Thursday, January 7, 2016


[Seems the ebb and flow, comings and goings of the Misery mimics a similar evolution/devolution - depending upon yer ideology - of the nation.]

Got a weird one for Miserians –

“Dear Professor A&S, you might not remember me, but I took your Care and Feeding of Wombats course over a year ago. I am now at a different university and would like you to forward all of my grades from the course to my new university. Thank you for your cooperation.”

REPLY – “Greetings pupil, I’m sorry but having never received such a request before, I must ask how/why such information is needed. After a fuckton of teaching experience, my understanding is that universities only communicate final grades to each other.

RESPONSE – “I need all my grades for financial aid reasons.”

BACKSTORY – Walter Wackadoo was known for making rather outrageous statements throughout CaFoW. Of course, with the self-of-steam based rubric there was no way to fail developmental work as being nucking futs or simply factually inaccurate. So long as questions were answered and sources – regardless of quality – were integrated, at least a passing grade had to be granted. However, come final project time, WW submitted a manifesto of how he would create a care and feeding career based upon religious tenets, sports metaphors, and snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Given the nature of the final project, and after consulting with the admincritter, Walter Wackadoo failed Care and Feeding of Wombats.

Of course WW’s request came when the admincritter was on vacation. The back-up critter agreed it was an odd request, but a final decision would have to wait for the official admincrittter’s return. The Student Self-of-Steam Center concurred, it was a peculiar request, but “eh, why not?” Upon admincritter’s return, “Yup, that’s a weird one, but go ahead and supply the information.”

No one has ever been asked for such a thing before, but go ahead and provide the information? Anyone else’s BS meter in the WTF range?

The only thing I can imagine: Walter is trying to convince new school that meanypants professor from old school failed him for NO REEESON and looking at the formative grades – and ignoring the final – will prove, with numbers, that Walter should be given course credit despite that pesky failing final grade.

I am, as always, aware and scared.

~ Aware & Scared


  1. Dear New University,

    Walter Wackadoo failed the course because he subscribes to a conspiracy theory that Boston Terriers are really Wombats in disguise.

    Yer Welcome.

  2. Ralph in the Romance LanguagesJanuary 7, 2016 at 7:30 AM

    The only thing I like about this page is the use of Wombats instead of hamsters used in the more popular sites, meaning, all of the others.

    Oh, and this current moderator is not the raving egomaniac that all the others were. It was all cult of personality before and maybe that's a small improvement. It's like dust in the wind, though.

    1. Actually RitRL, I use wombat for a few of reasons -
      1) Shout out to Charles Emerson Winchester, III who used it as an insult;
      2) Homage to long time CM member Wombat of the Copier;
      3) To distinguish clinically based coursework (e.g. Care and Feeding of Wombats) as opposed to the more theoretical (e.g. Hamsterology 101).

      Ultimately, it's just a fun exclamation/expletive.

    2. Love that #1 reason!

    3. In that case, I will be sure to style a student a "ferretface," in honor of Frank Burns, should the need ever arise.

  3. They're all lying sacks of crap.
    And I'm a wombat and I approve of these metaphors.

  4. That is indeed weird.

    I have asked students for syllabi and copies of assignments, to determine appropriate transfer levels. But nobody transfers failing grades, and just the grades wouldn't really tell me anything. Unless I already had the syllabus and was prepared to recalculate the grade myself based on some substitution/replacement.

    Could they be trying to retake the course by exam, getting credit for the work they already did?

    Or the student might not be lying: for financial aid reasons, knowing that they actually attended the entire course, instead of dropping out midway, has implications. Not sure why it would matter after transfer, but if your school doesn't distinguish between earned and 'walk-away' F grades, they might be trying to fill in that gap.

    1. Like Jonathan, I've had requests for syllabi numerous times. Those were for students who not only passed the course, but got a pretty good grade. I think many schools want at least a C to transfer the credit. Obviously no school transfers an F. I could see a waiver exam, but that's something that's pass/fail for the school to where he's transferring.

      The study of wombats is too important to trifle with!

  5. I would NOT send the grade. They should put in transcript request to the college, not to you. Financial Aid would not honor your email anyway.

    1. No Longer a StudentJanuary 7, 2016 at 7:54 PM

      I would be suspicious that a little alteration of said email is being contemplated if it goes directly from the prof to the student and then is handed over to the new prof.

    2. I'm leery too. I would reply to the student that I need the request directly from WhoeverIsInChargeOfThisRequest at New University.

  6. So why not just include the details of the passing-grade policy, and that subjective assessment you give here, in the reply (directly to the financial aid officer, and/or with a PDF instead of something more easily editable to avoid selective quotations)? The student wants "all the grades;" just interpret that to mean "all the evaluations and grades."