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Author Topic: Niceness Coming Back to Bite One's B*tt(om)  (Read 13129 times)
hiddendragon
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« on: May 01, 2012, 1:28:14 PM »

I learn and relearn that being nice to students will only come back to bite you in the b*tt, and I forget and I continue to be nice.  What is wrong with me?

My flakey who I have posted about many times, just comes back again and again. 

Background:  This is the flakey from last semester who missed more than 1/3 of the course meetings (minimum at at least 13 absences/30 days of class meeting).  Flakey has a crises every time there is an exam or an assignment due.  Flakey flunks the course.  Flakey asks that I "regrade" her assignments/exams to see if she'll pass cause she wants to graduate now.  I said profs don't "regrade".  Flakey then got ombudsmen to chase me down with the excuse that flakey wanted to come pick up her exams from last semester and I never responded to her or was not in my office when she showed up, blah blah blah. [Reality was:  Flakey told me to put the exam outside my door so she could come pick it up at her convenience, I said no, Flakey has to get the exam from my hands so need to come face-to-face.  I point to privacy issues.  She never showed up.  I get email from obudsmen the following week].

Follow-up:  Flakey got her exams from me finally after spring break back in March.  She disappears; I don't to hear from her again.  I was happy.  Now (May), ombudsmen emails me again to ask why I deducted 20 points from Flakey's paper when she had a medical excuse for turning the paper in "two days" late.  Flakey actually turned the paper in 6 days late, and never attempted to contact me the day the paper was due to say why it was not in.  I learned after the fact that she conveniently had another ER situation on the very day the paper was due, and then just showed up and handed me the paper six days later.  I told her it was inexcusable for her to keep coming to me with late assignments, and that I will deduct maximum penalty if I took it now.  My syllabus policy states:  No paper accepted after three days.  BUT, I decided that since she had a medical excuse, I'll let her turn it in but with 20 points deduction.  I told her this.  She agreed, and was only too happy that she won't get a zero--"any point is better than a zero," she chirped as I took her paper.

Now, she's complained to ombudsmen that she should have zero deductions since she only turned the paper in two days late (it was 6 days, and I wrote the date she turned in her paper on the paper, and I retained a copy of the paper, anticipating that she's going to pull another stunt like this--the date I received is clearly noted on the paper).

I should have stuck to my syllabus policy and not accepted her paper in the first place since it was 6 days late.  So much for me making concessions!  I don't know how much more lenient I could be for this student.  I've accepted all the other things she's turned in late to the course w/o penalties because she had medical excuses, but I told her I would not do that for the paper because it was a semester long project and she clearly knew when it was due from day one.  She was happy with the slight penalty, now she's whining and wants whole credit.

Anyway...even without the penalty deduction for the paper, flakey still fails the course.  I'm just going to tell ombudsmen this.  But it's just so annoying when you try to be nice to someone only to have them use it against you.  I welcome other stories that come back to bit you.
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amlithist
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 10:50:03 AM »

I think I'm pretty much NEVER nice to them--i.e., don't give the warm & fuzzy breaks that my dean always hounds me about.  But when she does harangue and b*tch enough that I finally do break down and give a student the break, like you, I have gotten the bite in the ass, every single time.

So much easier to keep it on a strict, clearly-enunciated, professional level.  Or at least, it is for me.
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spectacle
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2012, 11:11:32 AM »

Anyway...even without the penalty deduction for the paper, flakey still fails the course.  I'm just going to tell ombudsmen this.  But it's just so annoying when you try to be nice to someone only to have them use it against you.  I welcome other stories that come back to bit you.

Do that, and include in the message (cc'd to the ombudsman) that Flakey - like every student - has the right to appeal her grade and the instructions for doing so are here (link).

Then give a heads up to the next up in line (your chair or dean?) that Flakey will almost certainly be contacting them to do just that. 

At least get her out of your hair for a little while.
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I think this thread is going well. Don't you think this thread is going well?
mended_drum
Potnia theron and
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Posts: 9,476


« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2012, 5:46:25 PM »

I learn and relearn that being nice to students will only come back to bite you in the b*tt, and I forget and I continue to be nice.  What is wrong with me?

You are a kind and civilized person and therefore completely unsuited this this profession.

Or any other, for that matter. :)
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"dr. mended_drum don't give a sh!t; she will chew me up like a cobra."
oldfullprof
Ridiculous
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Representation is not reproduction!


« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 2:42:07 PM »

It's your nature.  It's okay.  I do this too.  Don't fight it. 
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Taste o' the Sixties
baphd1996
You can't talk to me like that, I'm a
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Posts: 1,336


« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 8:41:20 AM »

I'm right there with you Dragon.  And I'm sure I'll have to keep relearning that lesson.
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You're all wrong!
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