Lawyered-Up Lance: I don’t care about your legal issues. Really. You don’t need to tell me that you’re missing class because you’ll be in court. What you do need to do is be aware of the attendance policy (you have a certain number of absences for which I don’t give a fuck why you’re not in class) and get your work in on time. E-mailing me your paper two days after it’s due and not in a file format I can open does not help you, bub.
Invisible Ida: Please, for the love of all that’s cute and fuzzy, do NOT send me a blank e-mail with your paper attached. There’s no surer way to make my inner Hulk come out and want to smash your grade into oblivion. I am a human being, not a robot. A smidge of respect would not go amiss, especially since I assign your grade.
Chronically-Ill Caty: You’ve missed too much class already. I tried to be nice and give you the benefit of the doubt, offering to ignore the fact that you’ve failed due to non-attendance IF you could provide a doctor’s note and keep up with the rest of the class for the rest of the semester. Showing up to class sans doctor’s note and paper but with a “flunk me, I dare you” look on your face does not make me want to help you. Neither does missing yet another two days of class. You’re in for a rude shock when midterm grades are due, young lady.
Please-Explain Patty: Thank you for being polite when asking about your grade. Thank you for replying promptly to my e-mail explaining your grade, and for continuing to be polite and thanking me for explaining. I dreaded writing that e-mail and I dreaded hearing from you because as you can see above, your classmates can be rude idiots. Your assurance that you’ll work hard to get the next paper in better shape and “thank you” for my explanation and feedbackwent a long way toward making my day just a little bit better.