7.14.2009

Pretty much dead on

It is probably not the case, but it certainly feels like students are much more grade-grubbing, much less interested in the material, and try to get away with a hell of a lot more than we did as undergrads (and I'm in my thirtues, and I graduated college in my late 20's). Just came across this, although it was written in 2005. The translation of what the student's statement to what the professor hears is funny and absolutely scary accurate (except the bit about office hours):

Translation Guide for Students

When a student says: Will that be on the test?
The professor hears: I could care less about learning. Grades are my sole concern.

When a student says:
I missed the exam because I had to go to my grandmother's funeral.
The professor hears: I was too busy partying to study, so at the last minute I panicked and skipped the test.

When the student says: I have to miss class next week. What will be covered?
The professor hears: It's easier to ask teachers for special treatment than to read the syllabus.

When a student says: May I have an extension?
The professor hears: That ridiculous class rule that late papers get reduced grades shouldn't apply to me. After all, I'm the center of the solar system.

When the student says: I was sick last week. Did we cover anything important?
The professor hears: When I skipped class last week, did you cover anything I need to know for the final? It's too much trouble to ask my nerdy classmates, and my friends don't pay attention.

When the student says: Can I still get a B?
The professor hears: I just realized that not doing any work all semester and getting a C minus on the mid-term paper might mean a low grade.

When the student says: What are your office hours?
The professor hears: I haven't even bothered to read your syllabus but I still want you to spoon feed me private tips that will get me a higher grade.

When a student says: There are personal reasons I haven't been doing well in your class this semester.
The professor hears: Maybe if I concoct a dramatic sob story for this dupe, I'll get special treatment.

When a student says: Can I do something for extra credit?
The professor hears: Even though I haven't cracked a book all semester I still deserve special dispensation and extra effort from my professors.

When a student says: I can't take the final exam when it is scheduled. Could I take it in January?
The professor hears: I talked my parents into leaving early for our ski trip to Aspen, and if I postpone the test until after the break, my friends will tell me what to study.

When a student says: Plagiarism? But I promise that I hadn't even seen the Web site when I wrote my paper. It's a totally random coincidence. I promise.
The professor hears: Busted! And I can't believe that this dinosaur knows how to do a Google search.

When a student says: Cheat? Me? But I swear I didn't do it. You're not going to give me a zero are you?
The professor hears: Even when I'm busted, normal punishments should be rescinded because I'm the center of the universe. Better try to lie my way out of this one.

When a student is unable to talk because of choking back tears....
The professor thinks: Damnation. Gotta make another call to Counseling and Psychological Services. Hope the meds kick in quickly.

I'm tempted to send it along to my students, just as advice.

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