Saturday, December 7, 2013

From the Tuba Playing Prof! "You Know The Fall Semester's Nearly Over When...."


  • Most of the emails in the inbox are from students who are suddenly focused on their classes—in that they are concerned about the number of absences they have and the effect on their grades.
  • Colleagues who get considerable release time to work on assessment drop yet another task everyone (busy with full teaching loads) MUST do so they can complete their work before THEIR break.
  • The presivost offers the annual holiday party—during classes.
  • The annual reminder about religious decorations in the work place states that Santa is a secular symbol and thus acceptable for our public institution.
  • Colleagues schedule final exams at their convenience, thereby causing conflicts for others and especially the students.
  • Students who have no chance to pass the course wish to take advantage of your office hours to “catch up” on their work


Please add your own!

20 comments:

  1. That person whom you've never laid eyes on comes to the last class and stays after to ask if there's extra credit they can do to make up for what they missed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Even after I say, "No end-of-course extra credit" during class, one or more students will come up to me after that very class and ask about end-of-course extra credit.

    It's almost like they aren't listening!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The annual Christmas party is to be held at some way-out-of-the-way suburban-fringe hotel banquet room (which you strongly suspect is in the neighbourhood of the Dean's personal assistant, who would be organizing the party), ensuring that (nearly) everyone has to restrict themselves to 2 drinks so that they are fit to drive home afterwards. Face all those crazies in one room while sober? No thanks. Explains why the Christmas party is so poorly attended year after year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Students finally read the (full-page, single-spaced, with footnotes providing illustrative examples) section of the syllabus explaining how the final grade is calculated, and a few protest, loudly, that it's unfair/not what they expected/not what the LMS implies (even though the syllabus explicitly says "in cases where the grading system implied by the LMS conflicts with the one described in this syllabus, the syllabus governs").

    Oh, wait. That won't happen for another week or 10 days, after I turn in final grades. And if past experience is any guide, at least one protest email will arrive on Christmas eve -- which, of course, is why I intend to have grades in and a vacation message up well before then.

    ReplyDelete
  5. A bit sooner than the above, somebody will turn in the final, very simple, entirely b.s.-able assignment of the course (a required course-wide reflection on what they learned) in an file format undecipherable by Word, Adobe Reader, text-file readers, or any other program available on common home or campus computers, and will promptly get on a plane to a location (usually referred to as "my country"*) where they have no internet access. The good news about this group is that they usually don't resurface until January, when they realize that they didn't, in fact, graduate in December, despite that nice ceremony they attended.

    *Mind you, we have many, many extremely competent international and immigrant students. We also have snowflakes that fall in those categories, and they're probably somewhat disproportionately represented in the population of the course I teach, since it's required for graduation, and the combination of ESL and snowflakery tends to result in multiple retakes, right up to, and often slightly beyond, the official graduation ceremony.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "You Know The Fall Semester's Nearly Over When...."

    .....my ammunition stocks are low, and I have to do my quarterly report to the Fourth Directorate (disguised as letters to a non-existent family under an assumed name.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ammunition is scarce and increasing in price. You'll have to go with cheap Molotov cocktails or making Katyusha rockets in your garage.

      Delete
    2. A garrote is a quiet, inexpensive, eco-friendly way of dealing with them. It's a device which makes up in personalized quality what it lacks in quantity, with little collateral damage.

      Delete
  7. When every second email you get is titled "Sick, Doctor's Note"
    There appears to be an epidemic of pneumonia and bronchitis going around my intro to hamster cages course this term...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last semester, I got an email saying the student had a doctor's appointment at the same time as the final and would have to miss it. I replied and reminded hir that the test was the day after hir supposed doctor's appointment. The student then sent an email saying s/he probably couldn't make it the next day either because the doctor's office was very far away.

      Fucking students.

      Delete
  8. When your house has piles of mail, books, grading, and gifts waiting to be wrapped and sent -- piles of everything, in fact, except clean clothes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is spooky, Proffie. When did you visit my house?

      Delete
    2. It's good to know I'm not the only one!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. You have money to buy gifts? Or the time to create them?

      Delete
    2. I bake gifts before Thanksgiving, in the calm before the storm. I also buy gifts through the year when I see something my husband, kids, parents or sisters would enjoy. Learned from long, lean years of grad school experience when the budget per gift was well under $5.

      Delete
  10. The pleas of "tell us what's on the final," which actually means "give us a handout with all the questions you'll be using."

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm the only one in my office... where did everyone go?

    ReplyDelete