Stupid Stanley has been futzing around in my Ancient Hamster Masterpieces class for the past seven weeks. When he deigns to turn in work, it's passable. He's yet another snowflake who could be making decent grades if only he attempted to use the literacy skills I know are floating around somewhere in his snowy snowflake brain.
Stanley is one of the Cool Kids, so of course he has a Mac. He bragged about how wonderful it was the first week of class and how small and light and superior it was. As of those of you are in the Apple Cult or work with/live in proximity to its members know, the word processing program which comes with Macs is called Pages. Pages and Word don't play well together, with Word being all nerdy and Microsofty, but in their infinite wisdom, the programming gods have created a file format which works across all word processing programs, the magical Rich Text Format.
My directions for all major papers specify that all assignments are to be turned in to me in either .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. Stanley has turned in every single one of his major papers in .pages format. The first time this happened, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the awesomeness of his Mac had blinded him to the possibility that he might actually have to work with people outside the Macsphere. Although he got a big, fat zero on the assignment, in the comments I walked him through the directions for how to convert his file format in Pages and told him that if he did so within 48 hours and emailed me the new file, I would grade it and replace his zero with whatever he earned. After I finished grading everyone's papers, I sent directions for how to access not just the grades but also the comments so I could be sure Stanley knew what to do.
Stanley apparently is also too cool to read comments, however. The second time, I gave the same admonition, told him to look back at the comments from the first assignment, and gave him 24 hours to revise. Again, coolness prevailed and I received nothing. He just got the zero and "I can't open Pages" comment on everything else. Stanley has now accumulated four zeroes on major assignments. The big research paper is due this week. Doubtless it will also come in Pages format, Stanley will receive a zero, and then the fun will begin as Stanley cries to my chair that he did the assignments but the mean old English Doc refused to grade them because she wouldn't convert the files.
I'm sure that somewhere out there, a set of directions exists which would show me how to do just that. But my set of directions trumps any snowflake's asking me to the work I asked him to do, and Stanley's saving the files the way he was told to and bothering to read my damn comments would have helped us avoid this altogether. Stanley's coolness has also prevented him from doing most of the posts, which fails him under the attendance policy anyway, but I'm sure he'll hang his hat on the awesomeness of his Mac and his nerdy proffie's tragically unhip PC.
I hope Stanley and his Mac enjoy retaking the ancient hamster fur classics course with some other proffie next term.