This morning I got an e-mail that came down to...
"Dear Philosophy Facotry Worker"
I need help in logic. I know I couldn't make it to class yesterday and I have a class before ours, but isn't there a time you could help me? We have a quiz tomorrow and I don't understand.
This reads to me like:
"Dear over-worked prof"
I couldn't be bothered to come to class yesterday, or to do the homework before last night so I didn't know I don't understand it. Could you please go out of your way and come in uber-early to help me because I couldn't be bothered to help myself. Additionally, I don't have time to talk to you right before class, because I have another class - and I couldn't have talked to you yesterday after class because I'm "too busy"-- so, get your ass out of bed extra early tomorrow and come in to explain to me what you taught the whole class yesterday. And, I know that professors don't have anything to do with their lives other than wait for a student to come ask for extra help, so I know you'll be available to give me 5 minutes of brilliance before my 9:30 class that will explain the whole subject.
An irresponsible student
So... my response?
"Dear Irresponsible" (not exactly.. but I do wish I could..)
In essence... If you could decode it you'd read... I'm not coming in for you, nor am I going out of my way for you. Additionally, I can't even pack all the meetings I have into my usual schedule and tomorrow there is one in my office hours... so, here is my phone number. Call me before you come over to see if I'm in my office today in the early afternoon or before my 6:00 class.
My dream response...
Come to class and you'll understand the material. Also, had you come to class you'd have a grade report in your hands that tells you exactly how you aren't performing in this course. Maybe that would have inspired you to ask for help in a timely manner. As it is, I don't think I'll go out of my way to help you... should you wander by my office I'll resist the urge to shoot you with the water gun I have for students just like you.. I also won't trip you or send the dogs out to harass you. If you ask me very nicely about the homework and it seems like you actually DID the homework, I might even answer... but only if I feel like it. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to do logic, -- you know what that feels like -- don't you?
You should realize that the philosophy factory pays me for 20 contact hours, which is what I provide. I also do ALL of my homework and come to class EVERY day -- even when I don't feel like it. I even grade your pathetic quizzes on weekends when I should be relaxing and watching Seinfeld DVDs. When I am in class, I teach stuff you need to know to get out of the math equivalent for transfer. Should you choose not to come to class, I'm under no obligation to repeat class lecture in my office, no matter how sad or stupid you are. There are tutors in the tutoring center and other people in the class you should be going to to get this information. I know you are busy.. so am I. I have the committments equal to two full-time jobs, as I calculated that the number of hours I spend traveling with the debate team is just about 30 contact hours... I do this on top of my regular committments, and in fact I'm working on hosting a tournament this weekend at BNCC... SO -- if you want to know what I do all the time, I work -- if you worked this hard you'd either be rich or smart. Clearly, you are neither because you are pretty much failing an easy logic class at a CC. Get your act together.
The fact of the matter is that college goes like this, I know stuff the society has determined is necessary for you to be called "educated". I've worked hard to learn that stuff and it is my responsibility to make you work hard to do so as well, as that is the ONLY way it happens. BN state pays me a pretty decent salary to teach this stuff to you. I work hard to do so, putting in way more than my basic hours to insure that your education is as painless and efficient as possible. In return, I expect you to show up and try to larn it. I can't do anything to help you if you don't do these simple things.
your irritated prof, who is glad today is a "turn in papers and leave" day in her class...