Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm Dead Inside

I always thought the semester where I had to ask a student to put his shirt back on would be the worst one, but compared to this one, that one wasn't so bad.

But I’ve waited and waited for the nasty emails from the students after I sent their grades. Given all of the complaining they did this semester, I thought it was a sure thing. Perhaps they don’t care, or are waiting to attack me at the start of next semester. Or maybe they figured out how to make a formal complaint. Or maybe they haven’t figured out how to find their grade online.

I did get the snowflakiest email I’d yet to receive. Full of, “I feel you don’t like me,” “I tried really hard,” “I feel I should get a better grade.” I feel, I feel, I feel – blech. I don’t feel anything anymore because you’ve deadened my heart and soul, you twat! Of course it was full of grammatical and spelling errors and he began by telling me that he was upset when he “seen” his grade. Yeah, well, I’m upset that you’re in college and you can’t write a sentence. Another good part was how upset he was over a paper I’d helped him with; I’d looked at it multiple times and suggested changes each time. Few to none were implemented, however he still got a B. Because he can’t do math, he thought he got an F, and this is what the email was about. How could he still get a bad grade after I looked over it? Why doesn't he understand that he should be embarrassed that I looked at this three or four times and they still messed it up? Ridiculous.

I responded that perhaps if he thought he was treated unfairly he should seek out the department head and make a formal complaint. He responded with, “obviously you just don’t care.” I wanted to go to the students house and punch them in the face, but instead I just sent the email to a friend who wrote his own version of the email which made me laugh a lot: “I do not want to be discrimited because I'm not as smart as others. I would like to get an A for effort, I know that may seem bad to you but I tried harder than my friends in your class who just post their smart phone pics of you on facebook when your back is turned, instead of writing down science stuff. I am concerned because unless I get inflated grades no one will overpay me to do a nothing job in a few years, and I have two ugly kids to support. It's not my fault my high school teachers were scared of my girlfriends and passed me to get rid of me. It must be because you don't like me, there is no other reason not to inflate my grades. When I ask you to repeat things you just lectured on, or that are in my textbook assigned reading I get dissapointed that you are not happy to do it all over for me. I think you are a racist slag.”

Other highlights from the semester come from the final: One question has three choices, A, B, C and the student makes up another answer. I can’t begin to explain that one.

They can’t use logic, even after going over the exact problem in class. If the Earth wasn’t around a million years ago, then obviously there wouldn’t be hamsters that were a billion years old...unless, of, you don’t think that, HAMSTERS ARE FROM SPACE?! Could it be?

Two sentences from written answers I particularly enjoyed:

  • Evolution evolves... 
  • It’s importance is that it’s important.


  1. Oh, god I'm dealing with snowflake emails right now. Claims that they should have earned more because of stupid reasons A, B, C. Kills me inside. Because what the fuck, I told you attendance counted, I told you the homework was not just suggested, I told you to do your very best on the final since it was worth 40%!! And my students were graduating seniors intent on going to law school. Just terrible, terrible people who are still working with a freshman-level mind.

  2. Law school????

    Oh, that's just great. We'll have to build more prisons to hold people while they wait for the clogged courts to deal with their appeals because they didn't have adequate counsel.

    "Your Honoorrrrrr, I feel you're ruling against me because you don't like meeeeee! I didn't have time to prepaaaaaaare! Can I get an extension?"

  3. "And my students were graduating seniors intent on going to law school."

    Well you tell those little scumfucs that there are TOO MANY LAW SCHOOL GRADS chasing TOO FEW JOBS. That's not being mean; it's the honest Got-damn truth....most of those cool jobs these future street people are aiming at DEMAND at Tier 1, top 14 law school and your people sound like the sort of bubblebrains scam schools like Thomas Jefferson "School" of Law or Thomas Cooley SoL are constantly looking for. Do these sub-grade people think they can handle another $100,000 on top of whatever their loans are now?

    There is a blog I know, run by a guy named Nando, and he runs through all of the lesser-tier law schools (and there are HUNDREDS):

    One of the sites he links to is a blog called Esquire Painting; that one is run by "JDPainterguy" a fellow who survived law school, but could never get a job, so now he paints for a "living" while his student loan bills rack up. I mention him as a reminder that STUDENT LOANS CAN NEVER BE DISCHARGED under the present scheme of things.

  4. You're a science proffie, no? I reduce this noise by giving students a quantitative list of what they did on every assignment and exam, throughout the semester, along with a precise description of how grades are calculated on the syllabus, which is also available online. Numbers always seem fair and objective, and have an authority like nothing else, particularly since none of the little darlings can do math, anyway.

  5. @FFF, I do everything you mention the point of being clinical about it. No one cares. They don't read it. They still send their bitchy little emails. I mean, I could never actually get in trouble for anything because of my record keeping and quantitative insanity. If they complain to my dept. head, he'll probably make them cry. Anyway, I think the noise is reduced, but I must be too old, because it's too loud.

  6. @ AdMonk and Prof T ...

    I'm dealing with much similar laments, but my flaky flakes all want to go into clinical hamster counseling.

    The current nails on the chalkboard screed: "Until you, every other professor has [insert artificial self-esteem boosting term which Captain Subtext would explain actually means capitulated/rolled over/milquetoasted].

    I've never met this Every Other Professor but whoever s/he is I wish s/he would stop letting students believe that spelling & grammar/following instructions/behaving in an adult manner is all optional.

    Gary imagined AdMonk's students as lawyers, it chills me to think of mine as counselors: "Awwww, you think you have troubles? Why are you bothering me with your petty puke? You should just go shopping/drink heavily/watch Jersey Shore and leave me alone."

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  8. @Aware and Scared: "Every Other Professor" isn't as common as one might deduce from how often he or she is evoked. Chances are quite good that what he or she is said to do is a bald-faced lie.

    @Monkey: It's difficult for me to feel much for students who clearly intend to make a fine living preying off people like me. As we used to say in the Navy, "Sympathy is in the dictionary between 'shit' and 'syphilis.'"

    @Prof T: You wouldn't dare say that out loud, would you? It boggles how modern college students are so much like children. Seemingly every semester, they get more, and more, and more IMMATURE, and we are expected to do more and more about it.

    Please feel free to wear their scorn like a badge of honor, the way I do. Be glad you have a Chair with a backbone: they are far too rare.

    George Carlin made fun of how, thanks to the self-esteem movement, kids can get into their 20s before they ever hear anyone tell them they're losers. Well, I suppose that's up to us, even though we never signed up for it. Much has been made in recent years about how, increasingly, parents seem to expect teachers to raise their kids for them. It's too bad, but we have to acknowledge that this has become common AT UNIVERSITY LEVEL. And I refuse to do it!

  9. Thanks for the plug, Strelnikov. Simply put, there are FAR TOO MANY law schools pumping out EXCESS GRADS each year into an already glutted legal job market. The schools are aware of this situation, but they continue to produce too many JDs. In the end, they don't give one damn because they are making good money off of this scheme.

  10. @Aware and Scared: Oh, they'd make great counselors.

    Flake: Everybody is so mean to me. My parents, my boss, my teachers.

    Counselor Flake: Have you tried like, really hard?

    Flake: Yeeeesssss!

    Counselor Flake: Well, I don't know what to tell you then.

  11. "I've never met this Every Other Professor but whoever s/he is I wish s/he would stop letting students believe that spelling & grammar/following instructions/behaving in an adult manner is all optional."

    You would think that person doesn't exist. However, at my school there is a program for helping those that are the first in their families to attend college. This is great in theory and could be awesome in practice. BUT I've heard some of the profs that help with that say things to the effect of, "our research shows that writing and reading aren't really that important in the students' understanding." That may be true in their specific helping along program, but what about when they are sent to real classes, or out to fill out a job app? I had a friend at a retail store tell me that they regularly get applications where the applicant has spelled the city they live in incorrectly.

  12. @Frod

    I'm not sure about Every Other Professor being a bald faced lie -- it is too pervasive to suggest individual cultivation.

    I think EOP arises as a academic urban legend like that "policy" we all heard about but never actually saw applied, i.e., having a roommate suicide results in an automatic 4.0 for the surviving roommate.

    We have a Writing Center (for general use, not specifically intended for remediation). I've spoken with the staff and was told that my standards are their standards. Yet, students keep trotting out EOP as cover for their sub-standard work.

    I have noticed that students studying the ART of hamster counseling (versus those in the SCIENCE of HC program) are much more likely to whine about instructor meanness. My theory is that since they believe they will solve all their clients' problems with sunshine and puppy dogs, they should be provided the same.

    @ Gary

    Sadly, I DO see that happening but with a slightly different end:

    Counselor Flake: Have you tried really hard?

    Flake: Yeeessss!

    CF: Wait, what's your Facebook password

    F & CF huddle at keyboard

    F changes status to something (else) inane

    CF: There, that'll show 'em


    F: Now what?




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