Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Emails in my inbox this morning

- Four requests for overloads into one of my classes

- One request from a student who failed my class last term because he never came, didn't do any assignments and was generally invisible all term asking me to overload him into my class this term because he's "familiar with [my] teaching style" and thinks that will help him do better this term

- One request for a meeting from a students who didn't come to the first day of class and needs to discuss his "situation" with me. Evidently he's having trouble with his financial aid, or something like that. I could barely understand it. I hope that he is a foreign student, otherwise he has bigger problems.

- An email from a student's mother (!!!!) explaining why he missed the first day of class yesterday and asking for any assignments he missed


  1. Oh gawd. Today is the first day of one of my classes and I haven't received a single Email note this week yet. However, I know I will... undoubtedly 5 minutes AFTER the class starts (i.e., a "drive-by" where they know I won't see their excuse du jour for a few hours).

    About two weeks ago, I did get an Email from a student asking if she could take the class on-line or watch recorded streaming video (this one isn't on the main campus and she screwed up in looking at the site). Like, huh? This is a graduate-level discussion-based class (I'm not the only one who talks). No video, no recording. Show up or take it next semester.

  2. Dear Mom,

    Cut the apron strings.


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  4. I went into higher ed rather than secondary ed with the purpose of never having to talk to parents (except on graduation day, when I am perfectly happy to pose in my robes with little Sally the newly-minted B.A.).

  5. An e-mail from a student's mother? Here's my policy:

    "Dear Mrs. Grendel, I am sorry but privacy regulations forbid me to discuss your darling baby's progress with you."

    Then I carefully misplace any signed document that may appear from Grendel, giving me permission to talk to his mother. "I'm sorry, but I haven't gotten the memo yet."

  6. I teach piano, and at the beginning of the year have an onslaught of incoming piano students to place with our instructors. Before the year starts, I meet with them all personally so they can be placed with the best instructor to match their levels. They know this meeting is happening because it shows up on the schedule in their orientation packet.

    I sent out an email Friday before last to all of the registered new students with detailed instructions about this meeting with me (e.g., come to my office on these days at these times, bring these materials with you, etc.). Yes, a few snowflakes did not show up. I sent out another email last Wednesday giving them more instructions, since that was the first day of class, and telling them to ask if they had questions.

    Thursday morning I had a voice message from a mother of one of these students, saying she needed to help her son register for his lessons.

    Gee. Zuss.

  7. PARENTS!! God, parents. Sometimes it's fun: you get to be extra snarky with them (in my department at least) because they have absolutely no right to inquire on behalf of (etc) their kids. So you can string em along a bit with absolutely no help. It makes them furious and can be fun to watch. But this is only okay if 1) you have the time to torture a parent living through their kids or 2) your university as a strict "kids are adults parents are not entitled to another adult's records" policy. Which mine, fortunately, does.

    Parents. Go jump in a blender. You are not my problem.


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