Monday, April 30, 2012

Not surprised at all

My big, giant, huge-chunk-of-the-grade research paper was due today.

Guess who didn't show up to class to hand his in? Mr. 10-minute-rambling-phone-message, Mr. I'm-going-to-sic-an-administrator-on-my-professors-and-make-them-accept-late-work.

I'm FURIOUS. I KNOW he is going to expect that since I grudgingly accepted late labs because he had "problems," I'm going to cheerfully accept THIS late, too.

The problem is - and people don't GET this about grading - you block out a period of time in which to grade. I am setting aside about 10 hours today and tomorrow to grade these. When I am done, I want to be DONE. It is easier to do these things in one big miserable chunk than it is to try and find 30 minutes at some other time to grade the late papers that come dribbling in. Add to which, once you get into grading mindset, it's easier on you just to power through, than it is to get in grading mindset, grade a few papers, have to stop, grade a few more, have to stop and wait on late papers.

Late papers ARE a big deal. I'm always frustrated by people not in academia who go, "Psssssht, it's just a late paper. Why get so upset? You're going to spend the same amount of time grading it whether you do it today or whether you do it Friday."

My only rejoinder to that is: Oh, do you like your boss randomly dumping work on your desk, work you must do, but which you never know when it's coming in? And do you like it when your boss gets upset that something he gave you a couple hours ago isn't done yet? (I've got that from late paper people - "You didn't drop what you were doing and grade my work right away, don't you LIKE me?" No, actually, not very much right now)

Also, to me, late papers - people who are chronically late, not people who get food poisoning/have a car problem/whatever and can't get stuff in ONCE - is a sign of someone who can't prioritize. And also, in my mind, it's kind of like the people who are chronically late to meetings - some people do it because it gives them a sense of control over other people. (I know, I'm probably taking that way personally, but I have met students who seemed to feel entitled to hand stuff in late, like I was their servant and my time mattered not).

But, gah, grr. I can expect I will get one of his long, hopeless, sad-sack phone calls this afternoon listing all the things that went wrong over the weekend as to why his paper is not done.

This dude better not be coming to me for a letter of recommendation, that's all I can say.

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