Saturday, October 27, 2012

Muttering Mid-term Misery

Oh, yes, it is that time of the term. The time where people appear claiming to be in the class. Although, for some reason, you cannot place them. Or, worse, you know them only too well. Let's make a list, shall we?


Myopic Marvin: I see you in my office every time I have office hours. The questions range from the stupid to the idiotic. And no, I will not review work you are submitting for another class. But, you sit the midterm and go from being myopic to having peanut butter in your ears. I said "Times up, submit the exam!" twice. The second time I said it you saw me standing in front of you with my hand out as you were the only one writing. Then, I did something you were not anticipating: I walked out of the room. No, I will not accept your exam as if you read the cover of the booklet it states that failure to hand it in when the signal is given will result in a rejection of the exam.

Meandering Myrtle: Who are you again? I think I may have seen you early in the term. Oh, that's right, you handed in a non-research paper that contained research and looked like a recycle from those many years you spent in grade 10. I gave you a week to redo it. You didn't. You also didn't do the second assignment and the Blackhole Board says you never check anything online. So, why did you sit the exam? It was a waste of your time and I'm not giving up my time to read the scrawl in the booklet. Just add another 0 to your grade list and go away.

Disability Darren: I have a crap load of students with a wide range of disabilities this term. Yet, you are the only one that has to tell me every chance you get about how you have already failed the course three times and how it isn't your fault because people "don't get you".  Listen carefully, "I have the same disability as you. I do not blame anyone. I just learned to get around the issues. Shit, I was never even given disability status because in my day it was not considered one. So, shut up!" As for the mid-term, I have not picked it up yet. You wrote it in a private room with a computer and other accommodations. I have no interest in hearing your excuses before I even see it.

Athletic Andy: I received notice a few days ago from your department head that you were severely injured in a game and would be missing classes. You then emailed me to say you were home but not able to do work. Last class, you were there. Yes, you have an automatic extension for the last assignment. You can write a deferred exam as well. What's that? You will sit the exam, you say? You just won't use pain medication until after the exam so you will have a clear head? You should be fine because the broken shoulder and arm isn't the one you use to write with? Damn! Athletic Andy, I think you are going to do very well on the exam. Yes, very well indeed.


  1. Sounds like a winning bunch! I hope your Athletic Andy doesn't turn out like mine did: claiming to have been too impaired to have had the ability to make that judgment at the time ("I said I wasn't on my meds, but it was the drugs that made me say that).

  2. LOVE this...well said.

  3. The Myrtles are *really* flummoxed by my class, which has no exams whatsoever. They generally settle for coming to class, and hoping that alone will earn a passing grade (though one look at the syllabus would show that that's impossible).

    I blame high-stakes testing culture, though I realize there are probably other things going on in most such cases.


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