The current wave of unrest in the
"I can't concentrate on studying. My cousin is fighting in the revolution."
These are foreign graduate students. (I know, what other type of chemistry grad student is there?) I can delay my exam for a few days but I doubt that will solve the problem. These disputes seem to take longer to settle than our faculty meetings.
As the culturally sensitive guy that I am, I told them not to get their beards and hijabs in a knot. We can work something out. After much deliberation, I've offered the students to choice of writing the following assignment instead of taking the advanced quantum mechanics exam next week. If they are thinking about living in an awesome and free country, this should keep 'em happy.
Choose one of the following people and write a five page essay about why he or she is the greatest American ever.
A. Toby Kieth, greatest singer to use the lyric "boot in your ass"
B. George W. Bush, one of the top 50 U.S. presidents
C. Ronald Reagan, father of our country
D. Tom Landry, coach of America's Team
E. Sarah Palin, best, um, former governor? ... nevermind, she's hot
Consider your choice carefully. No partial credit will be given.
After announcing this policy, the students forgot about all their personal problems. You wouldn't believe how much quantum mechanics those kids are learning. It's like a modern day Solvay Conference!
UPDATE: Made minor edit 4 hrs later.