Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hypothetical question

This hasn't happened yet, but I suspect someday it's coming.

 If a student in your class drives drunk, gets thrown in the pokey and loses their license over it, do you have to treat it the same way that you'd treat an illness in another student? Meaning, if they miss an exam, and your "emergency illness" policy is that they can make up the exam, do you have to do it for the DUI student?

 My inclination is a strong "no." People choose to drink, they choose to drink to excess, then they choose to drive once they are drunk (which is a very stupid and dangerous thing to do). (And yeah, I suppose someone will make the tiresome argument that some people "bring" illness upon themselves by not eating enough vegetables or some damn thing. Well, it's not as clear of a cause-and-effect as "get wasted, drive, get stopped by cops and you're in trouble" is)

I bring this up partly because I have a student I'm concerned with...I think they have a substance-abuse problem. I can't tell for sure, other than they miss a LOT of class with no excuse given, they are often kind of vague and unfocused in class (can't follow directions, get things hopelessly muddled - this is the person who called me up all angry that I didn't tell them where lab was going to be when I had mentioned in class "We will meet in the lab room this afternoon"). Sometimes they smell VERY strongly of mouthwash, which I think is one way people cover up the smell of alcohol? I don't know. I admit, this person is also a thorn in my side: they are one of the multi-disability people who want to demand even more accommodations. I had to call Disability Concerns to ask, "Is it really true I have to allow make-up labs for this person even if their absence was unrelated to their disability?" because that is what the person was claiming. (The official answer: no way, not if you don't do make-up labs for others).

 Also, this person has (apparently) still not taken the most recent exam, which was on Friday (They have to take it in a quiet-room setting). I expressly told this person they NEEDED to take the exam on the same day as the rest of the class, and I e-mailed the head of Disability Concerns to inform him of it. I told him if the exam isn't on my desk by the end of this week (well, I was more polite than that), the student can forget it. This one person is driving me to fits and making me miserable. Part of me wishes they'd drop but as this course is a required course for graduation...if they drop or fail, I'll just see them again in the future.

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