Monday, May 4, 2015

"No Hyperbole Necessary." Jacksonville Jessica Shares.

I always have assumed that some hyperbole is sprinkled on these pages. How could everyone's job be more entertaining than mine?

But then last night happened and I realized that I was really one of you - I've been reading along since 2009, the "goon old days," although I did catch up with the old archives back then, too.

Anyway, my 9 am class today, just finished, had one final paper due. It was assigned 3 weeks ago. In class we had a rough draft workshop and I offered individual conferences to all students.

Dingbat Doug missed his conference and didn't participate in workshop, and never emailed me any questions or concerns over the past 21 days.

But last night a fire arose!

At 11:45 pm Sunday night he sent this: "Hey, Prof. Jessica. Here's a rough draft. Kinda slow getting it to you. Want your revisions."

At 2:15 am this morning he sent this: "You said we could submit rough drafts anytime. Have you had a chance to look at my essay? I really need to get a good grade on it."

At 4:45 am he sent this: "I'm still up doing my take home History final, but I know we have class pretty soon. If there's anything wrong with my essay can you let me know?"

At 6 am he sent this: "I guess I'm just going to have to turn this in the way it is. I know a lot of students got really good edits from you on papers and I was hoping for the same. Oh well. I'm pretty sure it'll pass."

At around 6:30 am I woke up, saw the emails, ate some Weetabix, and didn't think much about Doug.

At 9, in class, as my students milled around, one of Doug's classmates came up with 2 papers, his and Doug's. "Doug's sleeping, man. He doesn't look good."


  1. Dear Pander Magazine,

    I always thought the stories in your Forum section were made up. But then one day this happened to me...

    ; - )

    1. I don't know whether to feel embarrassed that I get that joke, or just old.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I get it, and I don't think I've ever read the column in question -- which I guess means my only alternative is feeling old.

      Jessica's experience does, however, resonate with me. My students are mostly not all that 'flakey, so my misery comes mostly from larger structural forces (well, and the sheer number of students, and the extent to which they, too, are overwhelmed, which plays a role in most of the 'flakey behavior I do see), but every once in a while. . . .

      [corrected due to really stupid, but not, sadly, amusingly embarrassing, typo]

  2. "At around 6:30 am I woke up, saw the emails, ate some Weetabix, and didn't think much about Doug."

    Sounds like a good approach. I like mine with a touch of maple syrup.

    As for Dougs, I prefer them with brains.

  3. Yeah, the Weetabix were a nice touch.

    Does Doug really think you pulled an all-nighter too? The entire world stayed up all night rooting for him to finish his two assignments.

    1. Indeed. The only mistake I see is checking email before breakfast. That can interfere with digestion. On the other hand, Jessica seems to have mastered the art of not letting it get to her. Brava!

  4. If Doug's friend had forgotten to turn in Doug's paper then you wouldn't have to grade it. That would have been a really happy ending.

  5. Date: 4 May 2015, 8:54 AM
    To: Doug Dipshit
    From: J. Jacksonville
    Subject: Re: hey here's my draft

    Dear Doug,

    I was glad to learn that you were up late completing your take-home History final. One of your classmates also reported that he stayed up as well, but in his case, it was to investigate the combination of Red Bull and bong hits. I mention this to make the point that I hold his alleged activity to be of equal (i.e., zero) relevance towards the determination of the worth of your work product.

    As to the latter, please be advised that I have not read your draft. While I did say that you could submit one anytime, the reasonable person would not take that to mean that I would read it in my sleep.

    Prof. Jacksonville.


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