Monday, May 6, 2013

The Snowflake Apprentice

To the guy who wanted tutoring for that hella-hard algebra/geometry component of the electrician apprenticeship qualifying exam;

So, you wanted tutoring but didn't want tutoring?  When you called me last week to hire me on as a private tutor, I should have known something was up.  Oh, you told of the exam you must take, and how it's.. so hard.  You wanted me to see a copy of the practice exam.  Fine.  It's online you say?  Fine.  Oh, you want me to google the name of the entity who is administering the exam?  It's right there on their homepage?  Alert!  Alert!  Potential snowflake induced wild-goose chase!  

Tell you what, why don't YOU go click on the link to the exam and as soon as the exam loads you can copy the url and email the address to me.  Oh, you say you don't know how to do what I'm telling you?  Then download a copy of the exam and send it to me as an attachment.  Oh, you don't know how to do that either?

So instead, you want to print out the practice exam, scan it, and then email it to me.  No prob Bob!  I mean, I think you are working way too hard but if it works you have no complaint from me.  How it is that you are able to do this, but not the other shit I suggested, is beyond me.  They won't award me a research grant to solve that kind of mystery, so I won't even try.


Friday came and went, and so did Saturday, and then Sunday.  No email.  Who would have thought?  Sunday evening, I started reviewing the conversation I had with you.  If you can't even follow through with something you said you would do, then you probably won't show up to your Monday morning appointment either.  Considering the large number of students I have edutained in the past, I detect a 90% probability that you won't.  Therefore, maybe I should pull a no-show as well, as in turn off my cell-phone, bust out the lawn chairs, call up Cal, mix up the spiked iced-teas and roll a few joints.  Fuck you.

Monday morning, I started feeling a little remorse.  Okay, so I'll be courteous and call you to see if we are still on for this morning.  You're glad I called?  You're not gonna make it, you say?!  You don't say! 

That's fine.  My schedule suddenly became full with appointments for the next few weeks.  I'll call you as soon as that changes.  Why do you sound so disappointed when I tell you that?  Is it because I beat you to the punch?

P.S.  If you think I expected way too much of you with the computer bullshit, you just wait until you start your apprenticeship.  Stacks of shit is gonna be due at 8:00am on your mentor's desk, and you'll be bogged down with emails too.  Oh, and the line "I'm not gonna make it" isn't going to fly at all.  So I suggest you quit playing dumb just to get out of doing work, or else get ready to live in a cardboard box.  (On the other hand, you would probably fit in perfectly at Charter Communications, but that's another rant...)

EMH out.


  1. I used to wonder where homeless people came from. Now I know.

  2. I've had students similar to this one.

    They whined that they're having problems in my course, so I offered to hold extra tutorial sessions. Those sessions weren't required and were held during my free time, time when I wasn't in a lecture or lab and which I would rather have spent on marking or preparing exams.

    The first session was usually well-attended, but attendance declined with each successive meeting. After about 4 weeks, maybe one or two people would show up and they often weren't ones who needed any help. When that happened, I cancelled the tutorials and nobody seemed to notice.

    Guess what my evaluations were like? Yup. I was unhelpful and unavailable, which meant another trip to the department head's office.

  3. I held an extra tutoring session once. ONCE!

    Seriously, though, I did that once, and like three of the dozen or so kids clamoring for it showed. So next class session, I just openly mocked them. I wasn't too mean about it - at least, I don't think so - but I did laugh my ass off at the idea that they'd pass up the extra help when they were so worried. They grew increasingly unsettled as I chuckled over their plight. Some begged for another tutoring session. My eloquent response? "That ship has sailed, my young friend!"

    Strangely, I never really get bad evals. I don't quite understand it, unless there's a streak of masochism in all my students.

  4. Sounds like somebody who may have paid a "tutor" to actually do the work in the past (or just managed to slide by on social promotion), and is now facing the fact that that's not possible for the qualifying exam (thank goodness, since electricity can be, you know, dangerous in the wrong hands -- and careless or lazy is probably as bad as dumb in this case).