Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's play "What's different?"

My student from the DTFO post yesterday emailed again, asking what they were supposed to be doing, how many sources they were supposed to use, and what kind, and how and where to find them.  Then, when I pointed out that they've been finding the sources for the past three weeks, and that they need to be doing the work on their own (putting all of their gathered information together into a coherent essay), they got in a snit and informed me that they were so sorry for bothering me, and that they wouldn't ever email me with questions again, no matter how much trouble they were having.

I will admit, my first reaction was, "Oh, thank God!  Would you just hurry up and either fail or drop the class so that I don't have to deal with you, already!"  My second was to send the whole email back and forth to my department head, with the message that I'd been having issues with that particular student since they'd plagiarized and failed the course last semester.

Honestly, I don't understand why this future welfare recipient is even in college.  

Contrast that teenager with this one:

Restaurant owner spots a late teenage kid walking in the snow.  Kid asks him how much farther it is to a specific destination, gets the answer of six or seven more miles, thanks him, and keeps going.  The destination?  A job interview.

Yep.  A teenager with a GED has a work ethic that drives him to walk ten miles through the snow for a potential job.  One that'd already been filled.

Yes, he now has a pretty good job--the restaurant owner pretty much hired him on the spot, and he's got a year's worth of free bus rides with the city transit authorities.

He deserves it.  I think he'll make a success of his life, either in spite of or because of his rough start.

I want that kid in my class.  Not the uneducated, uneducatable pain in the ass that I have whining at me that they can't do the work, and want me to do it for them.


  1. Why don't you have an "instructional" BLOG for your students?

    1. I do. It's called the announcements. And each new post is emailed to them. They still don't read it. I swear, the good ones are more numerous than the bad ones, but even the good ones have their moments of willful refusal to be taught.