Thursday, December 8, 2016

yeah...real student email from this week

Often noted
as the worst ever
CM graphic. Thx!
"I just reviewed the feedback/ criticism from my long draft report. But hey, try giving out some positive remarks with all of the negative you like to give. Also, I did complete the [hamster hairdressing] research, I didn't submit it. Thanks again for your criticism!"

The author is not a 20-year old snowflake.

The author already works in a profession with very serious consequences when not well practiced well.

But, I'm relieved to know that this student completed the assignment that s/he did not turn in.

"All of the negative that you like to give." Oh my. If I were a songwriter...I'd a write song with this as the hook.

- Miserable Adjunct


  1. Along this lines of Patty's loop idea, I am now at the point of seriously thinking of "grading" emails like this one.
    "I have read the first draft of your email message, and here are some initial thoughts on how you can improve...."


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Relax, RGM. This was just a rough draft of TubaPlayingProf's post. I'm sure they'll put a username in when they turn in their final copy. Try giving out some positive remarks with all of the negative you like to give.

  2. Irrespective of age, many students seem to think that for feedback to be constructive, it must not include any actual criticism. Even the "sh*t sandwich" approach doesn't seem to work anymore.

  3. I've had this thing kicking around in my head since my morning shower. The tune is somewhere between "Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown" and "Living on the Edge", but in a sort of jangle-country manner of "So. Central Rain".

    VERSE 1:
    I did my best, I gave my all, and now all you can say
    Is how I could do better -- why do you do me that way?
    I'd something else to give to you but now I'm not so sure,
    Because if I did you would just keep asking me for more.

    I'm taken in but you're just taking; I've got nothing left.
    You're holding all the fancy cards and now I'll all bereft.
    I may not know anything but I'm positive
    I can't take all of the negative you like to give.

    A second verse might arrive during this evening's hypnagogia, only to be forgotten wholesale overnight or perhaps recovered during the morning's ablutions. The gestalt is that by the end of verse 2, the audience should start to suspect that the narrator is not the most reliable. If there's to be a 3rd verse, it should go full-out psychological projection; either way, the final chorus would explore the idea the narrator is the true source of "all the negative".

    1. I've got "Rum & Coca-cola" running through my head (if not my veins). So that's the meter accounted for. I just need to explain away the execrable quality:

      I work at Batshit Uni
      Where the policies are looney
      The president puts the gist in phlogiston
      International students by the ton
      And in matters administrative
      I can’t take all of the negative you like to give

  4. Oh, so many student emails this week! Among my favorites, and yes I'm paraphrasing and, in the process, improving their writing:

    "Can I have an extension on everything? I'm running three businesses and I'll have everything to you Monday and I promise I'll proofread and everything! Love, Scattered Sandy."

    The beauty of this one is that I'd already told classes they can have until the end of next week to submit revisions. Had Sandy read the email I sent to all students in the class or checked the announcement on Blackboard, she would have known this. It would help, too, if she'd attended more than one class since October.

    "As I've told you before, I don't know what to write about! I don't have time to go to the writing center or come into your office hours. What should I write about?! Love, Frantic Frank."

    This research project was assigned in mid-October. Frank missed the week we were working in the computer labs one-on-one, when I could have given him considerable attention, attention he can't get during office hours. Yesterday, Frank glared at me in class because in my response to his email, I told him I couldn't really tell him anything more than I already had in response to his half-dozen similar emails. I've already warned my chair that he'll be seeing Frank soon.

    "I was throwing up all night. Should I come into class? Love, Germy Gerry."

    This email was sent fifteen minutes before class began. Gerry showed up for class, draft in hand. I told him to send it to me by email. He was a little offended that I wouldn't touch it. He also left when his face got even greener than it was when he arrived.

    "I never got Essay 1 back. Love, Clueless Clark."

    Yes he did. In October. Fortunately for me, several years ago, I switched from hand-writing on essays to typing comments, which I save for just such occasions. Clark thought that he could trick me into a higher grade than he originally earned. The thing that amuses me most about this is that he's had the option to revise ever since October.

    The there have been the usual and frequent questions about where my office is located, when I'm in for office hours, and when assignments are due -- all information available on the syllabus, on the college website, on Blackboard, and in the email messages that I send to students weekly.

    I know it's like this for many of us when semesters are ending, but this year, it seems like there are more messages, that their questions and pleas are becoming more ridiculous, and that they are less skilled in time management than students even a year ago were -- and nearly a third of my students are older, nontraditional students who are just as guilty as their younger counterparts.

    The end of this semester can't arrive too soon.

  5. I've said this before, but the perfect song for such snowflakes already exists. It's "Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber, in which Biebs describes a disqualifying romantic event as "when you told me that my opinion was wrong ..."


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