Sunday, September 14, 2014

Somebody read his syllabus!

I know!  Amazing, right?  Well, this wouldn't be a College Misery post if that was the whole story.  No, this is the email I just received:
Dear Professor,
I've checked the syllabus but I can't figure out where we meet for lab.  I wish the syllabus was less confusing about this.
Indeed, the lab syllabus does not include the class times of the 57,000 lab sessions that we hold each week.  Pro tip: it's on your schedule.  I'm especially surprised that the student didn't realize this since students got their schedules at the beginning of the semester, FIVE WEEKS AGO.

I'm sending an email to our campus's vice chancellor of orientation.  Preschool teachers handle this problem by inviting parents and the wee ones to the classroom before classes begin so that kids learn their way around.  We can do that too.  I'll have my classroom decorated, a big smile and some of those tiny chairs for everybody to sit in.


  1. I had a student try this on me. Many years ago, I was TA-ing a lab that was part of a big intro science course. He showed up on the first day of lab then stopped coming. He finally came back around the fourth or fifth week and claimed he missed lab because he couldn't remember where the room was. I told him he could have checked his schedule, gone to the registrar's office, gone to the department's administrative assistants, or even asked the lecture professor during class. There was no way I was going to believe this student sat around for three weeks without a clue who to ask for help.

  2. At least he said he *wished* the syllabus was less confusing instead of giving you the usual accusatory tone. That's slightly less rude.

    Just kidding! I'm not giving any credit to the miserable little snot.

    And I really enjoyed Academic Water Cooler, and appreciated your willingness to keep the community together. I would have commented over there, but I don't have any accounts set up.

  3. I remember filling out lab/section forms the first day, then, once the TAs had collated them, having to walk across campus and check a list on a day and in a place announced in class (and only in class, and only once or twice) to figure out where I needed to go next. Somehow, I survived.

  4. What? Checking multiple places for information? But I'm only used to checking facebook, twitter, tumblr, buzznet, foursquare, google+,LinkedIn, MeetUp, Pinterest, Instagram, tagged, and MySpace (do people still use that?).


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