May 04, 2007

Dear Students

My gal Ricki has some words for college students as they are about take their spring semester finals and receive their grades. It's as true for my students as it is for hers:

[T]his is aimed at everybody who fails to understand that going to college means they're supposed to put some effort into their education:

1. No, I don't offer extra credit. Especially AFTER the final exam, when you would be the only one with the opportunity to do it.

2. I'm really sorry you got a D, but if you had paid attention to what I was saying earlier in the semester, and if you had paid attention to the fact that all the grades on the tops of the papers I handed back to you were Ds, it should not come as a shock to you.

3. I'm terribly aggrieved that you will, in fact, not be able to graduate. However, there are consequences for one's actions and one of the consequences of not doing the work in a class is that you fail the class. And one of the consequences of failing a class may be that you do not get to graduate. However, after the final exam is not the most opportune time to consider this possibility.

4. No, I cannot give an "incomplete" because you failed the class. "Incomplete" is for people who are PASSING, but, say, give birth three weeks before the semester is over. Or break their leg. Or have to care for their post-op father. Do not demean the purpose of an "incomplete" by trying to use it to save your own sorry ass.

5. And to all the people who call me on the phone 20 minutes after a (non-machine-graded) exam is over to ask me if I "have [their] exam graded yet" - stick that phone where the sun don't shine. First off, I'm not a mindreader, so I can't predict you're going to call me, and so, grade your exam first. Second of all, you're not entitled to get your exam graded any faster than anyone else's. Third, if you call me on the phone, it just slows me down, and it makes me annoyed to boot. Fourth, if I WERE clairvoyant and knew you were going to call me up asking if I had your exam graded, you can bet your sweet bippy that exam would be at the very bottom of the stack.

On the first day of class, I give my students Ricki's Super Secret Advice For Success In College. It is: "Don't piss off your professors."

Please consider that advice in the coming week. I still have your grades to assign.
Amen Sistah!  I suspect many of you educators out there know exactly what she's talking about too!

Posted by caltechgirl at May 4, 2007 11:25 AM | TrackBack


Posted by: wRitErsbLock at May 4, 2007 12:05 PM

Amen from me! I'm pretty sure I'd have to tone down some of this for my 7th graders, though!

Posted by: ZTZCheese at May 4, 2007 12:58 PM

Sometimes, a college education is more than just academics.

Posted by: Mrs. Who at May 4, 2007 06:01 PM