Sunday, December 15, 2013

Five Years Ago on RYS. With Original Shitty Graphic. Lazy Ass Student.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Madge From Madison Sends In Pet Peeve #43, The Lazy Ass Student.

In the last 48 hours, I have received four increasingly frantic emails from a student wanting to know not only the titles of the books I have assigned for my persuasive writing course next semester, but also the ISBN numbers.

I know she's trying to order her books online to avoid paying full price at the book store. I do not begrudge her for that -- I did the same thing in college, and especially in grad school. What I do begrudge her for is bothering me with something so trivial during finals week when I have a million papers and portfolios to read, grammar exams to correct, and grades to calculate.

It's not as if the information isn't out there. She could trot over to the book store -- at most a 5 minute walk from every other building on campus. If she's too lazy to do that, she could look at the bookstore website, which lists the books for each course by both instructor name and section number.

I don't have my copies of next semester's books in my office. They're on my desk at home. Frustrated by email #4, I replied that I didn't have the ISBNs handy, but gave her the book titles, the names of the editors, and the edition numbers -- more than sufficient info to look the books up on Amazon, or, or -- gasp! -- the textbook publisher's website. (And she could have found all of this out two days ago, when she sent email #1, if she's just taken the 2 minutes she spent to write me looking the information up instead.)

My cordial and relatively detailed reply was apparently not enough for this girl. Oh no. Within 5 minutes, she replied to my message with, "The website I'm using won't let me look up books without the ISBN so I need you to get those to me a.s.a.p."

On principle, I am not going to reply to that email even once I get home and have the books in front of me. I refuse to facilitate laziness and do her work for her -- the babying cannot begin before the semester even starts. If she wants to buy her books online, an exceedingly simple task, then she can look up the damn ISBN numbers herself. Or just type the info I kindly provided into -- I am certain she will be able to find the books that way.


  1. This battle was lost when the professor sent the book titles. Surely the only appropriate answer was "I don't have the books with me, but you could check with the bookstore".

  2. I really love that graphic. I remember it from the original post, and I'm still totally laughing my ass off.

  3. I'm sure she's hoping you'll get all sad about her helplessness and order the books for her. I'm sure that at ABE you'll be able to find copies for ten times what the bookstore is charging.

  4. At the place I used to teach at, the bookstore purchasing agent was about as lazy as this student. Providing her with the title and the authors was, of course, necessary, but I thought that the ISBN numbers was going a bit too far.

    When a new edition came out, she'd sometimes get snarky with us for not having up-to-date information. Considering that we ended up doing most of her work for her, I often wondered why she still had her job and why we didn't order our texts directly from the suppliers.

  5. I have to fill out a spreadsheet with all the info: author, title, ISBN, edition, publisher for each of my courses. And usually, they want all the info in October (for spring), at midterms. Because I don't order hard-to-find books, I usually just ignore the emails until I am damned good and ready (in the calm before the storm of final grading, in December).

    Students who email me get the title and author. If they have editions other than what's on the syllabus, it's up to THEM to figure out the reading (though I do usually go by chapter rather than page number to accommodate even the e-reader students).

    This student is just fucking lazy.

    1. To clarify: The spreadsheet is for the bookstore, not the students.


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