Professors Killing Grandparents 2013 version (PKG13)

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fizmath:
One trustworthy student of mine lost three grandparents over 10 days. 

I have mentioned to students that it is amazing how many grandparents die under my watch.  We have caught one student killing off the same grandparent twice with different teachers.

On the first day of one class a student emails me about missing class because of a child of his who had cancer.  The next day a student tells me in person about missing class because of a child with cancer.  I said "oh, you were the one who emailed me?"  He said no.  Therefore I had 2 people in a class of 25 who were fathers of a child with cancer.  Maybe 5 of the 25 looked old enough to be a parent.  The two different people never showed up after the first week.  Was it acceptable for me to believe that the two people were lying?

dr_alcott:
Quote from: fizmath on February 13, 2013, 11:36:45 AM

One trustworthy student of mine lost three grandparents over 10 days. 

I have mentioned to students that it is amazing how many grandparents die under my watch.  We have caught one student killing off the same grandparent twice with different teachers.

On the first day of one class a student emails me about missing class because of a child of his who had cancer.  The next day a student tells me in person about missing class because of a child with cancer.  I said "oh, you were the one who emailed me?"  He said no.  Therefore I had 2 people in a class of 25 who were fathers of a child with cancer.  Maybe 5 of the 25 looked old enough to be a parent.  The two different people never showed up after the first week.  Was it acceptable for me to believe that the two people were lying?


I'd definitely be skeptical, but don't fall into the "looking old enough to be a parent" trap. Around here, plenty of people are parents before they start college. I've had my share 19-year-olds with multiple children with different fathers/mothers, and I got plenty of unsolicited childbearing advice from 18-year-olds.

But inventing a kid with cancer is beyond the pale.

As for me, I just got a "family emergency" excuse from a student scheduled to give a presentation today. I just don't want to know.

frogfactory:
Quote from: fizmath on February 13, 2013, 11:36:45 AM

One trustworthy student of mine lost three grandparents over 10 days. 

I have mentioned to students that it is amazing how many grandparents die under my watch.  We have caught one student killing off the same grandparent twice with different teachers.

On the first day of one class a student emails me about missing class because of a child of his who had cancer.  The next day a student tells me in person about missing class because of a child with cancer.  I said "oh, you were the one who emailed me?"  He said no.  Therefore I had 2 people in a class of 25 who were fathers of a child with cancer.  Maybe 5 of the 25 looked old enough to be a parent.  The two different people never showed up after the first week.  Was it acceptable for me to believe that the two people were lying?


That or they stopped showing up because they were preoccupied with their kids.  *shrug*  If they stopped showing up, you might as well give them the benefit of the doubt, since you're not going to pass them in any case.

octoprof:
Quote from: frogfactory on February 13, 2013, 11:52:34 AM

Quote from: fizmath on February 13, 2013, 11:36:45 AM

One trustworthy student of mine lost three grandparents over 10 days. 

I have mentioned to students that it is amazing how many grandparents die under my watch.  We have caught one student killing off the same grandparent twice with different teachers.

On the first day of one class a student emails me about missing class because of a child of his who had cancer.  The next day a student tells me in person about missing class because of a child with cancer.  I said "oh, you were the one who emailed me?"  He said no.  Therefore I had 2 people in a class of 25 who were fathers of a child with cancer.  Maybe 5 of the 25 looked old enough to be a parent.  The two different people never showed up after the first week.  Was it acceptable for me to believe that the two people were lying?


That or they stopped showing up because they were preoccupied with their kids.  *shrug*  If they stopped showing up, you might as well give them the benefit of the doubt, since you're not going to pass them in any case.


Two semesters ago I had a student in my online Intro 2 course whose two small children had cancers. Really. He finished the course and earned a good grade, while shuttling the small children between specialists in three cities. The children are doing quite well now, by the way, and this student is taking me in an advanced course.

westcoastgirl:
This thread jars the memory to a very awkward moment that transpired between sillystudent and me. The first version of the iPhone had just been released (relevance below).

Sillystudent had just returned from a few weeks of R&R. God knows where he was. He had missed quizzes, tests and the like. On the class break (mandated in the 2 hour class), I accosted him and asked where he'd been. His face turned various shades of red until he finally stammered, "Um, my dad, um, he had cancer last week." Fine. Maybe the student was flustered, feeling hopeless, whatever. It just sounded very awkward.

During said break, he was showing off his new phone. It was the first time most of us had seen a live smartphone. Everyone was oohing and aahing over his prized possession. He offered to show it to me. I hesitantly took it in my hand and up popped an incoming (incriminating) text (with his previous message included) saying something like "That f-en c*** bought it, lmao!" It was so silly. I am a lot of things, but I'm certainly not a c*** to my students. He hadn't quite figured out the phone at that point.

I felt like I was holding a poisonous snake and quickly surrendered the phone. He knew exactly what had happened (since that sweet message still lingered). He dropped the class a week or so later (simply because he was failing).

Lesson learned. I am forever beholden to sillystudent. When I got around to getting my first iPhone later that year, I immediately disabled the pop-up texts. I've averted many disasters thanks to him.

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