Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The rant I wish I could have said to Flakey McFlakerson

Listen up Flakey McFlakerson. You tried so hard? You need to graduate? This is your best work?

I am a hell of a lot older than you. You know what that means? It means I've seen better. You're young and you think you know everything about the world. I'm here to tell you that most of your professors, adjuncts, and TAs have seen better work than your best.

I've had better students. I've heard better and more legitimate excuses. I know you're lying to me because you can't even look me in the eyes and tell me the bullshit coming out of your mouth with a straight face. You are a liar.

As you get older Flakey McFlakerson, you'll find that some partners are better than others. It's just polite that you don't tell them straight up that their skills are sub-par. It's also polite if you don't ask how you stack up against the former ones; you probably don't want to hear the truth. The same goes for life in college.



Yes, I've had better students and your grade reflects that. What, you only need a C in this class to graduate? Yeah, I had a friend say that in college too, and that friend still can't find work. Why? Because it's a buyer's market. All those high-strung, work-hard A and B students are getting a job before you. Why? Because they will sharpen the pencils counter clockwise because that's what the boss said and not cause the boss trouble. That gets your hired and keeps you from getting fired.

Coming to class is hard? Poor baby. The course is scheduled. You knew the times since before the last break. You can't scrounge up the 40 hours of face time that this class asks for? How are you going to make it through a 40 hour work week?

What? I'm being mean? My friend is still unemployed because of the "I only need a C" attitude. You know what Cs across the board say to employers, especially coupled with your asinine, entitled attitude? DO NOT HIRE.

Can I write you a letter of recommendation? One where you won't waive your right to see it?

Listen, Flakey McFlakerson, you haven't tried hard and if this is your best work, you deserve the D+ you are earning right now.

16 comments:

  1. Well, to be fair, C's can also say "Congratulations! You've been 'elected' President of the United States!"

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    1. But the last one did so only after having stolen the election, and had a miserable record in the economy, torture, extraordinary rendition, at least one completely unnecessary war, and far too much else.

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    2. Citation for that stolen election claim?

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    3. Frod, my scare quotes around "elected" were intended to imply just that. WW, anything we'd cite you'd discredit anyway. The larger point is that if you're already rich and powerful, a C isn't going to stop you from doing anything.

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    4. Far better not to release your transcripts at all.

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    5. My larger point is that when wealth and power allows C students to do things, the results can be horrific. Ergo, and in concordance with this thread, don't give a C to a D student.

      And as far as a citation goes, how about Gore vs. Bush and its decision, clearly among the most partisan Supreme Court decisions in modern times?

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  2. Oops, hit return too soon. This was great fun to read--I hope you were able to express some of this sentiment to Flakey.

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  3. D means 'done'. As in you're done now go away.

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    Replies
    1. It means "Don't for the love of God hire this person to do anything related to this subject."

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  4. And I thought it meant "Doh!"

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  5. And I thought it meant "Doh!"

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  6. I'm always surprised when a student performs poorly and they insist that this is their best effort. If that's the best they can do and it stinks, then there's no need for me to provide help. The student has reached their maximum ability.

    I have more sympathy for students who can demonstrate that it was not their best effort. Then I'm inclined to help them do better because they think they can do better.

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  7. I knew a non-humanities major who needed one more class (a humanities course) to graduate. S/he took it in the summer and sang the Cookie Monster song "C is for Cookie" but parodied (is that possible?) it as "D is for Diploma" every day to and from class.
    Original:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye8mB6VsUHw

    Last I heard they were doing quite well for themselves.

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    Replies
    1. And I had a friend in college who got what he called "rainbow grades": one A, one B, one C, and one D, regularly, each semester. It kept him off academic probation, and left him a good deal of time to pursue the extracurricular activity that would eventually be his vocation. I suspect it took some work to identify and keep track of the absolute minimum work he needed to do in the D and C classes, and have wondered whether it wouldn't have been easier to simply put in B-/C+ - ish effort, and let the chips fall where they might, but I think he sort of enjoyed hitting the mark so exactly. But of course that's the point: he was (and is) in fact quite disciplined, but in pursuit of the goals he sets for himself. And he never, ever whined about one of those low grades; after all, he had earned (and planned to earn) it.

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