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Author Topic: "favorite" student e-mails  (Read 4237615 times)
dismalist
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Often wrong, never in doubt.


« Reply #19680 on: May 06, 2012, 5:11:45 PM »

Just about relevant (if not to the thread title): I clearly remember one of my group tutors returning a short answer homework to the group in which in one question he'd asked us to name a tissue that expressed X receptor protein.  He went through everyone's answers as he handed them back, since all the questions potentially had multiple correct answers and it was useful to us to learn of other people's correct answers.

One person had written something like "small intestine" as an answer, which was fairly clearly picking a tissue at random and hoping.  The tutor told that student that he was terribly sorry, but he'd reviewed the available literature on X receptor - searched and searched through papers and databases, and couldn't find any evidence that it was expressed in small intestine.  I got the impression said student felt rather ashamed at having put the tutor through all that extra work simply because the tutor was working from the assumption that everyone was taking the work as seriously as he was.

This sounds to me like a great learning experience.

A long, long time ago, but not far away, I once did something similar in spirit -- going through everybody's homework answers in public. Bam! Got called out on publicizing private information! Nothing terrible happened to me, but I never did that again. I suppose it could be done if the students' names weren't associated with their answers. Thanks, Frogfactory, for jarring my memory, and my conscience.

--Dismalist

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reener06
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« Reply #19681 on: May 06, 2012, 9:49:29 PM »

Grrr...why couldn't they just let the semester end without my blood boiling over?

Dr. Reener:
I was just wondering when grades would be posted into university system? I have to send a copy of my final official transcript to my graduate program and I do not have a grade entered yet for this class.

Thank you so much for a great semester! Have a great summer.


I was so tempted to reply snarkily, considering I won't be teaching at this place again. I was tempted to reply
"When they are." Or some long snark reply, but spouse and I argued about that. I replied with:

Dear Snowflake:

First, I don't put grades into the system; our administrative assistant does that after receiving them from all the faculty in our department.  She has thousands of grades to enter, but she has to get them entered by noon tomorrow.

Second, official transcripts are not created until after all grades are entered tomorrow, and it takes the registrar at least a week to get them out. You can only print out unofficial transcripts from university system.

Third, your unofficial grade is on Bb.
Dr. Reener


Deep breath. Gah. So sick of this crap.
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doctorladybug
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« Reply #19682 on: May 07, 2012, 12:15:36 AM »

This is the best all year for me:
"Hi Professor Ladybug this is _____ and how are you today
Professor Ladybug I need your help.  I am very disappointed of myself because I didn't do good during the semester regarding to some issues, such as family and others.  What I am asking to you is can you give me a passing grade instead of an F.  The reason why I am asking is first, it completely hurts my GPA.  second, if you given me an F grade I can not apply in Fall Oct. for the program.  What ever grade you give me I am going to take this course again, but the program accepts application in Oct. Even if I take this course in Fall still it can affects my GPA and my application.  If you like you can give me an extra work before you post the final grade, and I can do it  .Please, please please Professor Ladybug help me for the sake of God.  I have never fallen in this kind of situation.  I know everything happened with me is from my fault. I am so sorry about asking you at this time.  Thank you for all your effort"
My response:
_____,it is incredibly unethical for you to ask me to pass you when you received a failing grade in this course.    You didn't pass a single exam all semester...  I'm sorry, but I cannot assign you a passing grade.

I'm still red thinking about it.
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biomancer
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CHE Fora Hazmat Team


« Reply #19683 on: May 07, 2012, 7:27:08 AM »

Reener, your reply was a fine example of restraint.


Froggie and Dismalist, indeed, if you don't mention the names as you're going through the homework, it's perfectly fine.  Lots of my profs over the years did that, and I do it in class on occasion too.  If students can't keep poker-faced as you reason through fixing their anonymous mistakes, it's their problem, not yours.


Dr.Ladybug, if I'd received that email, I think I'd have forwarded it to the student's advisor and the chair/dean.  I have a sneaking suspicion that you're not the only professor who got an email like that from that snowflake.

I might also have appended to the reply "I do not give grades.  I merely report the outcome of your efforts." 
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Clueless people can be dangerous. The acidic environment they can spread often needs to be neutralized, and humor is basic.  - Dellaroux

I have realized that it is best to assume everyone is bonkers until they demonstrate otherwise. - ChaosByDesign
octoprof
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Love your loved ones while you can.


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« Reply #19684 on: May 07, 2012, 7:43:14 AM »

Dr. O,

Will you be in your office anytime before 2:30 on Monday? I was going to come by for a second to talk about a few things.

Thanks,
Jane Jones


Fantasy response:

Well, no, I won't. Because, you know, it is summer. And, I'm off the payroll for the next three months. And, since your average was 65% and you knew this on Friday morning, you could have come by for a second to talk to me then. There is nothing really for us to talk about for a second, is there? D is D. I hope you signed up already for the course again in the Fall.

It is nice to know you were thinking of me at 2am this morning and sent me this polite email, though. Salutation, signature and everything. Yea.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 7:44:05 AM by octoprof » Logged

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octoprof
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« Reply #19685 on: May 07, 2012, 1:14:50 PM »

Dr. O,

Will you be in your office anytime before 2:30 on Monday? I was going to come by for a second to talk about a few things.

Thanks,
Jane Jones

Fantasy response:

Well, no, I won't. Because, you know, it is summer. And, I'm off the payroll for the next three months. And, since your average was 65% and you knew this on Friday morning, you could have come by for a second to talk to me then. There is nothing really for us to talk about for a second, is there? D is D. I hope you signed up already for the course again in the Fall.

It is nice to know you were thinking of me at 2am this morning and sent me this polite email, though. Salutation, signature and everything. Yea!

I actually replied (9ish):

Quote
Jane,

I will not be in the office today.  I will be in tomorrow (Tuesday) morning around 9 because I have a meeting at 9:30.

Sincerely,

Dr. O.

And, now we have:

Quote
Dr. O,

Will it be too late to discuss some of my grades tomorrow?

Jane

I suppose it's never too late but a 65% is a D in any case...

And, I checked the course roster for Fall. She is not in the class and the waitlist has 13 on it... No idea if she's on the waitlist, though.
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Love your neighbor.
anakin
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« Reply #19686 on: May 07, 2012, 1:56:00 PM »

Dr. O,

Will it be too late to discuss some of my grades tomorrow?

Jane

Dear Jane,

Yes. [Insert one sentence here quoting relevant course policy from syllabus/Octo U's academic policies.]

Dr. O
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There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized. -- Conan O'Brien
barred_owl
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« Reply #19687 on: May 08, 2012, 12:46:27 AM »

I wish I could quote a recent email I received from a chronically absent student, but it might launch fellow forumites into bouts of nausea, or worse.  I feel so sorry for this student, but the universe has just rained down buckets of sh!t on her--everything from a son who accidentally amputated part of a finger to a diagnosis of Lyme disease to impending foreclosure on her dwelling to her ongoing struggles with depression and ADHD.  Her most recent message was a long, run-on sentence chronicling all of these things and more.  I don't know how the semester will end for her, but I'm guessing it will not end as an academically successful one.

This student's lab partner has had her own share of interruptions with her academic progress:  mandatory participation in an Army Reserve event this weekend (which means she can't take her final at the scheduled time), and a chronically ill sister whose dire medical needs require my student's assistance nearly daily.  Her email communications with me sound so exasperated, it makes me sad.

So, I live for the emails from another student in the same class:  this student (one of the best I've ever had, ever, in over 20 years of teaching), regularly sends me emails with questions she has as she studies course material.  Not a week has gone by this term that I haven't had at least one message from her with very specific questions about various topics or phenomena.  I happened to cross paths with her in the restroom today and mentioned that I missed NOT getting an email from her this weekend--guess what arrived in my in-box late this evening??  Seven questions that I am really looking forward to answering in detail first thing tomorrow morning!
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zuzu_
Frakking
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« Reply #19688 on: May 08, 2012, 10:46:17 AM »

Two good emails this week:

#1

Professor Zuzu I wanted to let you know that I won't be able to make it to the final.

Ummmm....OK...

Fantasy reply: I wanted to let you know that I won't be able to record a passing grade for you in this class.




#2, from a student who had emailed me a few basic questions about how to get registered for my summer class (to which I replied with a few links to the relevant offices), truly a favorite with quotes omitted from the word favorite:

Professor Zuzu,     
 You have been so helpful.  I appreciate your time.  On Monday I have an
appointment to get this writing thing figured out.  I have 41 credits and have taken
a lot of them Online.  I spoke with (Receptionist) and she set me up with an appointment
with (Academic Advisor) to get this whole thing figured out.  To get my Associate in General
Studies I need a writing class.  We will take it easy and hope I get it before I go
under the sod.  I am 71 years old.  Ha.
      Grammar is not my high point.   We will work with that.
      I appreciate your professional help and all you have done.




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krisanthe
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sciencerely


« Reply #19689 on: May 08, 2012, 12:30:25 PM »

Way to go zuzu!  It's such a great feeling to know you are appreciated.
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Sweet biscuits! Now I really HAVE heard it all.

If you are in to Oreos we can talk about it more.
octoprof
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Love your loved ones while you can.


WWW
« Reply #19690 on: May 08, 2012, 1:09:45 PM »

Dr. O,

Will it be too late to discuss some of my grades tomorrow?

Jane

Dear Jane,

Yes. [Insert one sentence here quoting relevant course policy from syllabus/Octo U's academic policies.]

Dr. O

She emailed me again at 2am and again at 9am today. But, she didn't show up to talk to me. Sheesh. Even if every one of her "ungraded problems" received 100%, she'd still have a D! And, grades were due ten minutes ago, so she's out of luck now, thankfully.  If she put as much effort into studying as she did emailing me in the past few days, she'd have got the stupid C and would be graduating this summer.
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citrine
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Beware the Annoying Bad Luck Snail


« Reply #19691 on: May 08, 2012, 2:07:10 PM »

Lord, give me strength: A ghost student who hadn't turned in any work re-appeared in my inbox last week (finals week for us) with an epic set of excuses, including mononucleosis, a dead grandparent, and the fact that he had been "trying" to email me all semester, but none of his emails ever made it to me, especially all of those emails with attached assignments!

Fine, I said, since you were supposed to turn in assignments via the course CMS all semester, I'll give you enough rope until date and time to submit them all via the CMS like you were supposed to have been doing all semester. Do not email them -- use the course CMS which will timestamp your submissions. Right before the deadline, he asked via email (on his mobile phone) for another extension because his "wifi was broken" and he had to go to the library to submit things; I gave him another two hours since I was still grading. He submitted one paper out of the four by the new deadline. I recorded his F.

This morning, I got this email, sent twelve hours after the deadline:
Quote
I did not get a chance to go to the library after exams, I had a meeting with my [other subject] professor before heading up to the hospital emergency room for [vague medical problem]. My wifi was fixed in my house so I submitted the last of the assignments as best I could. I submitted the three and I attached the final to an email since my [course cms] was glitching earlier before I got your first email and I believe there were a total of four papers so I am all set. Thank you for your help, I did not know if the other email sent so I attached the last of the papers to [course cms] as a precaution when I woke up just now to take medicine.

In the CMS were two out of the three missing assignments, both of which had submission timestamps during when he was supposedly "in the hospital" yesterday.

Part of my response to him:

Quote
I can see that you logged into [Course Cms] multiple times and looked at multiple assignments over the [time period before the deadline] so if you genuinely had the work done, why didn't you submit it during the times that you logged on on [specific dates]? Or, if [Course Cms] was "glitching" then and leaving you unable to submit assignments, why didn't you get help from someone on campus or let me know then?

You also failed to check in with me all semester about whether or not I had received your assignments, even though I posted grades on [Course Cms] all semester and repeatedly mentioned this in class, you had an F as your midterm grade, I required multiple drafts of all of the major projects so that you could receive feedback, I had regular office hours, and we had scheduled conferences twice during the semester when you could have asked me.

I am not grading your late work after you had all semester to submit the work, I gave you multiple deadline extensions after that, and I have proof that you logged into and used [Course Cms] to access course materials and therefore you could have used [Course Cms] to turn things in before the final deadline(s).

Then I gave him details of our grade appeal policy.

And I don't think it's the digital submission that was a problem here; I just know that if I required print submissions, he'd claim he put them under my office door or gave them to the department secretary or that they were somehow "lost"...

My other lesson: I should have just said "no, you're screwed" instead of giving him a chance to turn in any of the work. Next time I will.
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anakin
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« Reply #19692 on: May 08, 2012, 2:35:47 PM »

There's where a course policy on your syllabus will save you a lot of time and hassle next time you have a student like this, citrine. Let's hope his grade appeal disappears, too.
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There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized. -- Conan O'Brien
reener06
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« Reply #19693 on: May 08, 2012, 2:59:39 PM »

OK, tired of this semester and this student in particular. Can I just reply "no"?

> Received yesterday morning after I posted grades:
> Hello,
>
> I recently just looked at my grade and saw that I did not do as well on the final as I thought I did.  I studied hard for this test expecting to get a good enough grade so I could pull a C out in this class.  That is not the case as I ended up with a D which is killing my gpa for this semester and my freshman year.  Is their anything I could to pull this up to a C.  I really need this and it would help me out tremendously for the future.
>
> Thank you for your time,
>
>Stu Dent


My reply yesterday morning:

Dear Stu Dent
> The time to get in touch with me about your grade is not at the end of the semester. I can not give you additional points you did not earn, and by contract I can not give you additional work after the semester is over. This is unfair to other students who do not receive the same opportunity.
>
> In the future, you should contact professors when you receive failing grades on the midterm at that time to ask for suggestions on improving your grade. Your writing assignment grades dropped from an 85 to a 76 average, which suggests to me you did not read the extensive comments I put on them, or you did read them but did not implement my suggestions to improve your grade. The extra credit opportunity I announced over a month ago was an opportunity for students to bring up grades they were unsure about, but you did not take advantage of that.
>
> Dr. Reener
[/i
His reply this afternoon:

I know this isn't the right time and I should have talked to you earlier about this but I am desperate right now to pull this up to a C.  I worked really hard this semester and I know my grade does not show for it and I am disappointed in myself.   If there is anything that you could do to help I would greatly appreciate it. I would even do the extra credit if you extended the time for me if that is even an option.  I Hope you have a wonderful summer and thank you for your time. 

Stu Dent



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anakin
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« Reply #19694 on: May 08, 2012, 3:01:53 PM »

OK, tired of this semester and this student in particular. Can I just reply "no"?
...

Yes.





Or, not at all. You made yourself pretty clear in your first response. Just because Mr. Dent pressed "send" and you now have that tripe in your in-box does not obligate you to respond to said tripe. File it in your CYA folder and move on.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 3:03:40 PM by anakin » Logged

There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized. -- Conan O'Brien
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