Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kids say the darndest things...

And by "kids" I mean college students. Ever since I started teaching I've had heard some of the lamest/funniest excuses in my life. I've also just read/heard the funniest statements ever. Here are some of the highlights (so far...I'm sure I'll have a ton more):

1. I got an email from a girl who said she had to rush her roommate to the hospital because she either had H1N1 or internal bleeding. To the best of my knowledge this student is neither a medical person nor does she have a MRI installed in her dorm room so how she thought internal bleeding is beyond me.

2. I had a student tell me that it was my fault that he didn't turn in his weekly journal because I usually remind them at the end of class on Thursday and I didn't the week before. Apparently the due date on the syllabus and on Oncourse did not cue him to action regarding the journal. Nor did the fact that they have to turn in a journal EVERY Tuesday and this was the FOURTH week of class. Clearly, still my fault.

3. I had a student who was angry about a paper grade I gave her last semester. When did she let me know? Not immediately after it posted. Not a week after it posted. Not when I emailed to say I was turning in final grades 48 hours later. She waits til 3 days after I turned in final grades. She did not like my explanation and demanded I meet her in person to discuss the grade. When I told her it would be impossible to meet in person as I was LEAVING FOR AFRICA in 5 days and I didn't have time to drive back to Bloomington to give her the same explanation I had given her via email (because apparently in person she would be soooo much more convincing that her paper wasn't crap and deserved better than a C), she told me that she was going to "report me to my superiors" because obviously I wasn't going to "give her the time of day." When I replied and cc'ed my "superior" and again explained that I had provided a detailed response for why she received a C on her paper and that I was going to Africa and I couldn't not meet with her face to face, but that if she continued to be unhappy she could speak to my superior who was conveniently copied on the email. My superior responded that the girl did not need to be rude to me and if she would like to have an explanation for her paper in person she would have to wait til I came back. A grade grievance wouldn't matter if it were then or a month later. We didn't hear from her again. Guess her idle threat plan did not pay off in the way she hoped.

4. "I would give this class 3.5 out of 4 stars because it was definitely more interesting than I thought it would be. Way to exceed my expectations!" Wow...didn't know that I was teaching Siskel or Ebert. But glad I could meet your needs and exceed your expectations. That was my goal.

5. "I think that for future classes I would suggest that a midterm test is given 4 weeks into the class. I know that sounds crazy coming from a student, but a midterm test has many advantages for students. First of all, it gives us an opportunity to get more points, which I feel like I did not have enough of those opportunities this semester, especially after missing two quizzes." Two words: point whore. Oh and a few more words: why is it my fault you missed two quizzes? Idiot.

These are some of my favs...I was going to add the 3some issue although I think that I adequately covered that in the last post.


Jennifer Kerner said...

I really think that GAs, AIs, and others who are just getting into the teaching thing should meet once a month to swap stories and empathize. Trent and I usually spend about 10 minutes after each class discussing such amazingly ridiculous actions from students.

But it does make life interesting :-)

I bet you're a phenomenal prof :-)

I miss you!

NY Diva said...

Judging by the attitudes I've seen myself, I'm guessing the #3 problem will not be getting better. I don't mean with that particular student, I just mean in general. Kids these days.