Thursday, October 11, 2007

For a star to fall

I'm sitting in my office waiting for a student to deliver a paper. Normally, I let the oh-so-sophisticated cardboard box with my name on it outside my door handle these kinds of things, but this student is special. Or insane. Or hopeless in the extreme. Or really really annoying. Or all of those things.

You see, in his infinite, umm, lack of wisdom, this student has decided not to turn in any papers so far this semester. This, despite my clearly stated policy that all papers must be turned in on time for I do not compute late grades because, hello, I majored in English for a reason and avoiding all unnecessary math is that reason. (Which means this paper will not pass and he will have to rewrite it and resubmit it, possibly again and again, which doesn't seem to faze him.) However, he may have missed said policy because he has been absent to often. Clearly, he hasn't read the attendance policy in the aforementioned syllabus that says he loses one third of a letter grade on his final grade for every absence over four (don't be fooled, that's not math, it's reciting the academic alphabet backwards).

And all this after the sternest rendition of what a colleague in my office suite calls my "come to Jesus" talk (she has heard it too many times before, sadly), wherein I said things like "You are exercising your right to fail. I have seen no evidence of effort that would indicate to me that you are going to stop exercising this right any time soon. I have not had an indication that you care at all about anything related to this class. And I suspect that this is not the first time you have been in this situation. You are now what my husband's job calls a habitual poor performer, someone who is so used to having these little chats they are meaningless. So now I am forced into ultimatums."

And still I sit. 25 minutes to go and counting.

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