Students are not buying the textbooks for my courses.
I teach the kind of basketweaving theory courses where more than one book is necessary. You know, like a 100-page French poststructuralist anti-weaving book, Horatio Q. Rothbury's 18th century Fall of Basketweaving classic, and the 1970s sociological study on Mongolian horseback weaving. The students have a syllabus that tells them when these books will be used. And yet I have half-apologetic excuses from all kinds of students, ranging from "my financial aid hasn't quite gone through so I couldn't buy the book(s)" to "I ordered it on Amazon last night but strangely it did not arrive in time for class today, because it is not delivered by magic unicorns as I had imagined" to the simple "I ended up not getting that book".
I don't even know what to say to these fellows. I'm forced to add a clause to all future syllabi that reads "all required texts must be purchased and in-hand by the beginning of the second week of class" (perhaps I should even make that a graded assignment!).
I mean, I don't get the financial excuses. When I was getting my schooling, textbook costs were a small fraction of the tuition I paid, kind of like the sales tax I expect to pay on the skittles and DVDs I buy at Target. And I was a broke, broke lad - sometimes having a single boiled potato for dinner (and relishing the romantic notion of being the starving student). I always knew the textbooks were there to be purchased before the semester began, and that I would need money to do so, and that I would need them for the beginning of class. I budgeted for it.
I mean, can you imagine an employee telling their boss, "Yeah, I haven't purchased the gasoline for the car that I need to do my sales pitches, so I'm just going to skip out on it for now. Thank you for your understanding in allowing me to make this up at a later date"?
I'm not angry as much as stupefied. Really, snowflakes? Seriously?