Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Penny the Parent, The All Time Thanksgiving Flashback!

Flava from 6 Years Ago:

If 12,000 Proffies Typed For 12,000 Years, We Could Never Come Up With this Shit. Penny the Parent Sends a "Boo Fucking Hoo."

This parent is worried. The Student has one of those Unfortunate schedules and one of those Intractable (but hot, according to RMP) fascists, I mean teachers who is making that Thanksgiving getaway darned near impossible. The only way for the Student to get out of Uni town is Greyhound... the Student will arrive at the Crossroads of America (NY Port Authority) at Midnight, because hot teacher INSISTS ALL Students attend afternoon class or be penalized grade wise. The Student is worried.... The Parent ? The Parent is mighty pissed.

The Whole Thing:


And then Some of the Responses from RYS Readers:

Penny the Parent? Now a Pinata!

If Penny Parent got wind that any prof was regularly cancelling classes, arriving late, skipping out early, taking vacations during the semester, she'd want that prof's hide. 'How dare that prof not respect the fact that I pay his salary? I want what I'm paying for - classes for Kiddo!' Penny reveals what she really wants -- puppetmastery. Profs should only cancel classes or suspend attendance policies when it makes sense for family planning (I mean, employer planning, oops).



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Some great stuff in those comments, but I will say that I think it's silly for professors to require attendance, on pain of a reduced grade, for a specific class meeting, unless an exam or something similar has been scheduled in the syllabus.

    A couple of the respondents to Penny point out that they are required by their universities to hold class on the day before Thanksgiving. That's fine. I also am not allowed to cancel class on that day. But I simply inform my students that class will be held, and that they will be accountable for the material taught in that class, just like for every other class meeting during the semester. If they choose to miss class, that's on them, and if they can't answer the exam questions that require an understanding of the materials covered in that class, then their exam grade will suffer accordingly.

    I'm not interested in forcing them to turn up just because I want to avoid the futility of lecturing to a sparsely-populated classroom. Hey, maybe none of them will come, and I can sit around for a few minutes before heading home myself!

  3. "Penny the Pinata" is a featured exhibit in the RYS Blurrygraphic hall of fame. I'd forgotten the "Who da turkey?" caption, and I've been chortling over it all afternoon.

    1. Countdown to Cal talking us through the creation of the graphic... 3 2 1

  4. Penny's progeny's progress would be interesting.

    From Dr. Amelia's post, which table would she be at (and who is right: Quarter Wave Vertical, or Dr. Amelia?)

    1. Penny's progeny would still be outside waiting for the bouncer to let it in.

  5. I'm with Defunct on requiring them to show up Weds. afternoon. I was the student who always did show up, because I was supposed to, and I bought my plane ticket to accommodate my class schedule (even though I was the one cooking Thanksgiving dinner), but I'm also the professor who does her best to plan useful but missable activities on the days I know many students are unlikely to actually attend (in other words, I'm still conscientious -- too conscientious to cancel class in such situations, though I've been known to go so far as to schedule an optional "consultation day," which means I'll be on campus, but students can choose whether they will be -- but I'm realistic.

    Reading this again, it strikes me that Penny may be engaging in a bit of projection, or at least misdirection of her anxieties/hostilities: she's anticipating a potentially-rocky reentry by an offspring who already had a very different schedule (including likely being awake and alert at midnight -- which at least partly explains why offspring is less concerned than she is about being in the Port Authority terminal at that hour), habits, etc., than her own/the one she endorses, and who has likely drifted even further in that direction while away from college. Penny already knows that offspring's reentry into the household may not be smooth, and offspring probably knows it, too. In fact, one can almost imagine that offspring's devotion to attending class has less to do with the professor's demands (or hotness) than with a desire to postpone reentry to a time when Penny will be sleepy, busy, or otherwise somewhat diminished in her ability to immediately turn all her energy and attention to inspecting, interrogating, cajoling, etc., etc. offspring. When they do talk, they can talk about how awful(but probably not how hot; that would be weird) the professor is. One way to reduce tension between two people is for them to choose a common enemy, and focus on their antipathy to that person, rather than the tensions between them. It sounds like offspring's mean (but hot) professor is performing a temporarily useful-to-Penny-and-offspring (but ultimately dysfunctional) role in a Karpman triangle.

    P.S. Has anybody else noticed that whoever's lurking in the darkest corners of the deserted RYS compound still thinks that CM shut down in early 2014, after "solv[ing] all the problems in higher education"? One part of me thinks that someone should update them; another wants some of whatever (s)he is smoking/drinking.

    1. I'm sure Cal will update that at some point. I did chuckle the first time I read it!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.