"Favorite" conversations with students

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Instead of clogging up the email thread with non-email anecdotes, I figured I'd start a new thread for our (not-so-)favorite face-to-face interactions.

Setting: 10:25 AM in my classroom. Class started at 9:35. Most students showed up on time with their hard-copy paper drafts in tow for a graded self-evaluation and peer-review exercise that they've known about since the first day of class and were also reminded about in class and by email within the last five days. About a quarter of them are still in the room finishing up (but even they'll all be gone in the next ten minutes); most have already finished and moved on. Perpetual No-Show (hereinafter PNS) enters the room calmly and slowly makes his way up to my desk.

PNS: So I'm here.

Me: Yes, you are. Class started nearly an hour ago.

PNS: So I can't do the peer review?

Me: No, all of your peers' drafts have already been assigned to reviewers.

PNS: So I can't do it?

Me: That's right, you can't do it.

PNS: But it's worth points.

Me: Yes it is.

PNS: Oh. Well, what should I do?

Me: Nothing now.

PNS: Oh.

PNS shrugs and exits.

Ah yes, the astonished that the rules of attendance apply to me PNS student.

Here's mine:
PNS (perhaps it is the same student, wait no, this ones a girl) : I missed class last week.
Me: Yes (internal thought - the past several weeks actually)
PNS: you sent me an email that I have been reassigned to a new project team.
Me: Yes, did you contact the student I told you was leading that team?
PNS: Uh, no.
Me: You need to speak with them, look there he is now.
PNS: Uh, so ...
Me: right over there, see he just waved.
PNS: Uh, OK.

walks over to speak to team leader.  He hands her a script.  She returns to me.

PNS: I have a question for you.
Me: Ok.
PNS: using really whiney voice They are making me do the XXdesign and I wanted to do the Xdesign and I don't think its fair that you moved me to a new team.
Me: Your team never met by the deadline.  All of you have been moved to new teams because I want there to be a chance that you actually do this project.  You were not here last week when that deadline went into effect and this is the result.  No options left now.
PNS: But I don't know anything about XX Design.  I wasn't here when you covered it.
Me: You weren't here when I covered the other two design areas either.
PNS: Oh.  she sadly walks away looking confused.

Here's a conversation I had today during an exam with a Chronic Text Messager (CTM).

(Context: the essay question they have to answer is "Using the events of September 11th, 2001 as an example, explain the five steps of Kenneth Burke's dramatistic cycle. Be sure to clearly label and explain each stage.")

CTM: I'm confused about this quesiton.
Me: What's confusing?
CTM: So are you asking us to write about September 11th or Burke?
Me: Both.
CTM: So we only need to write about September 11th?
Me: I want you to list the five steps in the dramatistic process according to Kenneth Burke using it as an example.
CTM: So we don't need to write about September 11th?
Me: You need to do both.
CTM: Oh.

Why would I include "using September 11th as an example" in the question prompt if I didn't mean it? Argh.

My office is near someone who meets with a lot of students. It's gotten to the point that I have a sign instructing them that I do not know where she is. It's not that they are frequently late, it's that they don't even understand that they are late.

Student: Hi, where is Prof Fancy Pants?
Me: Do you have an appointment with her?
Student: Yeah at 3 and she's not here [looks slightly peeved]
Me: [notes that time is currently 3:21] Were you here on time? Maybe she gave up and left.
Student: [shocked look on face]

That always blows their mind.

CTM just had an angry meltdown as she was leaving the test room that she didn't think one of the e-reserve articles would be on the exam, because she "couldn't find it anywhere" on Blackboard. Why would I list it on the study guide then, Snowflake? And I've gone over on Blackboard at least six times how to access the e-reserves.

File this one in the "not my problem" category.


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