Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Welcome to my world

A recent exchange with one of my chronic problem students. Always late. Falls asleep in class and when she awakes she says inane things out loud like "Why does the reading have to be so boring?" or "Can we end early today?"

Chronic Problem Student - Professor, I didn't do my assignment for today because I had no idea there was anything due! You didn't write it up on the board last week!

Long suffering Professor - Didn't you read your syllabus?

CPS - But usually professor's write the assignments on the board. (in an indignant and self-righteous and yet incredibly whiny voice)

LSP - It is now the end of March and we have been in class for 9 weeks already. Tell me something, do you recall me ever doing that?

Pause.

CPS - I lost my syllabus.

LSP - There is an electronic version on the internet.

Pause.

CPS - You're not going to give me an extension are you.

Pause.

LSP - (sighing) Get it to me by Monday.

CPS - Thank you Professor! I promise I will get it to you right away! By Sunday night! Thank you so much.

Tuesday morning, still no assignment. So what excuse do you think I will hear this time?

21 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh goodness. I can just imagine the excuses she comes up with. But I'd give her a big fat F for this assignment.

ChristineEldin said...

She'd better bring a present.

Precie said...

No! no. no. no. no. no. I'm with Melissa on this. F. One extension was exceedingly kind of you. For it still not to be done is unacceptable. F. (And I'll admit...if it were a normally diligent student going through a rough patch, I'd probably be kinder. But this student just offers excuse after excuse. Nope. F.)

Aerin said...

Nah, I'm with Chris. If she brings a suitably expensive enough present, I might still give her a C.

Patti said...

"the dog at my internets."

Lisa said...

I get it now. You teach middle school! Sorry, for some reason I thought you were teaching at a college of some sort...

Precie said...

Ok, I know I'm a bitch. And, yes, I was a hardass when I taught college comp. But here's my thinking.

Like I said, if it were a special circumstance with a diligent student, I'd have more sympathy.

But "I lost my syllabus"???? Even if it weren't posted on the web, that's ridiculous. You lost your syllabus and didn't ask the instructor (or other classmates) for a new copy ASAP. You DIDN'T KNOW an assignment was even due?

Ok, I might still consider giving an extension just so s/he could get the assignment in. (And I'd dock points on the starting grade for the late assignment.)

BUT...to have been granted an extension and THEN not submit the assignment. NO. Unacceptable. F.

It's disrespectful. Moreover, that level of disrespect and irresponsibility would be unacceptable in professional life.

My students may not have liked me very much. But I believe they knew my high standards were in their best interest and that, at the end of the semester, their final grades were earned.

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Boy howdy, I don't miss this from my "tour of duty" as a high school teacher...I can't imagine it's gotten any better since I was "delivered," and to think your exchange is with a college student.

One thing that I didn't like as a teacher...you have to really harden up to handle the constant bombardment of ... okay, you fill in the blank.

Blessings on finishing this year with sanity!

Merry Monteleone said...

Tell me at least that she's a freshmen... no, that doesn't even make it better, maybe in the first month but not in March... oy, never taught in any way, but I'd have to agree with giving her an F - I had professors that would have thrown me out of the class by this point... (not for the missed assignment alone, but for missing the extension, sleeping through class and being a moron)

moonrat said...

my dog ate my homework, and then my computer ate my dog. and then my cat barfed on my computer. and then my house exploded. but i'll have it by next monday, PROMISE.

Mary Witzl said...

I'm betting her computer will be down AND she'll have had some sort of virus (just in case you mention an internet cafe, you see).

Like other commenters, I was a hard ass teacher. I'm a wimpy person in almost every way, but I couldn't stand it when students consistently showed up late, failed to turn in assignments, didn't pay attention in class, etc, then expected leniency.

Ooh, just remembering that is getting me all incensed...

blogless_troll said...

Giver her an F for not even trying to come up with a good excuse. Never been a teacher, but I was a student in need of an occasional excuse, and always found the creative ones worked best.

Precie said...

bt--Why doesn't that surprise me? ;)

mary--Yay for hard ass teachers! :)

The Anti-Wife said...

Kick her fat ass out of your class and give her an F.

Aimless Writer said...

I think I know this kid. lol
You can only hope.
Accept or don't accept? Grade her on how creative her excuse is.
Stupid whiny excuse=no dice.
Fairly believable excuse=half credit
Decent excuse=three quarters
Justifiable excuse=okay, credit but with a lecture
Incredibly creative excuse that defies the laws of the universe=credit Plus.
:)
If she's going to be late she should at least entertain you.

Ello said...

I believe I will be getting the "But I sent it to you on Monday, didn't you get my email?" excuse with a then even more delayed receipt of assignment by Friday. We shall see what happens!

WriterKat said...

When I was in school, I used to hope that these people would be the chaff separated from the wheat once we all got jobs. But these days, I look around and the chaff are the ones getting promoted.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Reading this I was reminded of an article I recently read about students and technology and excuses. It may bring ring some bells... press some buttons! ;-)

Aine said...

I want to hear her first interaction with a judge....

Something tells me she's in for a rude awakening.

Lana Gramlich said...

Boy, do I hear you...albeit through Charles' experiences. It's kind of sad, really & must be very frustrating for y'all!

Aerin said...

Agh! Trying to catch up on my Google reader, etc, and found these comments. Moonrat gets the award for me snorting Pepsi.

"And her house exploded!"