Monday, October 03, 2005

The answers are Yes, No and Are You Kidding Me?

"Professor, would you mind if I left class early today? I have a doctor's appointment."

"Will you tell us what's going to be on the test?"

"Do I really need to know this?"

"Can I retake the exam if I don't do well?"

"I'm really tired--can I take the exam with your afternoon class instead?"

"I'm leaving early for fall break. Can you give me the midterm when I get back?"

"I'm really swamped with assignments. Can I turn my paper in a few days late?"

"Could we meet in your office to discuss my grade?"

19 Comments:

Anonymous J said...

*L* I can safely say that have used all of the "yes" ones, and at least one of the "are you kidding me" (but that was in utter despair).

Thanks for a great blog!
/J

11:28 AM  
Blogger Lia said...

I'm not sure if I know which is which ;-)

- a loving college student

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Professor, can I turn in the lab assignment a week late? I'm getting married next weekend." That was me, 14 years ago, as an undergrad engineering student at the Univ of FL. The answer was "yes". I still remember the other students thinking we "had" to get married. They were wrong. We rushed the wedding because my fiancee's brother died suddenly. We decided not to wait any longer - had no use for a "Sound of Music" wedding. So two weeks later, we wed in his folks' frontyard, with a cooler full of beer as reception refreshment. Thus, I became the only married undergrad in my department!

If any UF engineering profs are reading this, "thanks!" A little kindness goes a long way. We're still married and going strong. My engineering education and experience have shaped my life in unimaginable ways; I'm richer for it.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Smartest Tractor said...

Dear teacher,

"Can you highlight all the material that will be on the test on the class notes you gave my son?"

"I was sick. Do you expect me to write the test?"

"We really value our daughter's education, but we have to go to Cuba for two weeks. Can you send some work for Billy to do?
P.S. The more the better because we want to keep him busy."

The best one was last year.
"Please excuse my daughter from gym class. She has a stomach pain until further notice."

5:15 PM  
Blogger DVE said...

Or how about this one?

"I have trouble paying attention in class. Could you email me all your notes for each lesson before class and mark the important points?"

7:34 PM  
Blogger Terminaldegree said...

Oof. Here's one:
"I'm going to need a lot of extra help from you outside of class because of a learning disorder. The admissions lady said that I could just take all of my exams open-book in college. I can't remember any new vocabulary words, so I should not be expected to take any tests with new words on them unless you write them out for me in advance along with descriptions."

Naturally, when I called the special populations department, they said that he had brain damage and had such a bad memory that he couldn't remember being told that open-book exams weren't an option. (But somehow the college was still happy to take his money...)

12:14 AM  
Blogger distracted diva said...

My favorite was always: "I missed class the other day. Did you do anything while I was gone?"

My stock answer was either "No, we just stared at the walls," or, "Oh, we just talked about you the whole time."

9:04 AM  
Blogger lonna said...

I am always hearing that my students couldn't do something (turn in an assignment, take a quiz, take an exam, etc.) because of personal reasons. That drives me crazy. Usually if something really is going on they tell me and are not vague about it. The "personal" part usually means "big lie".

9:23 AM  
Anonymous lucille said...

My favorite, via e-mail (paraphrased, of course):

Student: I know I didn't turn in a lot of the work, and I realize that I might not get by with a D. Can I turn in the work now, at the end of the quarter, and rescue my grade from failing?

Me: No. If you get an A on the final and the final paper, you can pull the grade up to a C-. That's about the only way.

Student: Oh. Never mind, I just realized I have to do laundry on exam day.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Wordsalad said...

I had a good one last year. An international student begged me to sign his "add" form after the deadline and after the first exam because he needed the credit hours for his international status and scholarship. I tried and tried and tried to tell him that I would not allow him to make-up any of the materials missed thus far and that it would be virtually impossible to pass the class. Still he begged. So, I said "whatever" and signed the dumb form.

A month or so later, he comes up to me and tells me he needs to make-up the first exam because he missed it. Um, NO. So I told him that I had explained this to him when he begged me to sign his add form and he would not be allowed to make up the exam.

The last week of classes rolls around, and he comes to me and informs me that he'd like to re-take Exam 3 because he did poorly on it and I wouldn't let him take the first exam. Huh? I don't think so.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Ted K said...

I always make sure to tell the kids at the start of the semester that I am very willing to work with them if they let me know about things ahead of time, but I get very cranky when I get surprised.

so it would be:
"Thanks for letting me know, and please sit by the door."

"Sort of - there will be a review sheet handed out a couple of days before hand."

"yes."

"no."

"No, but if you had talked to me last week then you could have."

"No."

"Sure. The policy is that the grade goes down one 'step' each day it is late."

"sure."

12:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I have a contribution that happened only yesterday.

We gave out the essay questions more than a month ago. Despite my asking if anyone had any questions at the beginning of every tutorial, and telling people they could email me with queries... The lecturer was sent THIS:

~~~

Hi sir!

Can you tell me what do you expect to see in the assignment for Question 9 aoubt
the digital animation? What do I have to write in the essay? Also, can you
suggest some background readings to me coz i hardly find the right book in the
libarary for my essay.

Thanx!

[Name removed to protect the clueless]
~~~

Isn't that a gem?

About three people have made use of my office hours this whole semester, and a week out from the essay due date I have lots of people who'd love to meet up with me outside office time. Normally that'd be fine... earlier in the semester. I'm doing fulltime postgrad as well, and strangely enough my assignments are due at the same time my students' ones are, so I've had to say "Normally I'd love to, but you've got the wrong time of year," before emphasising email contact.

Some people complain. At which point I remind them of the Actual Office Hours I am Paid To Have For Precisely This Reason, and wave vaguely at the Entire Rest of the Semester You Could Have Used to Talk To Me.

I think I may mock up some flash-cards.

- The Unshaven.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous hb said...

One of my favorites from this semester was the day before our intro Art History exam where the students are responsible for 80+ images, and will be presented with 8 on the actual exam day.

"Uh, can you tell me where I can find the 8 images for the exam?"

Yeah, with the other 72 you are responsible for, in the book.

My other favorite question is, "So, what do I need to know?"

sigh.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just today, "I need to leave class after the quiz so I can go to the dentist"... made me want to punch her in the mouth.

yea... you need to go to the dentist NOW, don't you?

Maybe I'll wait until I get tenure to do that..

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes me want to give this as a "quiz" the first day -- but, the ones who would answer the questions correctly don't need it while the ones who would ask these stupid questions wouldn't get it.

3:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two actual emails from students:

“I remember you saying something about the picture problem today in class, and something to check something with the folder. I wish I had written it down now.”

And my personal favorite (in its entirety):

"I'm having a problem. Please help."

11:25 AM  
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10:48 PM  
Blogger Koru's Daughter said...

"My son has difficulty waking up in the morning. Would you please call and wake him a half hour before class?"

10:33 PM  
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9:02 PM  

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