Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sundays and student emails

Yo, Poopie.
Still waiting!
Two days until the final exam. The time is nearly upon us.

Emails are now starting to pour in from students, asking questions that sound suspiciously like they are staring at a lecture slide online that simply has an image, or an image with one line of text associated with it, and they have no idea what it means because they didn't actually come to the lecture.

It is a warm, beautiful Sunday, and I've got several young children who need to get out to the park and enjoy the outdoors.

I suppose these students think I will answer their Sunday afternoon emails?


Prof Poopiehead


  1. Did you answer those emails yet?

    How about now?

    How about now?

    Did you answer that email yet?

    Why not?


  2. Wise decision, Prof. P! Next step: Do not even check your college email account on Sunday.

  3. Our IT people have disabled our e-mail's vacation-message function. I'm not sure why: it may have been a fit of excessive idealism (that if we don't answer e-mail over vacation, we're bad proffies), it may have been a fit of spite (more likely), or perhaps it was plain-and-simple incompetence (even more likely).

    I learned some time ago: NEVER answer e-mail during vacation. It's VACATION, goddammit!

    But of course, one cannot ignore e-mail. If one does, one gets more e-mail, at increasingly shorter intervals, and it is increasingly panicky in content---much like OPH's comment above.

    I therefore send out fake “vacation” messages. They say:

    “This is an automated reply message. Professor Frankenstien is out of the office. He will read your e-mail about ‘Subject’ when he returns, on ‘Date’.”

    Whenever anyone asks why I’m the only proffie who gets to send out automated e-mail reply messages, I just say I’m a better programmer than IT is. This does not strain credulity, so it ends there.

  4. FF from Fresno,
    How very smart! I'm totally going to do this when I go on vacation (next week)!

  5. We're officially allowed,even in online classes, to be unavailable 2 days out of 7. I've never been able to figure out a reasonable deadline schedule that would make that work (one needs to be available for some time both before and after deadlines, and they need to be somewhat spread out over the week -- at 3 or 4 day intervals in the two-deadlines-a-week format that most of the online proffies I know use), but I definitely avoid work email on Sundays (and warn my students of that fact on the syllabus).

    We also have the auto-reply function available, and I use it when I'm going to be away from email for more than the 24-36 hours covered by the syllabus warning (which asks that questions that need to be answered by Monday be sent by noon on Saturday).