Thursday, June 28, 2012

Misery abounds in non-teaching tasks also.

One of my non-teaching tasks here at my R-1 university in Far Flung Colony is to handle graduate admissions into our very select programme in Deep-Sea-Diving. Very early this morning I got an email from Terry the Tadpole who has just finished a diploma in Fresh Water Paddling at Lowly ranked community college one state away. Terry wants to enter directly into the second year of our two year program. So I asked Terry to send me a sample of one of his diploma assignments. I duly received a mediocre assignment on Fly Fishing, which he told me was graded as an A+. [note we do not have grade inflation here, A+s are rarely given and are a big deal]. I read the assignment and found it riddled with typological errors among other things. The following email interchange occured.

Red: I see your assignment is full of typos and grammatical errors. You would not get an A plus for an assignment with errors like these here at the Deep Sea Diving Program. What topic were you wanting to pursue for your dissertation, as I will need to see if I can find a suitable supervisor for you?

Terry Tadpole: I take this personally--as an extremely rude way to response to a student query. How dare you question my ability as a student and hurt my desire to advance, and also insult the person who assessed my work-- based on grammatical errors and typos alone. I would assume that people who have PhDs would be better at being able to understand that these are unimportant issues. Next, i want to enter in a Deep Sea Diving program, not a Grammar program. I am no longer interested in R-1 University as I now know what sort of people I am likely be dealing in there.

What I actually replied: No offence was intended by my comment. I hope you will find success in your studies as you pursue them elsewhere.

What I wish I could have said: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND???? Its 7am and I actually replied to your annoying emails. You come from Lowly College where at least one of your instructors is obviously an imbecile. You think the way to get me, the director of this prestigious program to admit you into my program is to insult me? You think grammar is unimportant when you are writing a dissertation? GO DROWN in the nearest puddle, moron.

What I should have replied: thank you!!! (for losing interest in us)


  1. It's good that you didn't send what you could have said, because the shitstorm that would follow just wouldn't be worth it. Also, as you may know, it's difficult to raise tadpoles in an aquarium: they just about always die.

  2. Got an email from a prof that we let go a couple of years ago for an extreme violation of basic ethics. Can't understand why we won't take him back.

    Should have turned him over to the student's father, with a complimentary bowie knife to do the needful.

  3. yes I agree there could have been a shitstorm (still could be, if he complains) hence the restrained reply. Thank God I can let it out here on College Misery!

  4. The saddest part is someone will take this person and not care about his writing skills. When I was younger and stupider, I really thought that a doctorate meant people had at least demonstrated literacy. Then I started editing people's dissertations. The bloom fell off the rose hard and fast.

  5. It's a "typographical," not "typological" error. Unless of course it was actually a typological error . . . I figure this is an example of Skitt's law, and now i must make sure I make at least one grammatical error in order to be consistent with the law. Hard to do when you're as perfect as I am.

    As far as this student, not only will he or she get accepted somewhere and probably end up with a Ph.D. in your field, but you will meet him or her again at a conference. I don't think prospective grad students realize how small a town academia is. It doesn't pay to be a rude little prima dona right out the gate.

  6. If I am getting this right... the student is at a Community College applying for Grad School?

    Someone appears to have skipped their BS. (degree chosen for the pun)

    And it's entirely likely this student will never advance beyond the CC.

    Cuz you killed his dreams, you dream-killer, you!

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  8. "Good luck with your studies." Y'all need to stop apologizing to oversensitive twits.

  9. Typological errors would be funny, though: Oh dear, I mistook the three days in the whale's belly for the Three Stooges instead of Christ's three days in the tomb.

  10. @the Myth= ooh Dream Killer - I love it! That will be my moniker from now on!!!

    @Oveducted- the "as you pursue your studies elsewhere" is the subtext for "please go away forever" as is "we hope our comments will help you as you seek to publish your work elsewhere" used by Editors of journals who want to ensure you read their letter as total and utter rejection!

    1. LOL

      I see you even changed your name on the post! ;)


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