My work with abnormals has made for some interesting discoveries I thought I would share with you, my colleagues, in an attempt to help you understand some of the more exotic college student abnormals. My topic for this post: the Feral Graduate Student.
I encountered a small pack of Feral Graduate Students (FGS) in the wilds of online education. In fact, that is the only geographic area I myself have experienced them. Unlike Domestic Graduate Students (DGS) we have all had in the physical classroom settings, these graduate students show no fear of academics. They will attack by spewing email and discussion board posts with convoluted and erroneous logic. These attacks come with little to no provocation, and the results tend to be quite messy.
They have some cognitive issues, included an unusual level of dementia that mimics the snowflakery of undergraduate students. Here are a few examples: one FGS was convinced of his right to submit a take-home final exam three weeks late, submitting even after the faculty member clearly communicated a "No" to him; another small pack of FGS would not participate in discussion boards that were a part of the grade and failed the understand that postings after the class was over were pointless; finally, more than one FGS submitted a detailed critique of the class with the email submitting their final exam. They do not seem to be able to understand the standard means of communication, confusing simple words like "no", "must", and "required." The only means of communicating effectively with them seems to be grades.
While this species considers themselves to be dangerous predators, they remain a threat to untenured faculty members and even then their spewing is more of a nuisance than a threat.
When dealing with this species, I personally would make the following recommendations:
- Wear a protective hazmat suit when you suspect a course of action you are about to take will result in an attack.
- Keep in mind that there attacks are likely not personal, and merely a defense mechanism of as of yet unknown origin.
- Recognize their communication issues and follow up nos, musts, and requireds with grade penalties that will be enforced.
- Be very thankful for all the DGS you have, but be aware that a FGS could easily turn a DGS if the do not follow through on recommendation #3.
Please share your own experiences with this difficult species!