In honor of Thanksgiving Day here in the States, I offer the following.
I give thanks for all of my online students that read all relevant information about the class before asking an inane question that is easily answered in the class documentation, especially when expecting a response in under an hour at 2AM. Questions such as, “When is the homework due?” (clearly listed on the schedule), “What material will be covered on the exam?” (also listed on the schedule), and my favorite “What should I concentrate on for the final exam? (everything, as stated in the syllabus). I also give thanks for the nastygrams sent to my Dean about my reticence to respond to such questions, especially when I stated in three separate announcements this term (as well as in the syllabus) that I would not answer such questions if the answers are readily available in the class documentation.
I give thanks to the students in my traditional classes, especially those that begged to be added to my classes at the beginning of the term, insisting that my class will be your first priority due to the necessity of completing the class in order to graduate/transfer/keep your scholarship/whatever other excuse you use. I also give thanks for the lack of effort you put into the class, despite above protestations, leading you to perform poorly on the exams, complain in front of the entire class that I must be a horrible professor, and ultimately drop prior to sending a nastygram to my Dean about how terrible I am and how I should have my tenure revoked.
I give thanks for my college’s administration, especially our Vice President of Academic Affairs, who has made it his mission this year to undermine my credibility by going behind my back to try to convince my colleagues and my Dean that I’m trying to ruin my program by outing his (the VP’s) plan to streamline our program’s remediation without any input from my program’s faculty. I also give thanks to how you, Mr. VP, ignored all statements by my colleagues that your project was outed as the result of a direct question from a colleague during a meeting about our Spring schedule, which I constructed to contain your project on the instructions of my Dean, as I’m supposed to do.
All facetiousness aside, I give thanks for many things. I give thanks for my Dean, who, despite our differences, has backed me to the hilt in the above proceedings, as a true professional. I give thanks for my colleagues, who saw through the VP’s idiocy and are now preparing to go to the President in protest. I give thanks to the few students in my classes that actually give a crap, come to class prepared, do their work, and accept their grades (even if they are lower than expected) as intended, a measure of their understanding instead of as a rebuke.
Most importantly, I give thanks for my family and friends (including my newest friends here at CM) for putting up with all of the nonsense, both serious and not-so-serious. This job would be beyond miserable without you as an outlet.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, including those that either don’t observe it or have already observed it this year.
Now, I’m off to enjoy some Johnnie Walker and some wild turkey (as well as stuffing and pumpkin pie) with my football.