Tuesday, November 19, 2013

End of semester is approaching

A few scenes:

1. Several students coming in asking me "Is there anything I can do to raise my grade at this point?" (alternate question: "Is there anything I can do to pass at this point?") The sad thing about this question, and the thing I hate and have a hard time offering constructive responses to - if the student in question had come in and asked after the first or even the second exam, the answer would have been "Yes, and here's how...." But when anywhere between 2/3 and 7/8 of the points for the semester have already been assigned - it's kind of late for that. And yeah, I've told people that but I don't know if that will change their behavior for next semester. (I even up-front, in one class, posted a short powerpoint about "keys to success" and one of them was COME IN TO SEE ME AS SOON AS YOU REALIZE YOU ARE STRUGGLING. I suppose I need to add the hint that earning a 50% on the first exam counts as "struggling.")

2. Student comes in the day after the drop deadline wanting to drop. I told him the deadline was past. Sad face: "Can you DO anything?"

Um, no. I'm not a Timelord. There was a deadline, you knew about it, it got away from you. This is how you learn.

3. Except, there actually apparently is: Got a call from the advising-help-center place. One of my students "needs" to drop even though it's after the deadline because her parents JUST NOW found out she was failing and want her to drop. (Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh. I posted their grades online all semester; she should have told them how she was doing earlier). Can she come over and have me sign something? Well, seeing as it's within half an hour of my planned going home time, yeah, but she'd better hurry. (I didn't say, "I'm going home in 30 minutes," I said, "I have to leave campus in 30 minutes" which is less open to manipulation). Suddenly the guy calling realized he could just call the registrar and have them take care of it. (Seriously? I can get to Next Biggest City in just about 30 minutes. The office the student would half to walk from is less than a half-mile from me. And the student in question is perfectly able-bodied. She cannot get to my office in half an hour, that's an unreasonable burden?)

4. Student e-mails me a paper late. Except, it's not the assignment I assigned, it's something totally different that might JUST be something written for a previous semester and recycled. (I still haven't found how to look up when a document was created and such in the new version of Word, which annoys me. That used to be useful for catching "recycled" papers). So I sent an e-mail explaining I could not grade the item because it was (a) late and (b) not the assignment I assigned. I'm waiting to hear back. Because I know I will hear back.

5. Just the endless parade of "I made bad life choices and I expect you to either fix it or to put yourself out in some way to mitigate it, even though it was my life choice and not yours" problems.

1 comment:

Kate P said...

Must be something in the air over here, too--first obsessive parent e-mail happened this week. I'll go back and forth once, and then I conclude the matter with a "take it or call me to discuss further" threat (sort of). Haven't heard back yet, so I'm thinking my point was taken.