Sunday, February 21, 2016

We Embrace All That We Are, Have Been, and Will Be, Even When We Close Down, I Mean, Within Days, Just Ask Anyone. 9 Years Ago on RYS.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Go Ahead and Read This Post, ASAP, We Mean, If You Want To

Maybe I need to up my meds, but I'm besieged and beset this semester with students who make email requests and then end with, "Get back to me ASAP."

As soon as possible? Do you mean I should put your request ahead of anything else on my plate, husband, child, other students, my boss, my colleagues, my aching back, my broken down Pontiac?

I know "ASAP" is probably a benign and understood locution that I should just "get over myself" about, but it just seems indicative of these times, where I'm made to feel by nearly everyone that I'm working for the students.

Your recent comments on "students as consumers" has really hit me hard, because our college president is always using language like that. I leave faculty meetings feeling as if I'm an ogre if I don't spend half of my day cooing to students about their "entitlement" or their "progress."

I hate to be an old fuddy-duddy - I'm just 40, the "new" 30, after all - but when I went to college, I had to work my ass off for everything, even for the attention of my professors. It never occurred to me to make demands on them beyond the ones they already had taken on by running the classes I was in.

The world seems flipped on its head now. I feel a lot like the person who stood up for me and the rest of the professoriate when saying we are not the hired help. I want my students to succeed, but I also want more respect than what is implied in getting back to them ASAP.

13 comments:

  1. And not even "Please get back to me ASAP". Just a demand. My dean uses the students as customers phrase all the time. I'd love to tell him students are supposed to be earning a degree, not buying one, but it would fall on deaf ears.

    Like you, I want my students to succeed. But to do that, they have to put the time in to learn the material and not try to memorize stuff and play a parrot. An increasing proportion of them don't want to do that. And when something goes against them, it's unfair. If I ask "I know it goes against your wishes, but why is it unfair?" I get the strangest looks.

    Getting respect is getting harder (I've been at this for almost 20 years, which probably makes me a newbie relative to others on the site).

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  2. As soon as possible? No problem. Given my priorities, it is not possible for me to put your demand ahead of those who are more deserving of my attention. Now, if I were to rearrange my priorities, you'd shoot right to the top but, I'm sorry to say, that's just not possible.

    I'll get you your problem (which you created for yourself by not reading directions). It is possible that I'll wait until tomorrow, or maybe a day or two later. That's what you mean by "as soon as possible," right?

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  3. I'm trying to remember what phrase my students were using a lot a few years ago, that evoked similar feelings in me. Maybe it was "at your earliest convenience," or "I eagerly await your response," or something like that? I finally decided they were just trying to sound formal/businessy, and didn't really mean it/think about the meaning.

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  4. I had someone at work who would command me in the exact same way (not my boss, mind you). I went out of my way to get them the things they needed from me to do their job at like 4:55. Preferably on Friday or just before the start of a long break. Payment in kind.

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  5. "Thank you in advance."

    To which I sometimes want to say, "Fuck you in hindsight; you presume I'll do what you want, but I won't."

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  6. 9 Years Ago...I REMEMBER that shitty graphic. Haha.

    And it's all worse now.

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    Replies
    1. Pardon me! That graphic was awfully good for its time!!! LOL.

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    2. What is it supposed to be, precisely?

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    3. It says "A S A P ."

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    4. Lol, you asshat hahaha. I meant why the shape/curviture/color? And that little pixelation of red at the top. Is it supposed to be... I don't know... a stamp or something?

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  7. It was meant to embody suffering.

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  8. A few semesters ago I received the rudest student email using that acronym, and it bothered me so much that I now use it (and another polite student email) in a lesson on language pragmatics. I give this lesson early on in the semester to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

    So far, so good.

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    Replies
    1. As I read this I see an egregious overuse of the pronoun "it." Mea culpa. Had to post an apology ASAP.

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