Monday, October 21, 2013

Changing Projects: From Suzy From Square State.

I shouldn't bitch. I should be glad he's going. But I got really irritated at a student who was a member of my senior hamster fur weaving project team decided to switch to the underwater basket weaving project on the last day for registration changes.

He sent an email to the group, stating that underwater basket weaving was going to be his life, he liked us and our project but he really needed to prepare himself for his personal future. Would anyone be against him switching?

25 minutes later (I am amazed that the registrar reacted so quickly) he sent an email to me and the colleague from UBW and the department head, requesting that we approve his switch by answering the email CC to the registrar. The colleague approved 1 minute later, the department head 3 minutes later. Me? I was stuck in an all-day, state-wide meeting and only dealt with my email backlog in the evening.

The student lead of the project had asked him why he was switching and reminded him that they were under a non-disclosure agreement. I found no further correspondence, so I emailed my colleagues that I was concerned that they were approving stuff like this without asking me if I agreed. They bitched back at me that I should be happy they were dealing with their email in a timely fashion and why wasn't I?

Ah, yes. I knew there was some reason I didn't want that sabbatical to end. I've let the student hang over the weekend, I pretend not to read my email until Monday.

Bubba, you got anything good to drink over there?


Original comments:

Southern Bubba, Ph.D.
October 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Seriously, who do you think stole that Pappy Van Winkle? I'm the Robbin Hood of bourbon. And you, Suzy, sound like you're a bit bourbon-impoverished right now....

Southern Bubba, Ph.D.
October 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM
Robyn Hode.


Froderick Frankenstien from Fresno
October 20, 2013 at 6:40 PM
Bitching is entirely understandable. I get these often: godawful, incompetent, immature, work-shy flakes who if they did any job in the world like they're doing my class or project, they'd be fired. Often, when they leave me, I know I should be thankful. It's still hard not to resent the time and effort spent on them, all for nothing except to raise my blood pressure.

You know what's even more exasperating? When months later, they ask you to return. Even worse is when they ask you to write a letter of recommendation!

The Contemplative Cynic
October 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Sounds more like 'good riddance,' but couldn't they have left sooner?!!!

I always feel like this when a student spends my time going over a topic. We spend hours brainstorming. They leave, and then write a shitty paper on a completely different topic.

Suzy from Square State
October 21, 2013 at 12:06 AM
You've nailed it. He just wasted my time. I suppose I should be happy the underwater basket weavers have to put up with him now.


I've reposted Suzy's piece from last night because I allowed the comments to race away from the topic at hand.


  1. I like that this was reposted, and I also like that the side conversation also is still up. Suzy, I'm sorry for my part in the comments getting off track.

    Yes, the glow of a sabbatical doesn't last long after the return to the grind.

  2. I'm also having a rough re-entry after sabbatical. Ugh.

  3. Cynic's experience -- "We spend hours brainstorming. They leave, and then write a shitty paper on a completely different topic" -- sounds all too familiar to me. Also, the shitty paper on the different topic often turns out to be plagiarized (or written for another class). So yes, you're probably well rid of him. And your colleagues need to put down their communication devices and get some real work done.

    And I'm curious about the "non-disclosure agreement." Are the students in some sort of contest with each other? Are they producing potentially-salable ideas? Why all the secrecy?

  4. Yes, they are setting up a revolutionary method of preparing hamster fur for weaving that will make them all rich if they are first to market. It is truly amazing to see how they dig in and work with this carrot dangled in front of them. We have regrouped good riddance to the one gone and NO he cannot come back when the other group bombs out.