I turned grades in early yesterday morning. Had a pretty good spread through the grading scales with a few Fs because students can't be arsed to do the work for the classes they sign up for, but won't drop the class.
This afternoon, I got an email from a student begging for an incomplete instead of the F she so richly earned.
Back in early August, I met with her in person to help her get her blog set up. She was kind of intermittent in her blogging, and in early September, contacted me to tell me that her mother was ill. That was the last I heard from her, and she never turned in a lick of work.
So, now that semester's over, she's emailing me begging me for an incomplete (like I have the time or desire to grade her entire semester's worth of work she didn't do) because her mother died, her brother died, she has her kids and her brother's kids, and she's on some kind of government scholarship to pay for her classes, but loses the money if she fails even one class, she can't keep going to college if she loses the money and it's worse now with so many more kids to care for, oh please help.
I'm a sucker for a sob story. If a student is having trouble early in the semester, tell me, and I'll go out of my way to help them. If a student has crap happen just before a due date, and tell me before the due date, I'll usually offer an extension. I'll keep offering extensions as long as communication happens. (I had a married couple stay in contact dealing with an in-law's death, and then a daughter's messy divorce with the daughter and grandkids moving in with them. They were a few weeks late with a lot of it. They caught up and earned Bs--and if they hadn't been in contact with me, I would have failed them without blinking.)
I don't have a lot of sympathy for this girl. She's one of the stereotypical cheerleader types: pretty, popular, has gotten a lot of special consideration for it, and expects that consideration. That's demonstrated by contacting the teacher almost a week after the last day of classes, begging for an incomplete instead of the F she earned.
41 minutes ago