Friday, September 24, 2010

A Real Conversation I Just Had.

Student (holding out exam I just returned to her as though it were a poisonous spider):
"I don't get Bs on tests."

Me (smiling sweetly):
"Looks like ya just did."


  1. Twist the knife by telling him that it might be a high water mark.

  2. "I don't get B's on tests."

    "Yeah, and I don't drink. Oh yeah, I do. Mostly to forget conversations like this."

  3. LOL, Ben - it was an angry "she" with the snarl on her face. And she spun from the room on her heel in a fine huff before I could salt the wound. Otherwise it would have been "I don't get Bs on tests..." "Congrats, then! All that studying must have finally paid off! I'm sure an "A" is right around the bend..."

    Pat, oh, Pat... you're great. I was actually drinking whiskey neat when I said it. ; )

  4. Tell her, "Well, you only got the grade you did because I was generous with the partial credit. Otherwise, it would have been a C."

    Okay, so that might not be such a good idea, but it would be hilarious to see the look on her face.

    Mathsquatch out.

  5. Take the paper, look it over with a furrowed brow, and add a "-" to that B.

    "There--fixed! Have a good weekend!" you reply.

  6. Bite-sized smackdown! Love it. What a nice way to kick-off the weekend!

  7. Great comment.

    Blogless A.R.: +1 cocktails for you.

    I wish I had the stones to make either reply.

  8. I had a dude who said to me, "I'm an honor roll student! I don't get Ds!"

    And I said, "Really? Then someone else must be writing your papers for you. Do I need to call the Student Disciplinary Office?"

  9. As in the words of Robin Willians:

    "Reality...What a concept."

  10. A cute reverse scenario: when I went back on a visiting instructor gig to my alma mater, one of my former professors came to my office sheepishly, with a paper in his hand. "I wanted to show you this an apologize," he said. "I can't believe I gave you an A- on this." It was a photocopy of an old paper of mine, written when I was a junior (I'm not sure why he'd saved it). I looked it over and I said, "Tom, I think you were generous." It was so charming that he thought that just because I'd turned out to be a college professor I must have been writing A papers all along.

  11. Oh, this is brilliant! Brilliant! Do you have a response for "I need to get an A because I need to get into medical school"? Because I'm gonna need some of those soon....

  12. > Do you have a response for "I need to get an A
    > because I need to get into medical school"?

    How about the straightforward approach: "NO, because you have given me every indication you would be a LOUSY doctor, and a danger to public health, because of your lack of ability, work ethic, and maturity." Leave the maturity hook to the very end: it's the worst possible thing one can say to an 18-to-22-year old.

  13. Do you have a response for "I need to get an A because I need to get into medical school"?

    My standard response to that one is:

    "A medical school will accept you."

    Works great for law school too.

  14. p.s. It helps if you put a lot of stress on the initial article. It really gets their goat, but they know they can't respond, because it isn't like they were really going to get into Harvard anyway.

  15. > Do you have a response for "I need to get an A because I need to get into medical school"?

    And I need to...

    ...get a million dollars because I need a nice house.

    ...get a unicorn because they're so pretty.

    ...get a better job where I don't need to deal with hobgoblins and their sense of entitlement.

    Oh what? I thought we sharing unrealistic fantasies.


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