The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's Times Like These That I Wonder If I Will Become Homicidal

Posted by Seeking Solace |

During my absence last week, I left instructions for my students to check the web blog for their assignments during my absence. My upperclassmen in my law class did exactly as I requested and submitted their work in a timely manner.

My freshman were another story.

There was an essay that was due last Thursday. Only four out of 20 submitted the essay by placing it in my faculty mailbox. I told the class today that those who did not submit their papers as directed would not receive credit for the essay because technically it was late.

One student confronted me after class. She said that it was "unfair" that I would not accept her paper. (She emailed it to me at 1 PM today!) She said that she did not know how to use a web blog, plus her home computer was down and she could not access the information. She then said that since I was not in class and she was, that I should have accepted her paper. Finally, she said that I should have been in class to accept her paper.

I told her that if she had been in class that day, she would have read the message and could have gone to one of the computer labs to read the web blog. Also, if she had any trouble, she should have asked for help. Finally, I told her that she did not follow directions and that is why her paper is late.

This student got in my face and started yelling at me, telling me that if I had been in class, I would have accepted the paper, but since I was not and she was, I should accept it. (Um, how do I know if she really was in class at that time?)

At this point I am getting pretty steamed. I mean, you don't just get in my face like that, especially if you are a student. I told her that she was making me extremely agitated and that I was ending the conversation before I said something I might regret.

I am pissed. I gave an instruction. Many students didn't bother to show up for class because they heard from others that it was cancelled. It's not my fault that they did not ask about any assignment or check to see if there was one. I have it in my syllabus and have mentioned at least 100 times that student should check the web blog for announcements and assignments.


I don't get these students this semester. They are lazy, whinny and full of complaints and excuses. They are driving me crazy with their lack of effort.

I wish I could drink. Oh well, it's taco night. That should help.


Abbey said...

First, with a post title like that, I have to read it. :) Second, I cannot believe in a million bazillion years that any college freshman doesn't know how to read a blog. Someone my age, maybe, but 18-20 year olds...I'm not buying it. Finally, it is stories like these and knowing the kind of support faculty get from the schools (I know you've had these kids of run ins before and the student typically wins) that I chose not to be in academia. At least with my profession, I get to 'teach' and then they go home and chose to 'learn' or not.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Much of what we teach them, either as a group or individually, is how to follow directions. She didn't do it, thus she's not getting credit for the paper.

IF she had the paper done and came to the classroom, is there any reason she couldn't have put it in your physical mailbox? I'm betting you would have accepted it that way...

Hang in there and make them follow the directions or endure the consequences.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Philosophy Factory ... stand your ground. You are the boss. A "life skill" we teach in college is how to deal with problems, and bullying is not a solution that will work in college, at the workplace, at home, or anywhere else. So you did the right thing, the student deserves a "0" on it. The level of respect for college instructors has gone down the tubes. Sometimes I feel no more dignified than a clerk or a counter guy selling Cinna-Buns at the mall. We live in a culture of 24/7 convenience and "work" is a real shock to many of my students. They will get theirs in the end. Hang in there.

Seeking Solace said...

Thanks everyone.

If she had just dropped off the paper and sent me an email, I would have gladly accepted it. But, she missed the fundamental point...she did not follow directions.

I am going to stand my ground. Honestly, I just don't care anymore.

It is true that there is an increased level of disrespect. What they don't realize is that in the work world, a stunt like that would get you bounced.