Saturday, May 10, 2008

T'is the Season (Letters, we get letters...)

It's the end of the semester, that bright moment in the term when students suddenly remember that they have some stake in the outcome of the course and now they believe it's the professor's responsibility to make it all right for them. Just ask Michael Homan, The Angry Professor, (I could have used her response [second link] for a dozen letters), or read a couple of mine from this semester. Feel free to craft a snarky response in the comments.

I don't want to interrupt the fine prose with a bunch of "[sic]s" so here you go:

Dear professor I am _______ from your (Principles of Marketing) class. I just check my grade and I have the grade of 65%. I am an international student, therefore I have trouble with reading especially in analysizing case as in marketing quesstion. I am gona have a big trouble if I can not get a C for this class. I have to get at least a C to be accepted by MBA. I will be very appreciate if you would consider my case and give me C for this class. I am so worry now to retake it, this is really a big trouble for me. I hope that you would consider my grade. Thank you so much!

And this one...

Hello my name is ________ and I am in your Marketing class on Tuesday nights. I'm not emailing you to complain about my final grade, but I see that you didn't put it on WebStar yet. I'm very happy I passed the class with a 60. I don't know how my attendance is going to be. Whether it will bring my average up or down. I would appreciate it extremely if you don't fail me if my attendance is going to bring my 60 lower. Please email me as soon as possible. Thank you and have a great day!

I'm so glad he's thrilled with the lowest D possible, but he's going to be pretty bummed out when he realizes that test are only 90% of the final. But I do intend to have a great day!

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Blogger YatPundit said...

those letters crack me up. i think the parents i had to deal with when I taught at Redeemer were worse, though. these people know they're screwed and they're trying for a step removed via e-mail. parents will just get in your face and demand to know why you didn't give their wonder of the world an A.

5:41 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Oh, I've had a parent encounter or two. My son got an F in your class. That's not acceptable. What are YOU going to do about it? I just love that. At least it was by telephone and not in person, cause she was one scary sounding mama.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Sophmom said...

I read this and Homan's in quick succession. I don't know how y'all do it. At least you can find the humor in it all. Geeeeze.

8:26 PM  
Blogger mominem said...

I contrast this with my own experience. In public school my parents made it perfectly clear to my teachers that as far as they were concerned corporal punishment was perfectly acceptable.

They never met many of my college teachers, and I doubt that corporal punishment would have been acceptable. I also doubt that absent serious evidence of discrimination they would have intervened. I was pretty much academically on my own.

I have a very good friend on the faculty at Georgetown, she reports absolutely amazing pressure not only from parents but from privileged students who have no compunctions about referencing their parents, families trust funds or any other "special" circumstance.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Oliver said...

Now, imagine living in a culture where everything--everything including homicide--is negotiable.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Hana said...

In my opinion, you should just negotiate the grades at the beginning of the semester so the pressure is off. Like - I don't like your ugly face, you get C.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Enjoyed reading this. I often blog about my teaching at UNO. Have any of your students read your posts on teaching? I'm always a little terrified mine will. And they are oh so good at using their end-of-the semester evaluations as payback for their (earned) mediocre grades. Sigh!

I hope you will be with UNO still in the fall.

Sarah (English Dept.)

10:37 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Wow. A long time ago I had written a response to Sophmom, Mominem and Oliver's comments that apparently didn't make it. I basically acknowledged and agreed with everyone and reminded Oliver that I didn't have to imagine living in such a culture. Not at all.

To Hana, I can only say, "if only..."

Sarah, I know there's a chance of students reading this blog, especially since I keep a blog for students on the same Blogger account, but I don't worry about it. The truth is the truth and as long as I'm not naming names, I think I'm okay. (But my I think my internal censor is always at work, whether I'm conscious of it or not.)

BTW, last fall my son took ENG 1157 taught by someone named Sarah, if I recall correctly. It was the only class he enjoyed and he thought highly of his professor. Maybe it was you? (You can see a picture of him a couple of posts back.)

1:58 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hey, wake up... we need you out here in cyber space. Please come back and blog for us, ok ok, at least come back and blog for me!

1:17 PM  

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