Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Baffled.

I'm baffled at this one kid who came to the fourth class of the semester last week.

"Hi," I said. "What's your name?"

"I'm Dipshit Doug. Do you have a syllabus?"

"For this class?" I said. "You are a student in this class?"

"Section 110. Yep. So, do you have a syllabus?"

"It's the 4th day of the semester. I assumed you wouldn't be coming."

"Nope," Doug said. "I'm here. I had a bunch of stuff I was working through. I told Road Rash Rodney over there to tell you I'd be here this week or next."

"You know we've done some stuff already, right? I mean, we've done some writing, read some material. We're even doing a project in groups."

"Yeah, well I'll just catch up." He smiled. I'd been waiting for that.

"Yeah," I said. "But it's not up to you. Come to class, don't come to class, whatever. But when you miss the first three classes and don't contact me, I do what's in the best interests of the class."

"I'm here now. I told Rodney to tell you."

"Listen," I said. "I don't know Rodney either. I think he missed a class already, too. You gotta put your faith in more reliable people."

"Whoops," Doug said. He smiled again. "I'm going to talk to my bro about that. But, listen, let me get that syllabus so I can get out of your hair."

"Whoops." I said. I already dropped you. Some other students got in. Now I'm outta room."


  1. I'm not baffled about this child at all: he's an idiot. Can you imagine him in the real world, doing a real job, with real responsibilities? Congrats, Hiram: justice was served. No doubt he'll immediately go crying to your department chair, sniveling how you're "not fair." And his idea of what's fair will no doubt be for you to take an overload.

  2. I wish I could drop students that didn't show up. I have several no shows and had to turn away students who really wanted to be in the class....

  3. We are required to take attendance on the first day, and automatically drop anyone who does not show up. Sorry, Dipshit Doug. You're SOL.

  4. Oh, to have that power. I suffer alongside Middle-Aged and Morose on this one. Maybe there is a class I can take to get "certified" to drop people who don't show. Because I really would like that power.

  5. We're debating the "no show first day of class drop" policy at my college now. I so hope it passes. At my first full-time job, we had it, and it made a world of difference in attendance. The college also had a policy about how students could drop with a quantitative difference between "dropped but passing" and "dropped but failing." I think that helped as well since it was tied to both attendance and grades. Interestingly, although the demographics aren't that different between that college and the one I teach at now, the former had much better success rates.

  6. Lovely story, Hiram. I have a 7 day grace period for students to show up and submit work. Anyone who doesn't do anything in those first 7 days can be dropped at the professor's discretion. It's one of the few good perks we have.

  7. We have to say that we will drop people that don't show up the first week, but we can't. We are physically unable to. It's so stupid. It has to do with pretending that the people are in your class so the school can get more money - even though it wouldn't matter because I could easily replace them with one of the 10 waitlisters that show up. One student sent an email after I told them they must show up the first week. She "had a prior obligation" and won't be here, but will be "the best student ever" when she returns during the second week. I didn't respond to the email. It was sent again. I can do nothing but smolder on the inside.

  8. We just went through dropping all the students who didn't have the prerequisites for a large enrollment course [apparently the system isn't automatic for this type of thing - don't ask me why, that's the way it is...]. Considering the wave of emails coming in, it is amazing how many students are surprised!, shocked!, confused! that they can't complete the course without the prerequisite. While I wish that these students hadn't gotten into the course in the first place, I'm getting some enjoyment from interactions with these students - I'm once again experiencing some "student flava" that's been missing from my life. e.g. "Please sir, may I stay in this course?" Me:"No."

  9. In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz: HA-ha!

  10. We have no power to drop students. I wish we did. Instead, we have to tell students to wait until a week after the course has started before the Registrar will drop them. How did you get this power? Someone, please tell me how I get this power, too!

  11. Prof have pre-requisites for your classes? That sounds like heaven.

    Okay, I'm changing my mind. I'll take the pre-reqs over the power to drop students. (But I suspect that's another thread.)


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