. No, I will not raise your grade to a B. I know it would "only" take 2% to do so, but since each grade point only has a 3% bracket, those two marks are actually quite a big deal. Were this a course in persuasion and grovelling, you would be making a good case for yourself. But as it stands, I'm not paid to give grades out like some sort of pedagogical Santa. (well, it could be argued that I am, but that's another conversation...)

What's that? You're getting angry with me now. I see. Since you can't accept the polite refusal, allow me to expand upon it a bit. First, how dare you try to pin an entire term - five courses worth - on my class? It's an average, moron. And it's all yours.

Second, you wanna know why I never bump grades for sob stories like yours? In my very first year of teaching, I had student who was very dedicated. She worked her ass off, and I got to know her a bit. I learned that she was caring for her mother who was dying of cancer, she had to work 30 a hours a week to pay for school, and that her father expected her to fulfil all the household duties of cleaning and cooking that her mother no longer could. Near term's end, this student looked like she had one foot in the grave herself - she was utterly exhausted, physically and emotionally. But you what? She stuck it out and finally earned a C. She never asked for any special treatment or consideration.

Thinking back, I should have bumped that grade to a B or something. It's one of the few regrets I carry around. And it's one of the big reasons you can take your begging and tantrums and get the fuck out of my office. And let me get back to being an agreeable fellow...