Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sufferin' Studentsass

So it is finals week. Presentations week. Hell week. And as the number of papers pile up on my desk and we go into senior final project presentation week, my ulcers begin perculating with the stress related acid levels that have begun to rise. There is alot going on right now. Sightings of the little piggy may be sporadic around the blog'o'sphere for the next few weeks. Same goes for blogging. Although I will try to post for Friday's overlooked club and will be back to post a new random funny things my kid's say - latest installment over seeing a police officer picking his nose. Oh yes, I tease you with the funnies.

But I shall share my perplexity with you about the strangeness of my students. Every semester I always have many whiners in my classes. Seems the norm.

Class+ writing papers+hard work+grades = whining. Lots and lots of whining.

Whining I understand, but being rude to your professor? WTF?

Recent email exchange with rude student:

Me email to whole class: If you need a second review of your final project before submission, please send to me by _______ otherwise there is not enough time for me to give you an additional review. (please note, second review is a courtesy review not mandatory.)

Student sends email after deadline for second review.

Me: I can't review as there is not enough time.

Student: You need to remember that you have only provided me with one corrected paper with your comments on my topic. It is not fair to me since other students received two reviews. It is your responsibility to provide me with a second review.

Me (a bit stunned at the tone and manner of her email): Other students sent their paper to me early or on time. And actually, I only need to provide you with one review, the second review was a courtesy.

Student has not responded.

Flip side:

Email from student who sent her paper in early for second review.

Professor, I'm sorry to be nagging you, but I thought by sending in my paper in a timely manner (actually it was early) I would get an early review and early reply. Yet I have not heard any word from you. Please provide me with your comments asap as I need your input in order to finalize for my faculty advisor.

My response:

Dear Nagging Student, The reason I have not returned to you your second review is because I am still working on first reviews of these 30 page papers for your classmates. And while I appreciate your sending your paper in early, I had just returned your first review a day before receiving your new draft and cannot believe any real substantive changes could have been made. I will review your paper for the second courtesy review after all first mandatory reviews are done.

Seriously, teaching would be alot easier without the PITAs.

28 comments:

ChrisEldin said...

But the second student sounded nice! A bit OCD, but still...

Hopefully you'll come through all of this unscathed. And double hopefully you'll have time for Author's Week next week!!
:-)

JaneyV said...

I remember that before the advent of email you had to actually talk to your Professor face to face. As intimidating as that could be you had to be sure of your facts and ready to be kicked into touch if you were wrong. Email may save a lot of time but the fact that you don't have to talk face to face anymore gives those PITA's some serious delusions of their own importance!
And I gotta ask - how dumb are you if you're going to piss off the person who's going to be grading your paper?

March to the Sea said...

give them all C- and walk away from it. A C- is just so C minus like...

Sarah Hina said...

Can you slap them around with their cell phones?

A little corporal punishment, maybe?

Shame them in front of their peers?

Oh, I know!

Skewer them on your blog.

Bravo, Professor. :)

(And we'll miss you!)

Demon Hunter said...

Wow, I never had a tiff with any of my professors. :*) They sound rather spoiled to me.

Precie said...

My deepest sympathies. Hang in there!

Cakespy said...

I think people like #2 irritate me more. Sort of in the same way that baristas who ask perkily how you are before you've gotten your coffee. Do they know if you already had it you'd throw it in their face?

Sorry--that was mean. ;-)

pjd said...

Very little good comes, typically, from a missive beginning with, "I'm sorry to be nagging you, but..."

Just as very little good ever comes from a statement beginning, "With all due respect..."

Carleen Brice said...

My brother calls them "the playstation generation with no motivation."

Charles Gramlich said...

Oh we could swap some war stories. Just amazing. I can hardly believe the first student, but I've seen evidence of such absolutel gall before.

J. L. Krueger said...

Ell,

Tis definitely a generational thing. My teenagers have similar issues...they can't understand why they shouldn't get second, third or fourth chances.

We are always hoping a teacher will just nail them with an "F" when they fail to turn things in on time...only once did we have such luck.

So, methinks the elementary, middle and high schools are to blame because since they don't want to "leave a child behind", they just shuffle them foward whether or not they meet requirements. That then builds the expectation that being late, not adhering to standards, etc. is OK.

Larramie said...

Yes, I've said this before, but where's the R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Mary Witzl said...

I've had plenty of students like that first one. The second student just sounds clueless -- as though she hasn't taken into consideration how many other students you have.

One of my students used to come late to class every single time. She had a high opinion of herself (unwarranted) and got angry when I graded her down for showing up late 60% of the time. She airily told me she could not help it; she had a 'schedule conflict' and could not come on time. She still expected to pass -- with a high grade. Jeez.

Merry Monteleone said...

I'm taking the proactive parent approach myself... I figure, some of this is society being lenient with idiocy, but some of it is the parent(s) encouraging this entitlement bullshit. Not mine. The grade is the damn grade. Don't complain later if you didn't work up to it in the first place, and, I have to tell you, when I get a note or letter saying my kid did something wrong, my kid gets punished. Grounded, no tv, no computer, in nice months they have to help dad with yardwork too... I've had teachers respond in shock that I've followed up at home, apparently, most parents think the teacher's wrong!!!

So I have to say, if you want your kid to grow up as a contributing member of society who can function well with others and therefore, hopefully, be happy... stop flippin' coddling them and teach them to take responsibility for their own actions!!!

There, I must be the first mother ever who actually blames the parents.

Sheri said...

Oh No! I just interviewed for a teaching position in a private HS yesterday! I taught before my kindelah were born and then went back two years ago and thought it was too soon to return to work and now thought it was time for sure. but after reading your posting and seeing how technology has made students more brazen.... I am biting my nails....

moonrat said...

seriously... have they forgotten that you're responsible for their grade?!

Lana Gramlich said...

I think I missed what "PITA" stands for, but at the very least, I know Charles can certainly sympathize with your plight. I certainly wouldn't have the patience that y'all have.

Barrie said...

What a dedicated prof you are! We're always hearing how the attitudes of high school students have changed. I suppose it makes sense that they've moved onto university. And taken their attitudes with them. ;) Good luck!

The Anti-Wife said...

It's frightening to think some of these people will be ruling the country someday. And what will they say to the IRS - "That April 15th deadline is just unrealistic and you didn't give us enough notice to get our taxes done on time. You're really screwing up my social life."

Clair Dickson said...

I think most of them try it because it has worked in the past. They push until someone says, NO.

I like being the one to squash the uppity kids in my class. (Alt ed. Most of the kids here have gotten in serious trouble because no one ever told them NO.)

jason evans said...

Seems like whininess in students is on the rise.

jjdebenedictis said...

I'm a teacher too, and I honestly don't think kids are any worse today than they ever were--rudeness and flakiness being the chocolate and vanilla of humanity's many flavours--but thanks to cell phones, email and Google, the kids are used to instant gratification.

It's a shock to them when things don't happen instantly, and maybe they shouldn't be faulted for being a product of their upbringing.

Ello said...

PITA is Pain in the Ass and that part of being a student hasn't really changed. But on the flip side, I have some wonderful students that make my heart soar and make me proud to be their prof.

That said, yeah, I personallythink rudeness is on the rise. Sigh, I do blame parents.

pacatrue said...

I haven't gotten those exact emails yet from my students, but I'm with you Ello. I'll be grading the finals in a week and half. For me, it's the constant clamor for extra credit. Always wanting to make up what they didn't do before. Do it the first time!

I do want to give a little plug for today's students to offset though. It's harder and harder to find any student in any class at my U who isn't working a part time job as well as taking a full load of courses. Some of them are working full-time jobs and are up managing the sales racks at the Gap until 3:00 AM before stumbling into class. I know several of my friends were work-study students when I was an undergrad, but most of us were just students. Nothing else. This isn't an excuse for the rudeness. But whatever's going on isn't simply laziness.

girl with the mask said...

What whiney buggars!

Vesper said...

This is the new generation - people who've always had everything and who are used to obtain everything very easily. I see them at work; they don't really want to work, they just expect to be entertained and to climb the ladder...

Best of luck and don't get too upset. :-)

writtenwyrdd said...

I don't envy you on this one.

Aerin said...

I missed this post somehow, when it first came out. I'm a little surprised at how many people are pointing fingers at "this generation." One of my brothers just graduated college and the other is in right now, and I think this generation (the Millenials) have a bunch of stuff going their way that gives me hope for the future.

If I had to generalize, I'd say our entire society (of ALL ages) has gotten whinier. I don't know that it's a bad thing, necessarily, except that it reflects a lot of insecurity.

BUT.

I am sorry you've got students stressing you, Ello.