Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nitwit Roundup

Nitwit 1: You have an accommodations plan that basically states because of your social anxiety disorder, you can’t talk in front of others, and thus I can’t embarrass you by asking you questions in class. This is very vexing, because embarrassing students in class is one of the four pillars of my pedagogy, along with completely inflexible due dates, the use of the frequent and stomach-churning pop quiz, and a less than genteel loathing of anything resembling “student-centered learning”. Well, whatever you’ve told your other nitwit friends in Academic Support Services, I don’t believe you have a social anxiety disorder, because when you came into my office to announce said social anxiety disorder, you were probably the most social person I’d ever met. You talked my fucking ear off for ten minutes, and told me more about your life than I have any right or need or desire to know. Shut up, lady with a social anxiety disorder that prevents you from being able to talk in front of others. Shut up.

Nitwit 2: Oh. My. Freaking. Christ. Apparently you saw something mysterious in my email to you, so you wrote me demanding an explanation. What you needed explained is the presence in the said email of the following sentence: This message was written in a character set other than your own. If it is not displayed correctly, click here to open it in a new window.

“What on earth could she mean by this?” you wondered. Well, there is only one way to explain that sentence, Nitwit 2. You are a certified grade-A nitwit. Then, after that little display of nitwittery, you tried to send me this week’s assignment, before I even put up the prompt. You emailed it to me when I told you four times I don’t accept assignments via email. And the assignment you sent was plagiarized. Because your stupidity scales to heights with which even I am unfamiliar, I actually checked your transcript.

You are an Ed major. As ed majors seem to put the “nit” in “nitwit,” this was no big surprise. Nor was your whopping 2.1 average from Local Low Standards Community College. Please go away. Please.

Nitwits 3 and 4: I have an assignment for you. 1) Go to google images. 2) Look up “turnip truck”. 3) Try to find an image of one with me falling off of it.

You won’t, Nitwits 3 and 4. So your smarmy “I couldn’t get the reading done” bullshit gets no sympathy for either of you. What sort of nitwit whines that the “link wouldn’t click on Sunday” for an assignment due Tuesday? Firstly, the non-nitwits among you had no trouble. Secondly, if you’re having trouble on a Sunday, take your finger out of your ass and email me. Insisting that you “clicked the wrong link and read the wrong assignment” gets you no pity either.

Nitwit 5: You have some serious mental problems. Truly. I’m well aware of your condition, and have been keeping tabs on you and your progress (or lack thereof) since you flaked out on my sophomore class three or four years ago.

You’ve managed to spackle yourself together and get yourself back in school, and it’s good to see you here. But it’s the third week of school and you’ve already been absent three times and missed every single assignment, which are together worth 15% of your final grade. Telling me that you “only added the class last Friday” would explain why you weren’t prepared for class that Friday. It does not explain why you are unprepared for class the following Tuesday. Or the Tuesday after that. Neither does your history of mental illness. You’re a very smart girl but you cannot make participation 100% of the grade, especially when your participation never involves discussing the actual text. Sigh.

Nitwit 6: You were trying to scam the US government, and my university, for grant money. That was obvious before you plagiarized your first assignment. After you did, I had a little conversation with the head of the financial aid office and I’ve made sure you’ll never, ever see a dime of that money, Nitwit 6. I told him pointedly that you were not a member of my class and had not participated adequately (which means he will not release your grant money) because the first assignment you turned in was plagiarized.
Yet even after this, and my note to you that you were going to get an F in the class if you didn’t drop, you wrote me that you “still have no plans of dropping this class” and that you “will work harder on the next assignment”

There will be no “next assignment” for you, Nitwit 6. And no grant money to pay for your tuition, or whatever else you use the money for. You’re screwed.

Nitwit 7: You take yourself very, very seriously, Nitwit 7. Even though you have only taken one comp class at East Southwest Mumblefuck Junior College, you seem to think you’re some sort of genius. You write poetry, you say. Well, of course. Every twenty-year-old “poet” with one semester of comp behind them is a genius.

Now, if the teachers at East Southwest Mumblefuck Junior College were any good, which they’re not, they would have told you everything I’m telling you now. That your purple prose is a bloated nightmare, and that you have grammar and punctuation errors in nearly every sentence of your writing. When I told you this, trying to be as gentle about it as possible, I could feel your teeth clenching. You were not happy, because everyone until now has told you that you poop flowers.

You don’t poop flowers, Nitwit 7. You poop poop. And you write poop too.

Nitwit 8: Ah…Nitwit 8—in my online sophomore survey—those classes always seem to provide the highest amount of nitwits, so your missive comes as no surprise. You say that for “personal reasons” you decided not to do the reading or the essay for last week, and you’re writing me because the essay question for this week refers in part to a concept you were supposed to have read about last week. Thus I “must surely understand” that you “don’t know anything about” that concept because for “personal reasons” you decided to skip doing your work last week. You “don’t think that it’s fair” that you should have to write about a concept that for “personal reasons” you chose to ignore completely.

Aw, poor nitwit. I’ve decided I’m going to fail you for the whole semester, even though it’s only February.


“Personal reasons.”


  1. Kill them all.

    With a flamethrower.

  2. Shut up, lady with a social anxiety disorder that prevents you from being able to talk in front of others. Shut up.

    Reminds me of the old line from Tom Lehrer about all the people who can't shut up about how incapable they are of communicating.

    Overall a very nice barrage of smack. Well done. Stella does it again.

  3. "You don’t poop flowers, Nitwit 7. You poop poop."

    Nearly lost a mouthful of my morning tea to that one.

    1. Ditto. Gregory House himself couldn't have said it better.

    2. i cried, while laughing. this smack down is a thing of beauty.

  4. Post of the week, baby. Post. of. the. Week.

  5. That graphic cracks me up...

  6. You had me at "four pillars of my pedagogy".

  7. Stella, don't forget to take your blood pressure medicine with so many nitwits around already. Lovely post.

  8. Oh, the financial-aid scammer very favorite. Because of them, all financial aid officers everywhere have to go through endless amounts of paperwork, checks, balances, counterbalances, and yearly audits. On behalf of my brethren and sistren in the field, Stella, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for not letting this little asshat get away with it.

  9. I've been reading this blog since the RYS days and I swear the students in these stories are getting stupider, which I would have found hard to believe three or four years ago.

    Truly, I don't know how you guys do it. I think if it were me the story would be on the Evening News, ending with, ". . . before turning the gun on himself."

  10. I've got Nitwit 5 in my class too. And all the others, but Nitwit 5 stands out, because I like her, and oh man she's got a brilliant mind, she really does. But her life is not going to be easy.

  11. Classic! P.O.W. indeed! I had a male variation on #1 recently. He self-identified as being very nervous about speaking in public, but in fact was one of the most talkative -- and loudest -- members of the class. In fact, both I and his small group members had to periodically remind him to use his indoor voice (though not in those exact words). He also had very little filter, to the point where some of the questions he asked group members could have been considered borderline harassment. Fortunately, they all took it well, told him to pipe down when necessary, ignored and/or deflected inappropriate comments, and moved ahead. My own completely amateur diagnosis was that he probably fell at the high-functioning end of the autism scale, but perhaps recently-treated social anxiety disorder really does have some interesting side effects, including logorrhea.

    And I'm beginning to suspect that my college is getting the occasional financial-aid scammer. It's hardly a flood, but increasingly I'm getting at least one, and sometimes more than one, student a semester who is listed on my roll but never shows up to class, or drops. I'm used to the student who shows up for a week or three, then disappears as actual work becomes due, but never gets around to dropping, and to the person who never shows up, but drops before or soon after the add/drop date. But the never-show/never-drops are new, and make me wonder what's going on. If a student or family member is actually paying for hir education (now or in the future), there are strong incentives to drop, in the form of decreasing refund percentages. But if (s)he is in it for the loans, then I guess those incentives don't apply. Still, don't they realize that student loans are non-dischargeable?

  12. Whoa, Stella! It's one of THOSE semesters for you, clearly! I send my sympathy. And thank you for labeling a few of my own nitwits (I don't have near as many as you do, but the 4 that I do have fit into these categories so nicely that I'm going to print this out and hand it to them to see if they can identity which nitwit they are).

    So the ED major nitwits should all just be lumped into a category of Ed-wits. That's what I'm calling them from now on. :o)

  13. Zoiks! Sounds like you need a drink (or three). Don't let the nitwits grind you down.


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