Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Speedy Rant: In Smackdown format

Yes, I know the research paper is due next week.

Yes, I know it's Thanksgiving break and you are spending the next three days at home stuffing your face and getting tipsy behind your parents' backs, so won't have time to focus on your research paper. 

No: telling me that you "need" to shop for Black Friday deals by staying up all night to hold your place in line and, therefore, won't have time to research your paper doesn't merit an extension. 

No: I cannot do the research FOR you and send you links to the articles I've found because that will make your paper so much easier to write.

No: I cannot scan three pages and email them to you out of a library book that you didn't check out and now realize you need for your final paper.

Yes: I will assign an F if you don't turn the paper in on time.

Are you going to next ask me to write your paper FOR you? 


  1. ". . . and getting tipsy behind your parents' backs . . . "

    May I add to this list from my own conversations today?

    Yes: The essay was due at the start of class.

    No: I will not be on campus later so you can hand it in.

    Yes: You will have a 0 on that essay because (as the syllabus says) late work is not accepted.

    No: I am not like your other professor who "is more understanding."

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    No: I cannot look over your paper and provide feedback right now, as students hand me their lab equipment and I put it back in order for the next instructor. That is an office hour activity.

    No: It will not take "just a minute."

    No: Telling me now, as the semester is ending, that you work during my office hours, does not merit my skipping a bathroom break between classes in order to preread your paper.

    No: If you send it to me by email, I will not look it over during the Thanksgiving weekend.

    Yes: It is still due on Monday, even though we are a bit behind in the syllabus. The assignment has not changed since you received it in August.

    1. Oh, the list could be endless, right? We should start one to which we just all add as the academic year progresses.

  2. Aargh. Perhaps it's time to put up a vacation message, at least for 36 hours or so? If you're really brave, it could read "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." If you're less brave/untenured, just wish them a happy Thanksgiving and promise to get back to them after the holiday (which could mean Friday, or could, quite justifiably, mean Monday morning. After all, they'd go into orbit if you expected them to turn in work over the break. So why are you expected to answer emails?)

    1. Excellent advice. I am NOW putting up my vacation message. I don't have tenure, but it's a holiday, for tea-party's sake, and my SLAC isn't one where tenure actually protects anyone.

      And, while this rant doesn't mention it, this was all from ONE student over the course of last night and today. I did get six other "Please help me" emails that I just consider de rigeur, so not worth mentioning here.

    2. That's quite a student. I'm glad it's just one, but yikes, indeed. (S)he seems to have mistaken you for hir/a far-too-accommodating mother, or perhaps a secretary, or a research assistant. Hir first encounter with a boss should be um, interesting.

    3. Yes, he is a winner. Weirdly, this is the first instance of flakery I've encountered with him, so perhaps he saved a whole quarter's worth up just for this week. And for the record, we've had the whole week off, so I've been answering emails all week. I'm not going to do so tomorrow.

      I just had another snowflake email me a copy of a paper for another class to ask for my feedback. I was happy to see that my "Out of Office" reply zinged his way.

    4. Cynic, on my drive home I realized that I'd perhaps hijacked your thread in my haste to unload a fresh rant, and that I hadn't fully appreciated your own Misery.

      Head-shaking, jaw-dropping disbelief at the entitlement s/he displayed. Asking a professor to scan some pages of a book s/he needs for a paper? WTF? Has no one ever told this person to get lost?

    5. Not a problem. :) I'm happy to offer a chance to vent. Release the misery to the web. :)