My Beautiful Wickedness

What I want to say…
November 13, 2007, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Student X,

Thanks for letting me know that you’re bailing on my class (again); I’ll miss the slumped figure in the back of the room and the occasional startled look you give me when you wake yourself up snoring. Don’t bother about the doctor’s note when you come back from THANKSGIVING BREAK — our break doesn’t start until next Wednesday, so if you’re so seriously ill that you will miss two full weeks, you probably have a condition so serious that you should check into somewhere (like beauty school, maybe?). You definitely don’t need to come back to the class, though.

I’m touched with your sudden concern about classroom activities, but I won’t be able to meet with you on Monday night at 9:30 in your dorm lounge to give you a private tutorial. Instead, I’ll just be sure to cover “nothing important” (like the Mexican-American War and the Gold Rush) and we can skip the housecall. By the way, it’s come to my attention that you are once again REALLY SICK on a paper due date (three times running). I’m sorry that I’m causing you such digestive agony by making you read documents like the US Constitution and Frederick Douglass’s Autobiography. Pepto-Bismol helps.

Keep hydrated. Hangovers suck!

Your professor.


6 Comments so far
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*snorts* I’m pretty sure I’ve had professors say that. Not to me, thankfully, but I’ve heard stories.

My advisor actually had to make a rule: “no doing meth while in my class” after this one student. That course was …. hilarious, in that really really sad way. Who takes Sociology of Science if they don’t agree with any of the basic tenets of sociology? And then does it while completely high? While in the US on a student visa for one year? *sighs* He had to leave the school in a hurry because of a sudden flurry of drug related charges.

Comment by Magniloquence

Amen! Sing it sister!

I was just accosted by one of my students from my 8-week class. He asked me what group he was supposed to be in for his group presentation because he didn’t know anything about that. We have been having groups present almost every other day for three weeks and this is the first he heard of it.

He also asked me how many grades there were and if there were online exams. Before I could answer he told me he “didn’t think he had access to my course.” (he does – he has logged into the course – exactly once in five weeks.) Everything is submitted via Blackboard. All of my evaluations are done online.

I don’t get it. Having spent this much time an effort blowing off the course, why show up now? Not that this sort of thing is a new experience for me, it is just that I am eternally amazed and puzzeled by it.

Comment by Gerald

It’s because hope springs eternal: maybe this professor will be the one I can snow!

I had a student once who fell asleep in class almost every day because it was at 8:00am and he worked nights. And no matter how often I told him that this was going to lead him to fail, that I would help him transfer to another section, etc., he continued to come to class and sleep. And he came around the beginning of the next semester to ask me why he’d failed.

Comment by nm


At least I know why I failed, for the one course. I’d split the blame for that one about 65% me, 25% the professor, and 10% things-that-could-neither-be-controlled-nor-anticipated. My fault for not pushing harder to meet with him, my fault for not coming up with a suitable topic, and my fault for not writing a single paragraph of the end paper. HIs fault for being the kind of terrifying ass that enjoys having power and spends class mocking students (mostly the ones he likes, but still) and making it very clear that he was a Hard Ass who Didn’t Give A Shit If You Had Problems. Also his fault for not mentioning the relative weighting of assignments and whatnot (the syllabus was arranged such that it appeared tests and the final paper were given equal weight, but no actual numbers were affixed and nothing was said about it one way or another) until after the withdraw date (and the tests, both of which I passed) had long passed. But more me for not being more proactive. And the universe for deciding to make that the semester in which it became VERY APPARENT that my ADD wasn’t under control and needed to be dealt with.

I never really got that whole sleep in class/bullshit the professor thing. Well, okay, I can understand falling asleep in a really big lecture, really early in the morning, once or twice. I can understand falling asleep during just about anything, once or twice… illnesses, all-nighters, kids, breakups, whatever. What I don’t get is the people who do it all the time. Why waste the professor’s time? Why waste your own time? Beds are far more comfortable than desks, and it’s less embarrassing all ’round.

Comment by magniloquence

You probably won’t believe this, but I just got another letter from Student X telling me that she was pretty disappointed in me.

Yeah. How will I sleep with the shame?

Comment by bridgett

That’s nothing. I had a student (at a fairly elite school) tell me once that it would be my fault, and make me look bad, if he withdrew from my class late in the semester. Which he wanted to do because I wouldn’t guarantee him a B+ for the semester — I told him he’d almost certainly earn one, and would do even better if he aced the final (as he had aced the midterm), but he just couldn’t risk that it possibly might not happen and he’d have a B on his transcript when he applied to B-school. I told him we’d miss him….

Comment by nm

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