Monday, October 14, 2013

"The more I deal with students, the more I hate my job." A Fun CM Flashback to Kick the New Week Off. From Our Hero Beaker Ben. Three Years Ago Today!

The more I deal with students, the more I hate my job
The Beaker Ben

Last year our dean sent an edict throughout his kingdom that faculty must get more involved in our students’ academic failure achievement. Gone are the days of letting them sink or swim on their own two feet, or, you know what I mean.

Since then, I’ve been saving gems from my conversations with these idiots.

  • A student got a zero for an online homework assignment due at midnight because he turned it in at 4 am. “But professor, I started it at 11 pm. Technically, that’s before the deadline.” Go jump off a building, ok? Technically, it's not the fall which hurts you.
  • When counseling a student to drop my class after getting a 40% on the first exam, he says, “I already took a class just like this in high school so I’m pretty confident in my abilities.” Thanks for the heads up. We'll stop recruiting students from there next year.
  • A student denies that she fabricated her lab data because she “only moved the decimal point a couple of places." She thought it was ok because she changed all the data the same way.
  • A student wants to know her midterm grade. I ask if she is in my 8 am or noon class. She pulls out her phone and says, “Um, I’m not sure. Let me check.” Sorry, time is too complicated for you. Are you sleepy or hungry in my class? And by the way, when do you finally have your class schedule memorized, November?


  1. It's hard for them to swim on their own two feet with both feet encased in concrete. Now you know why, whenever I find myself feeling sorry for a modern student, they invariably say or do something that makes the feeling evaporate instantly. Unprepared is one thing; guilty as sin is quite another.

  2. We've been at this for three years?

    I feel so old.

    1. Think about how long ago your first appearance on RYS might have been. NOW you should feel old.

    2. Hi RGM,

      I'm sending you this message to your private account. Please don't share with the others at CM.

      That wasn't me at RYS. The character Beaker Ben® is a side project that the interns at Beaker Ben International Enterprises LLC handle. I'm the third high school student to do this. I'm only 15 years old so 3 years is, like, 25% of my life or whatever.

      Take care,


    3. Ronnie,

      I know. I was at your bar mitzvah.


    4. These are the moments I cherish on this blog. :)

  3. Hmm. So far, I haven't had a student fail to remember which section (s)he's in when asked. They fail all the time to tell me up front, which is, as I explain to them (in keeping with my pedagogical field) an audience problem: for them, my class is the one I teach; for me, it's one of four I teach (and I need time/day, subject matter, or both to distinguish it from the others).

  4. I constantly have students not remembering three quarters through the quarter what their schedules are when they sign up for one-on-one conferences for their final essays. We're on the quarter system. This means they go to these classes daily!