I found the request baffling, since she has not been in class frequently enough to be said to have any kind of performance in it at all.
Still, it is my job, and doing it keeps me in used books and over-priced coffee drinks, so I said, "Sure, I'd be happy to."
During the meeting, I was informed of the following:
- She does not know why she needs this class.
- It has nothing to do with smearing poop on a slide. (I infer from this her prospective job does?)
- She finds it hard to read the book.
- She has to read the chapters several times before she understands anything.
- But she thinks the class is really easy,
- and she can totally do this. No problem.
- She understands that the tests will be over the lecture notes and the reading.
- But she was surprised to see that some of the test questions covered material not in the book.
- She enjoys my lectures.
- She's happy I'm not boring.
- But she has trouble paying attention during class.
- On other hand, she was at pains to let me know that when she wasn't in class, she had "reasons."
- Likewise for when she shows up, drops her bag, and promptly leaves for most of the period.
- You see, she has kids.
- And, owing to having kids, my expecting her to be present at the start of class is "unrealistic."
- She hates that she has to take this class.
- But she really likes the material.
- She reads a lot.
- But she finds it hard to read.
- She is totally good at studying and can easily master this material.
- But she is at a loss to figure out how to prepare for the tests.
- She is a really good student.
- She just doesn't do well in her classes.
Oh, and the perennial favorite:
- She's graduating next semester.
At no point during the twenty-minute meeting did she stop talking for even a second, nor did she ever - not once - ask a single question. I get the sense that she was fishing for me to say something like, "Wow, you must have it rough; let's see what we can do for you."
I never liked fishing.
She is one of my more baffling students, but there's a certain amusement value to her sheer stupidity. The amusement lessens, however, when she's keeping me from my well-earned lunch at Subway.