Monday, December 18, 2006

i hate it when they do that!

I have one student in my class who turned in nothing all semester. The day the first paper was due, he came to me and said he didn't have it done. Some bullshit about thinking it was due the following week. OK, I said, get it to me asap, as you lose points for late papers.

I assumed he'd have it done by the next week, since that's the day he'd 'thought' it was due. But the next week, paper #2 was due, and he turned in neither. Three weeks before the semester was over, I emailed him to let him know that at the very latest, all work must be done and turned in by the last day, or he'd fail, as I didn't allow incompletes except under the most extenuating of circumstances.

No reply to my email. The second to last day of class, he meets me in the hall to acknowledge that he received my email and knows it's due and he'll get it in.

That day was his group's mock senate testimony. I didn't know how he could manage it, given he clearly hadn't done the work leading up to it. And I was right -- his performance was below standards.

Then this Saturday, the last day of classes (finals day, really, except that our final is the mock testimony, which takes two days to complete), one of his group members comes to me, very concerned. Seems this guy was supposed to present a good deal more than he had, the rest of the group had counted on him taking the lead in the presentation. The rest of the group were concerned about their grades, given his performance (they get individual and group grades).

I reassured her, and she left happy.

But the kicker is this: before class, he was waiting for me outside the building so that he could speak to me privately. He didn't have his work done, any of it. Work was too difficult, major problems, necessitated his undivided attention, his caseload is much higher than anyone else, yadda yadda yadda.

I was so fucking pissed it wasn't even funny. I hate it when they give me that bullshit, as though their life was somehow so much more important than the rest of the class, so they should be given special priviledges like more time.

But what really pisses me off the most is that I caved. I let him have the incomplete. I really hate being put on the spot like that.

He has to have all work to me by Jan. 1, and I swear I'm not waiting one minute past midnight that day. I will fail his sorry ass. And I've since looked at his record here, and he's done the incomplete thing with several profs already. And two of his incompletes became an 'f' and a 'c.' But the school's policy is, only one grade below a 'b' is allowed before the student is asked to leave the program. So I'm wondering why he is still here at all.

I swear though that I'm taking full points off for the late papers, and I told him I expect better than typical work from students who are given more time to complete their assignments. So if it ain't 'A' work, he's getting a 'C.' And I want to see the program graduate this student, cause I'll definitely lodge a complaint.

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