Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Say Hi To Professor Peregrine Who Goes Old School on The RTFS Tip!

I’m sitting in my office and I just want to bang my head against a fucking wall because the snowflakes are trying to kill me. I swear they are.

I had half a lecture planned for this morning and the other half was to be student presentations. Five of them. Of those five, only ONE fucking student bothered to show up for class. I was IRATE and in my irateness, I chastised the entire class. At 8 am on a cold and dreary Monday morning. Which was probably unfair since the four who deserved chastising weren’t even there, but at least I put the fear of god in those that were.


As if that wasn’t bad enough, I have gotten, in only 4 weeks of classes requests from EIGHT students to make up labs that they have or will be forced to miss for various (dubious, at best) excuses. Labs that I state specifically on my syllabus CANNOT be made up for any reason. I go over this in class. Each of the eight requests began with “I know you don’t offer make-up labs, but…."

BUT NOTHING. There is no fucking BUT. You are there or you are not.

RTFS, Snowflakes. RTFS.

I try to be accommodating. I try to be reasonable. I understand that weather / sickness / sleeping in happen. We’re all human. BUT, if you choose to go on vacation during the school year, too fucking bad. I don’t get to go on vacation.

It seems that they more accommodating I become, the more they push my limits. And I am tired of being a sucker.

They are trying to kill me. It’s the only explanation.


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  1. Basically, they want a personal tutor at group rates. I do understand that the group rates are high enough to be mistaken for personal-tutor rates, but we're not being paid at the executive coach/celebrity personal assistant level, nor do we have just one "client," so we just can't provide such service.

    Can you claim that the lab (or the number of lab assistants required by some regulation, or whatever) simply isn't/aren't available? Sometimes citing structural reasons/outside regulations makes for a better psychological dynamic in these cases (of course, you risk them/their parents complaining to some dean. When possible -- and if you're at a state school -- blame the legislature, in a way with which the dean will be tempted to agree.)

    In any case, welcome! I suppose we'll know you by your t-shirt and hard hat (which make quite a fetching combination).

  2. Hello, Professor Peregrine!

    We feel your pain. Welcome.

  3. While I was teaching, my equivalent of a syllabus was a sentence or two which stated that students were expected to conduct themselves in a mature and professional manner. In reality, it should have simply been: "You want it, you got it!"

    My boss, Mr. Wannabe Dean, didn't want *any* hassles whatsoever as it might damage his chances of being promoted. Any rules that I might state and, worse, enforce could upset the kiddies. If they weren't happy about it, they could go over my head and complain to him. But, what he really feared was that they could go over his head, and he didn't want to answer any questions about such matters.

    So, to make things easier for *him*, any rules I might dictate could tossed out to avoid such situations, and the kiddies knew that.

    I'm sure many of the institution's senior administrators knew of such practices and, conveniently, looked the other way. After all, the institution's reputation had to be maintained. Then again, I wasn't all that surprised as there were times I was convinced that the only requirement to graduate was to have one's application accepted.

  4. Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I felt better after writing in, and now even better knowing that, indeed, misery does love company.