Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Small and the Miserable
Scenes from an ordinary Monday at LD3C:
Sullen Student: "I took Literature of the Basket Weavers because I thought it would be an easy grade!"
Snarky Student: "I know, right? It's like a real course...and it's a fucking elective!"
Sullen Student: "She grades like this is a real college or something."
Snarky Student: "And she takes off points for grammar...and it's a fucking lit class!"
Perennially Late Student: "Mrs. Greta, I left my homework home. Can I turn it in Wednesday?"
Me at my desk in my office: Silence.
Perennially Late Student: "Mrs. Greta? Mrs. Greta? Did you hear what I said?"
Perennially Late Student, louder: "Professor Greta, did you hear me?"
Me, cheerily: "Hello, Mr. Student: What can I do for you?"
Perennially Late Student, annoyed now: "I just asked you if I could turn in my homework Wednesday."
Me: "Oh! Were you talking to me? I thought I heard you addressing Mrs. Someoneorother."
Perennially Late Student: "What?"
Me, evenly and politely: "I've told the class to address me as Ms. Greta or Professor Greta. It's even in the syllabus. I don't answer to Mrs. Greta."
Perennially Late Student, disbelieving: "What is your problem?"
Me, evenly and politely: "I don't have a problem, Miss Student, do you?"
Perennially Late Student: "I ain't no Miss -- Oooooh!"
Me: "You may turn in Wednesday's homework Wednesday. I don't take late work. You know that, Mr. Student."
Perennially Late Student, smiling broadly now: "I get it. Okay, Ms. Greta. See you Wednesday!"
Needy Student, in the middle of the hallway, catching me before I go into the bathroom: "Um, what's my grade?"
Me, with one hand on the bathroom door: "Hi, Ms. Student. You should be keeping track of your grade yourself. It's also posted on Blackboard."
Needy Student: "But my computer's really slow and I have trouble with Blackboard and--"
Me: "Can this wait, please?" Into the bathroom I go.
Six minutes later, as I'm heading back to my office...
Dr. Chair: "Greta, can I see you for a minute?"
Dr. Chair: "A student of yours just came into my office to say that you'd been rude to her."
Me: "Was it [description of Needy Student]?"
Dr. Chair: "Yes, yes it was."
Me: "Did she tell you that she stopped me on the way into the bathroom?"
Dr. Chair: "Ah, no. No she didn't."
Dr. Chair: "We're done here. And, hey, at least she didn't follow you into the bathroom."
Email from student:
Dear Prof. Greta,
I am profoundly sad to report to you that I will be unable to attend the last week of classes because of a family reunion in Shreveport. It happens every year, and I cannot miss it.
Dear Ms. Student,
You have a take-home final due the last week and I will not administer it early. Your final presentation will also be given in the last week. Failing those two assignments is a decision only you can make.
A near-immediate response:
Dear Prof. Greta,
I will talk to my mother about scheduling.