I have a strict policy regarding submission of assignments. The due date is not a suggestion. It's due when it's due. I don't take off points for late work. Now, if a student has a situation that warrants an extension, they need to contact me in advance, if possible.
Now that it's the end of the semester, the excuses are flying in like crazy. Let's see what I've heard so far this week:
- I got evicted from my apartment and I dropped my computer in the process of moving out.
- My computer crashed (again).
- I've been so consumed with getting help with math that I forgot about the assignment.
- My wife kicked me out of the house and she has my computer.
My PhD professor and I were discussing where to draw the line between being sympathetic an, for lack of a better phrase, being a bitch (although he used "being a dick...gotta love this professor). Each of these situations could have been resolved with a little thought and planning on the part of the student, like backing stuff up on a flash drive or using Dropbox and going to the library or Kinko's. But, it does beg the question:
Where do you draw the line?
I think the older I get, the less sympathetic I've become. I just don't have the time or energy anymore to investigate each excuse for its validity. Also, more often than not, when I do give the extension, the student doesn't meet the new deadline. On top of that, I often wonder for those who do meet the new deadline, were they just using it to get more time to work on the assignment? At the same time, I know that there are those students who have verifiable situations that warrant the extra time.
I wrote a post about being "That" Professor, where I talked about the same thing. It's these times where I should be aloof and not care. I've kept my email responses very short, to the point that I am just typing "No" when asked for an extension.
Which means, I have to be a bitch.