I know, long time no storytelling. In all the hullaballoo of the end of semester, I was a bit too exhausted to make with the histoires. I do have some saved up, and then there’s this nice new one to tell you about.
You know how sometimes, you just get the feeling you are being lied to, and while you know it in your soul, you just can’t prove it? This isn’t one of those.
So, I am teaching my regular spring class which is essentially condensed Freshman Comp, and I scared the bejeebus out of half a dozen potential students on the first day, and that one student who told me staying in my class was “a matter of life or death” presumably died, and now I have a nice manageable group of 20 who appear to be able to find their asses with their elbows. Oh, and one flake.
Naturally, it is the flake who generates the content for a blog post, so I suppose I should be grateful.
Spring classes meet every day, and then at the end of the week I have students write a piece in class in which they show they can now do the stuff they learned this week. This structure cuts down on homework, but makes regular attendance absolutely critical. Of course my flake, (hereinafter referred to as the Fibber) hasn’t been to class all week, but she manages to turn up for the crucial in-class essay day.
The first thing she does is start a conversation with the nice helpful student sitting next to her, who has been to class all week, and done the reading, and who then apparently feels obliged to explain 6 hours of class time to the Fibber in 5 minutes. Once I can see this is happening, I wander over and suggest that although it is kind of Helping Student to be helpful, she has her own essay to write, and the Fibber should come to me if she has any questions.
Oddly enough, the Fibber’s questions then dry up entirely. Since the essay is based on class reading for the week, which the Fibber hasn’t at all done, she is kind of stumped. I wander past all the computers a couple of times in the course of the class, and I notice that she has managed to write about a paragraph by the time the class ends.
Now, because I am hip with the technology, and also because I listened to my whiny-ass students from last semester who hated the courseware but loved google docs, this term I am letting my students do all their handing in of work via the google docs. So, at the end of class, half of them have handed in, and I give the rest a few more hours, since all they have to do is share the work electronically, rather than putting it in to my hot little hand.
By the deadline, I have all of the essays, except the one by the Fibber. I spend my weekend procrastinating, but by Monday, I have marked them all, except the Fibber’s, which still isn’t appearing. When she emails me about something else on Monday, I include in my reply the comment “what is up with your essay? I don’t have it.” To which she replies that that is very strange, since she definitely handed it in, ya ya ya.
(Also, delightfully, she tells me she “feels guilty” for “not coming to class”: foreshadowing.)
Now this, I very much doubt given the non-attendance shenanigans, but we go back and forth a couple times, her insisting that she has totally shared the essay with me, and me looking in my documents and saying “well, I don’t have it, make sure you give me access”.
I do suspect at this point that the essay fails to exist, and I wonder whether her insistence that it does is intended to make me shut up, or perhaps make the essay appear out of thin air. Neither of these things happens.
After class today, I showed her my document list, so that she could see that whatever she thought she was doing, she wasn’t getting her work to me, which, I said firmly “I see as your problem, not mine”. Outrageous, right? Perhaps it was her computer at home, failing to share correctly, she suggested. Again, I said “This is your issue. Figure it out and hand it in.” Note the hardness of my ass.
So, finally, this afternoon, she miraculously manages to correctly press the “share” button on the google document (I know, not rocket science), and I take a look at her essay. And by take a look, I mean, go in to the document and press the “revision history” button. And here, let me sing the praises of the “revision history” button, because it reveals, in glorious detail, that the Fibber wrote a paragraph of her essay on the day it was due, and another paragraph a day later, but the majority of it at 2am this morning – yes, that’s right, days after she first assured me she had handed it in.
I contemplate writing “LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE” in the comment box, but instead settle for “the revision history makes it clear this is late work” which, thank god, excuses me from commenting in detail on her essay, which is a shonky piece of dreck.
I am filing this one under “BUSTED”.