Perhaps a Late Paper Isn’t the Worst of Her Problems. She Also Thinks It’s a Heron That Drops Off Babies.

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14 Responses

  1. Sigh. I’ve encountered this as an adjunct and it’s discouraging. But also in my clinical work, time after time there’s the issue of the million and one excuses/reasons for not taking the steps needed to heal or get healthy.

  2. MsD says:

    As a former teacher I see this ending more positively. She is saving face by *almost* screwing it and not turning in the paper. But she is also getting some points and not completely sabotaging herself. She probably feels this is a win win and maybe you should too! She complied with the policy and her peer’s advice after all, while still not dropping the mask of “whatever.” I would congratulate her and hope for the best next time. If you wanted to,you could try to find out why she missed the original deadline, since you have already made it clear that no excuse will result in a change of grade. But you can solidify your stance as an ally, albeit a tough love one (and I totally would have done the same).

  3. Jocelyn says:

    Thanks for the thoughts, MsD. I always love hearing from others who have been in the classroom. This stuff took place a couple of years ago, though, so I can tell you, from the future, that she did get through…but not before she also called my house at 6:00 a.m. one time, needing to give me her latest excuse for missing class. Despite it all: I really, really liked her. Charm is a funny thing!

  4. Joanne says:

    I hope that is her paper you photographed–technology is making us lazy. Is there an app for decisions?

  5. Friko says:

    O dear, I know this attitude from the same side as your student. No matter how hard you shout ‘whatever’, deep down you really WANT to be a good girl, comply with demands and get by with decent grades and your head held high. MsD is so right in her assessment.

    I am so very glad she made it in the end in spite of her pretend ‘couldn’t care less’. She probably cared a hell of a lot but just couldn’t bring herself to show that anyone or anything mattered to her.

    I commend your no-nonsense attitude too.

  6. kmkat says:

    And this is just one more reason I am not a teacher. But I am glad you are!

  7. Maria says:

    Once, about a decade ago, I taught a Psych 101 class at a local college. I honestly thought I might lose my mind. I kept looking at these kids and wanting to kick them in the ass. Either they weren’t even trying, performing plagiarism, coming to me with sob stories or having their parents call me! In college! I was flabbergasted. I was one of those students who practically killed myself to be the best in the class. I would have DIED before I let my MOTHER call one of my professors. (And she would have died laughing if I even asked her to do that…) And did they not know that I was pretty well versed in basic Freudisms and couldn’t pass them off as their brainy ideas? I was a harsh teacher and not well liked. At least you know how to do that dance and do it without sneering. You sound like my partner, a born teacher. I, unfortunately, stunk at it….SO BADLY. I sat there reading your post and was so impressed at how cool but contained you were. I wanted to take your class. And impress you. Be that suck uppy one in the first row.

  8. alexandra says:

    Paralyzed by overwhelm.

    It’s a thing.

    And consequences suck, but it’s the language that we get.

    You do good work, Jocelyn.

  9. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    This makes teaching high school seniors seem like a cakewalk.
    Bless that Other Mother for cheerleading this quarter.

  10. chlost says:

    I see the same attitudes/challenges with my clients. In my environment, there are true life-long consequences for not following through with requirements, but I have no power to waive them. My role is to kick their ass, explain reality, try to argue their case without whining for them, and still deal with the mothers who make excuses for them. It is a tough world out there, and it really doesn’t care if you got enough sleep last night. You do a great job. Wish we could tag team them.

  11. pia says:

    OMG the paper–on laziness–I was going to say “too funny” but ironic will do.
    And thanks. When I was a grad student 20 years ago I heard students tell professors they “had to give them an ‘A’ because…” And much of the time the teachers did as these students worked for NYC and needed to get their license. Never mind that for the rest of us standards were extremely high to keep the schools “top” ranking. Everybody wanted to be in my presentations as they knew I would read everything and could cover for them if necessary. One teacher fought with one student. I loved her–the professor. My research professor was oblivious and actually gave “D”s and failing grades. We were friends and I had to explain why he got a death threat
    That city department–had its name changed six times since then but I’m sure all the workers are still there unless somehow they were responsible for letting a murder go undetected. Consequences? Ha. That’s for people like me
    So thanks for being a great teacher with actual standards and thanks for letting me rant.

  12. Bijoux says:

    This reminds me of when I was in junior high and had an English teacher who gave us choices of projects that could earn you an A, B, or C.

    I guess you wouldn’t be shocked by how many chose to do the C project.

  13. Meg says:

    What struck me here is that she changed. She did something she had never done before: letting go of “all or nothing.” Not perfectly, by a long shot, but she did it. That alone gives me hope for her. For all of us, really. Nice!

  14. Bone says:

    Working full-time and going to college was not easy. I can’t even fathom throwing a kid in there, too. Glad to hear she got through the class.

    And as I’m a couple of weeks late commenting on this post, I’m hoping you won’t deduct too many points 🙂

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