Mathsquatch is still alive and will be posting some good ol' smackdown in the next week or two! But, until then, I have a question. What should I do with a drama queen who is now going through some real tough situations? He already used up his allotted free absences on overblown drama, but is now going through real, honest to goodness drama. He just sent me a message asking me how he can pass the class given his tough situation. His grades are nowhere close to passing and he missed a midterm exam. What would you tell him?
Why hasn't he just done this already?
Dropping/with drawing is a good option.ReplyDelete
two words, medical withdraw, I get this all the time, can I do extra credit, take an incomplete. Bottom line, they did not learn the material, college is a knowledge based system. There is no shame in a withdraw if you simply did not engage in the course.ReplyDelete
Add another vote for drop/special withdrawal of some sort. Life moves on despite disasters, and even students who do everything right from the beginning can find themselves unable to finish a semester. It's a sign of maturity and good sense to cut one's losses and take advantage of the policies created for such situations when it becomes clear that that will be the case. Since your student seems to be lacking in both, you may need to point the way for him.ReplyDelete
I'd tell him the truth, in words very similar to what you just used: "nowhere close to passing." At this point the burden should be shifted from you to "the options" e.g. dropping, non-academic withdrawal for a term or a year, visitation with counselling services for documentation of the drama, etc.ReplyDelete
Ditto. You'll be happy to sign the necessary papers for late withdrawal from the course. The option is to let him defer all the assignments until he's in a position to do them and pass them, but it sounds as if he's missed so much already that there's no point making that offer; he'd have to make up the whole course on his own.ReplyDelete
He needs to drop out, join the Army, step on a land mine in Afghanistan, then return to your class a shattered wreck in an electric wheelchair.ReplyDelete
If it's broken leg style stuff, the student can continue thinking and do alternative assignments. Summaries. Timelines. Analysis charts. Whatever.
If it's mind fuck stuff, like deaths and divorces, the student needs to drop.
I'm with Academic Monkey, though I did give an incomplete to a student whose mother was dying of bone cancer. The student kept up with the readings, asked questions when she needed to, and had turned in all work previous to her mother's downturn, and she didn't want to have a late drop. I let her finish the work in the interim between semesters, and she passed with a B.ReplyDelete
It depends on the student, I guess. I have given incompletes in the past, and the beauty of them is that if the student doesn't complete the work, I don't have to do anything--the grade turns from I to F.
See ya next semester! Drop.ReplyDelete
Drop! But don't join this military: it's dangerous.ReplyDelete
I'm dealing with an adjunct right now who told a student to drop and the student turned violent on him, threatening him. Apparently, he's been doing the bully all through the years, he's a senior and "only needs this course to finish up".ReplyDelete
The adjunct made a mistake in setting his own dates for hand-in of a project when the syllabus says it's an exam and the exam date is in the system. So we are working out a compromise: an oral exam with plenty of witnesses.
I asked the adjunct today why he didn't call the cops. He said that police and learning don't mix - nice guy. So I'm going to call the bully in to my office, with lots of witnesses.
I asked the chancellor for ideas, he chuckled and said: well, you are a motherly figure, that should work. MOTHERLY? I can't get my own son to clean up his room!
Still, I'm with drop on this.
@Dean Suzy: This twit has no excuse to get violent. What if the next thing he does is bring in a firearm? San Diego State had a disturbingly similar incident in 1996.ReplyDelete
Probably too late now, but what happened at SDSU was a shooting by a mechanical engineering grad student who killed three professors after luring them into a Master's thesis defense.ReplyDelete
I'm mean to the little pishers (students) on this blog mostly because I think many of them should be flipping burgers, working retail, or tending bar - Hell, many of the college students graduating NOW will be doing these high school ed level jobs because the corporations are queasy. If we are ever to place these grads we will have to restructure the economy of the US to do it or they will wind up being expat labor.
If it's a math class, does it have a comprehensive cumulative final? Maybe you could make it pass the final, pass the course (whilst at the same time pointing out it's very rare to pass the final having flunked all the way through, and he'd be better off withdrawing)ReplyDelete
I do a Last Ditch Comprehensive Final, but only with C/D/F options.ReplyDelete
In my experience, the students for whom this option is designed rarely benefits them - but they were Mostly Doomed in the first place.
I'd tell him that since he wasted his excused absences on stuff he shouldn't have, he's paying for it now. If he hadn't, I'd be a lot more generous.ReplyDelete
Let him drop. If you're feeling generous, go to bat for him against admin to do so (if it's past deadlines, for instance), but tell him next time save the excused absences for when they're needed. Otherwise, drop if he can. Or he takes the F.