Monday, September 27, 2010

Behold! A Ray of Light (Weak Though It May Be)

This email:

Hello Ms. XXXX,

Could it be possible to take the test before thursday? I would be willing to take it before or after class on tuesday or during any of your office hours. Thank you!


Eager Erin

Let's ignore "Could" for "Would" and the capitalization problems and focus instead on the use of a proper greeting AND proposals for alternate exam times. I am also, frankly, pleased by a lack of explanation about why the exam needs to be rescheduled for her because I honestly don't give a shit about what the reason is.

It's not perfect, but it beats the heck out of an email related to this same test that read:

"I am going to be out of town for [a sport] from Wednesday night until Thursday at 11pm. What am I supposed to do about the test?"

Um, well, I suppose you could take the test and shove it...I mean...well. Hmm.


  1. ps: Today I kicked the dog. You know that theory about how in abusive families, the abuse travels down the chain of authority? Dad hits mom who hits the kid who kicks the dog. Today I ripped my upper-level class a new one about all of their nasty in-class habits (nose-picking, whispering, turning around to check the clock behind them.)

    And THEN I talked about how our educational system prepares people for manufacturing jobs as we read EP Thompson's work-time discipline article and I pointed out that I'd just disciplined them.

    So it was educational. And the dark, nasty, sucking part of my soul thoroughly enjoyed not being Nice Nancy for once.

  2. I'm just sad that you think Eager Erin was a winner for trying to wrangle herself out of taking a (planned and announced well in advance, I expect) exam because she managed to do it with a modicum of courtesy and intelligible English.

    You poor thing. =) I'm glad you were Nasty Nancy today, you deserve a treat once in a while. ; )


  3. She wasn't trying to wrangle out, she was trying to take it early. It's much better than the panicked email on Friday demanding a make up test. At least this student recognized that she would be busy in advance, figured out what she could do about it, and requested an accommodation that wouldn't inconvenience the professor unduly. She also requested something that wouldn't give her an unfair advantage over the other students with regard to study time. I say : Brava on Eager Erin.

  4. Aw, you totally ruined my bitchy bitterness. Stop being all noble. ; )

  5. I'm a meany and ask for a documented reason; i.e., something with their name on it and that date/time proving they are unavailable. I also make early test-takers sign an honor pledge not to reveal what's on the exam. And I don't do late exams.

    Why so mean? 100 students at a time = cheaters. Sadly. The honor pledge probably means nothing, but I have a faint hope that it installs a conscience.


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