With the first homework set due Monday afternoon, Sunday at 10:00 PM I got the usual flakemail: waaah, waaah, problem 48 isn't like anything we did in class, can you give me a hint? Sure thing, little snowflake, but I don’t have the book here with me. Let me get back to you tomorrow morning, okay? And I did, and sent him a detailed hint (no thank-you email, of course).
I try to be nice, but…it’s not natural. Something inside me is saying `I need to do something about this, today’ as I prepare the notes for the class. Hence the first page they see:
HOMEWORK HELP (POLICY)
- Problems due on a given Monday will be posted by the previous Wednesday.
- You may ask HW questions during recitation, or go to your TA’s office hours. E-mailing the TAs is also OK (Monday through Friday only).
- Some of the HW problems may deal with material not introduced in class. There will be enough information in the text.
- Some of the HW problems may be unlike any examples seen in class, or in the text. If you really understand the material, you should be able to think independently about it.
- “Getting help” to solve a problem is second best; avoid it if possible. There is tremendous learning value in figuring things out on your own (and it builds self-confidence.)
Now, there is nothing wrong with what I said, and it’s something they should hear at some point; apparently it falls on me to say it. But it’ll take a couple of lectures to get the temperature back to normal.