Letters From Finals Week

(Warning: snark and vitriol ahead, as well as a bit of anger and bitchiness. I just needed to vent so I could get on with my day in a positive and healthy way.)

 Dear Stu:

  1. You’re seriously going to try to argue with me that you didn’t know that I’d count you absent for not showing up to class? Seriously? If you weren’t already failing, I’d fail you just for that.
  2. It is your responsibility, if you are going to cut class the day a paper is due (which yes, not showing up to class regardless of how short class is still counts as an absence) to make sure that the student with whom you left your paper doesn’t have a doctor’s appointment and won’t be late. Ze’s doctor’s note excuses hir absence, not yours; therefore, your paper is late. And please don’t, after I have already spoken with other student tell hir that I marked hir paper down resulting in panic.
  3. Since you spent nearly every class period on your cell phone texting, I’m sure you didn’t notice that I actually teach English, not Biology or Math or any of the other classes you may indeed be failing. Telling me you need to meet with me ASAP about your failing grade and what to do about it leads me to believe that you mean my class (aside from the rudeness of "I need to meet with you now!"), but I’m sure the reasons I gave you about why you’re failing my class probably will work for your other classes. Being your advisor doesn’t mean that I talk to your other professors for you. Some advisors may. I don’t. You’re an adult. I’m sure the reason you have to teach yourself is because you text ALL.THE.TIME. and you are absent ALL.THE.TIME.
  4. Don’t tell me either that you have "done everything perfectly and what I wanted" since midterm. That is crap.
  5. Having to babysit is not a valid excuse for an absence. Nor is "I forgot that I had class and I need to pick my friend up at the airport." You can do these things. I will still mark you absent.
  6. Having your bro-in-law help you with your papers doesn’t mean anything to me as far as your grade is concerned unless he wrote them for you (in which case his writing is abysmal as well), and for that I’ll fail you.
  7. The "shy social speaker" excuse won’t cut it in my class either especially when you talk about everything but class in your group and talk during class to others–you’re clearly on friendly terms with others in the class. Why you’re shy about speaking in front of them, if you can’t shut up at any other time is beyond me.
  8. I can’t make classes "on-line" just for you because that’s more convenient. This is not the U of Phoenix or some other place where you’re given a list of things to do at your own pace. There are actual due dates and class participation for on-line classes. And winter classes meet for four hours a day, five days a week. So good luck with that.
  9. I’m sure you are going to contest your grade. Good luck.

That is all,
Dr. Nola


Dear Stu,
        Um, it’s not my fault that you only worked four days on your final research paper and that you were up until 5 am and had an 8:15 final. I didn’t make your schedule for you, and I didn’t wait until the night before to finish my paper. Furthermore, telling me that I "absolutely cannot fail you" based on the above criteria makes me cranky because I do not like it when my students tell me what I can and cannot do. As I mentioned to you, if your paper is an F paper, it will receive an F and you will probably fail regardless of the fact that you made low Cs on the previous papers. Just because you "absolutely cannot fail" doesn’t mean you won’t. Plus, since you "absolutely cannot fail," I am now forced to go through your essay with a fine toothed comb to make sure you actually wrote the essay and not someone else because you "absolutely cannot fail." Statements like that usually send up HUGE red flags to your professors. Also, being belligerent and chastising me for not giving you the final assignment earlier in the semester is not only rude, but total bull$hit. I gave you the assignment in the fourth week of class! Plus, you set several meetings with me to discuss the final paper, and then you didn’t show. So yes, ProblemChild, while I appreciate the effort you put into the class especially after all your "it’s too hard, I shouldn’t have to work this hard" business in the beginning of the semester, being rude now won’t help you. I know part of you can’t help it because you just have no self-awareness, but you need to learn to check your rudeness. And batting your eyes at me doesn’t make it cute either.

That is all,
Dr. Nola


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