So, today I popped into work to do a little marking, and my Chair said that little phrase guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of any Prof – “do you have a minute”?
So, apparently, Pineapple boy is shocked and horrified that he didn’t pass my class, and he very cunningly went to see the Head of Department armed with the assignments that he passed, cunningly leaving the ones he failed at home. His cunning, let him sho u it. Unfortunately, the Chair has had some experience of student cunning, and asked him if there was work he a) did not hand in, or b) failed. So that was a bit of a blow.
Also, what came up in discussion (although I don’t know how, and am dying to) was all the eating in class. Pineapple boy mentioned the food, to which the Chair said “Oh, I know all about the food”, and proceeded to lay it on the Pineapple that eating in class was actually forbidden by policy, although instructors had discretion to allow it. This information so shocked Pineapple Boy that he was heard to utter the words, “Well, when can I eat?”
I don’t know what’s funnier, that the Chair clearly took the several minutes required to suggest to this guy that he eat during the break, or before or after class, or that he found it necessary to recount to me that he had done so. All of which is a great big check mark in the “It’s not just me” column when it comes to dealing with Pineapple Boy.
Anyway, all of this was because the Chair wanted to let me know that Pineapple Boy might be asking for a meeting to discuss his grades, but that all parties have agreed that this meeting might be better mediated by a third party. My choice: some guy dressed up as a vegetable.
In other news, I am mean.
This meanness most recently manifested itself in telling a student, let’s call her The Wet Mess, that I wasn’t going to let her write the final.
Context: TWM managed to make it to 6 classes all semester. That’s not 6 classes of a class that meets once a week, either. That’s 6 classes for a class that meets 3 times a week. On two of these 6 occasions, she was advised by me to drop the class, since she wasn’t attending and had failed her midterm. Prior to the final, I emailed her to let her know that since she had not handed in a bunch of work, her grand total for the semester was running at 12%, and there was no way, mathematically, for her to pass the course.
Envirnonmental context: It was snowing like buggery the day before said final, and on the day, the temperature was hovering around -25.
Despite all of this, of course, TWM turned up to the final. Dude. Srsly. I pulled her aside, along with another no-hoper and suggested that they do something else with their 2 hours. I know other profs who don’t say anything, but, I dunno, it just doesn’t seem right to me to let someone sit, because the only reason he or she is doing so is out of forlorn hope. Mostly they leave, but occasionally they still want to do it. Okay, whatever.
TWM’s reaction was to burst into tears. At this point, I dug my heels in, for two reasons. 1) I knew I had a roomful of delicate little butterflies, and letting a crying one in was likely to be detrimental to anyone she sat near. 2) She said “Letting me sit would make me feel better”. No way am I enabling that kind of shit. If you fucked up your semester, you deserve to feel crap. You don’t get to sit the final, fail and then say “It’s okay, I tried my best”. Fuck that noise.
Then, of course, she tried to guilt me about her “medical condition”. This would be the medical condition you never mentioned to me all semester, even when asked the direct question, “Is there something going on in your life that is making it hard for you to cope with your courseload?” Outside the door of the final is not the place to be bringing this up.
So I drew a line in the sand, and no doubt she will relieve her feelings by writing nasty things about me on Rate My Prof. Anything to stop you having to take responsibility for your actions, sweetheart.
Also making me crabby: my wii is broken again, and the stupid buses that don’t come because it is -25. It’s -25! That’s when I need the bus to come get me before I freeze my ass off.