November 13, 2008
‘Tis the Season for FAIL to begin
As we enter the home stretch of the semester, we begin to see the panic set in of oh-my-God-I-forgot-to-go-to-class-or-do-any-work. I used to look at the mountain of emails, notes, and phone messages with various and sundry variations on the theme of “Please don’t flunk me!” with a sense of depression mixed with compassion. I would do my best to consider that students have lives, things happen, grandmothers die, and I seem to get a lot of pregnant people in my online classes.
Then I started reading blogs. And talking to other adjuncts and faculty. I realized I had read and heard what I was reading and hearing before: the same excuses, the same whine, the same emails, everywhere. It hit me, like the ton of bricks you thought you were watching for, only to find that they were covered by a veil, and you smack into them head-on and full-tilt.
People take advantage of compassion and depression. They use it to try to get a better grade out of you than they actually earned. Why? Because they’re jerks. If I let a jerk out into the world with a college degree they didn’t earn, am I doing the world a service? I don’t think so.
So now I just look at the mountain of email, notes, and phone messages and think, “blog fodder.”
Let the FAIL begin.