Friday, October 12, 2007

ricki's, bottom...ten

Here's a Letterman-style list (with commentary) of my Top Ten Hated phrases used by students:

10. "I need to leave class early. Is that okay?" (Gather 'round, chilluns. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and ricki was a wee child, when it was time for doctor or dentist appointments? Ricki's EVIL parents scheduled them on days-off from school, or at times when ricki wasn't otherwise in class. It's not that hard to do - 'specially when you're a college student taking only Monday Wednesday Friday classes.

That said: I do understand evil HMOS or evil employers who will fire you for taking a day to go get your strep throat cured (except, I kind of think that last one's against the law). But still. Just skip the entire class, don't disrupt us by getting up and leaving fifteen minutes in.

Oh, and if you're leaving early to go have fun - no, it's NOT okay.)

9. "Professor X sucks!!!!" (especially not okay if you're trying to get me to agree. I don't run down my colleagues. I don't want to hear gossip about my colleagues. Sorry. Ricki don't play that game.)

8. "Ewwwww! It's a spider!" (Um. You have dissected a human carcass in Gross Anatomy and you are grossed out by a spider that is smaller than a pencil lead? You have taken a class on Human Disease where you have seen horrific photographs of the effects of smallpox and leprosy, but you can't tolerate a tiny arachnid that's five feet away from you and that has mouthparts too small to pierce even your thin skin?

Yes, I understand arachnophobia but as you had the same exact response to the crickets we used in lab a few weeks ago, I think you're just being a bit too prissy.)

7. "Oh, man, I was SOOOOOO wasted last night...." (Don't want to hear it. Especially don't want to hear what came up in the toilet a couple hours after the "wastage." There is such a thing as TMI.)

6. "You didn't give us enough time to complete the homework!" (A week. A week for a one-page assignment. A week that ENCOMPASSES a week-end, where I would think even the busiest of people can find the thirty minutes it takes to complete the assignment. Here's a hint: the average pro football game on tv has, by my estimation, about 35 minutes of commercials. Do the homework during that time. Sure, it's a crappy way to do homework and I don't recommend it - but that is evidence that you CAN find the time to do homework in a week. Especially don't tell your professor - who on top of teaching 13 contact-hours, holding down 10 hours of office hours, working on several research projects, heading a campus committee, teaching Sunday school, leading a Youth Group and doing numerous other thankless tasks ON TOP OF the basic life-maintenance stuff like laundry and cooking that a certain percentage of the claimants still have their mothers - or their spouses - doing - that you cannot find time for something that is important to your grade.)

5. "Is it okay if I hand this in late?" (Let's ask Mr. Syllabus: oh, gee, I'm so sorry. Mr. Syllabus says no. Guess what? I get to have a life too. And that includes being able to sit down on Friday afternoon and get ALL my grading done for the week so I maybe get a little free time Saturday. It doesn't mean I want to have homework dribbling in all next week.)

4. "This assignment was TOO HARD!" (Um. Considering that it covered material I covered in class - and gee, look, problem 4 is EXACTLY like the example I did on the board on Friday, when you decided there were too many other fun things to do than come to class. And considering that I have ample office hours each week. And considering that about half the class got 100% on the homework - and only two of them were people who came in during my ample office hours to ask if they were doing it right - I think the answer is NO, it wasn't.)

3. "I don't understand this! I never understand stuff until AFTER the exam! You don't explain stuff right!" (Again: considering that more than half the class got it. Considering that several people who didn't get it first off came to my office hours and asked me to explain it again and then got it, and considering that you happened to skip two days of class, I do not accept that complaint. Come to my damn office hours BEFORE the freaking exam if you don't understand.)

2. "Do we get bonus points for being here?" (No. Please do not ask that again.)

and, Ricki's most-ever-hated line?

1. "I missed class Friday. Did we do anything?" (I would really love to refer students to this poem but I fear that the irony would be lost on many of them.)


Joel said...

I love the poem! Never seen it before, but it perfectly dovetails with that shambling mass of solipsism that is the college-age kid.

nightfly said...

Professor X is awesome! X-Men rule!

Heh, sorry. I was THAT kid.