Life has been hectic for me since I left CM. But, it has all slowed down a bit and I feel comfortable taking a correspondent position once more. And, since this is what CMers seem to like, a bit of smackdown!
Sorority Susan: You came to class the first day and then the next time you came back, you brought the wrong book. It is not my fault that you didn't listen when I told you which bookstores in town to go to. The Barnes and Noble at the local mall was not the right place. If you had bothered to read the ISBN I so helpfully put on the syllabus against the book you bought, you would have seen your mistake. Also, glaring at me while I graded your pitiful work did nothing to endear you to me. That your parting words were, "I'm not going to take this class again in a lab setting, since it doesn't help me," made me happier than you can imagine.
Mommy Maureen: I realize that it is tough to raise seven children and deal with a nagging spouse. I also realize how much working the swing shift can royally suck. But, you contracted to do the work when you signed up for the class. You were nowhere even close to earning an incomplete. That your life sucks is not an excuse. My life sucked this quarter and I still managed to get to work on time. (Well, I was 20-30 minutes late one snowy morning, but, otherwise, I was there on time.)
Procrastinating Penelope: I warned you at the beginning of the quarter that you would not be able to complete the entire class in the last few weeks. It being a lab class was part of it, but it was also a sincere way of trying to help you to manage your time wisely. You tried and showed me that you were at least capable of the work, but you did not complete the work, so you got an F. See you next quarter. Hopefully this time you will listen to me.
Touchy-Feely Thomas: Um, I know that you were trying to be nice, but touching me is off-limits. A handshake is fine, but a pat on the shoulder is uncalled for in 99.99999999% of the situations in which there is a teacher and a student. I do not pat students on the shoulder and they should not pat me on the shoulder. The only exception would be if you were family. But my family are either through with math or live far enough away from me that my teaching them would be near impossible. (My sister is the only exception and that was tutoring over the phone. Trust me, it's extremely difficult to tutor Math over the phone.)
Well, I don't want to sound too bitter about this past quarter, so I will end with some positives.
Boss Benny: That you went out of your way to make sure that I had what I needed to teach is fantastic. As far as the union thing goes, I say, "Fuck the union!" But it is not that simple, is it? I would not put your job in jeopardy to assure that I could go full-time sooner rather than later. You are the best boss I have ever had. Thank you.
Aides Aisha and Anica: You two were the best two work-study students I have ever seen. Thank you both for your continued help with the work. I would not have survived the last two week without your help. Saying thank you is hardly enough for all the work you did for me.