Wednesday, March 28, 2007

True Story

The following did not happen to me. Even though I usually blog about my own teaching anecdotes, I've reached a point in the semester where I just kind of don't care whether they're good in class or not. We're all kind of getting through the last couple of weeks - treading water - and it's fine.

But, I'm sharing this slightly summarized email from the student of one of the Dutchman's colleagues. This prof is teaching a large undergrad foundation course in their field - plenty of students all being introduced to the particular subject for the first time. This isn't like a Freshman 101 course, but it's still a gen ed thing for the major. The Dutchman (and hence his colleague) is in the social sciences - there's math involved with this particular field and in this course, you gotta know like basic calculus, etc. (I know absolutely none of it). But it's nothing over the top - kind of like needing to know what a thesis statement is if you're taking a 100 or 200 level English lit course.

So, yesterday, D's colleague gets an email from one of his students (I'd say there's between 70-80 in this class) about ten minutes after class ends. He says to the prof:
Dear Prof. X,
I'm very concerned about the level of calculus and statistics we're supposed to know for this class. I'm feeling like I'm not doing well in this regard, so I'm writing to ask you to slow down the pace of the course to the level that I'm at. I trust that you'll make the necessary adjustments to your teaching style. If not, I will have to notify professors in your department who are of a higher teaching rank.

All best,
Jackass (that's my addition...)
Can you believe that? Like I said, the skills needed for this course are basic and are not even remotely above the level of this class! Basically, D's colleague emailed the kid back and was like, "This is the course and this is the pace of the course. Feel free to consult any professors in my department who are of any rank you like."

What a cheeky little pidgeon this nitwit is!!


At 9:31 AM, Blogger Hilaire said...

Oh my god. That is shocking. Unblievable. The sense of entitlement...I demand that you slow the pace down to *my* level. Yeah, cause it could never be a problem with *me* and *my* skills. The lack of reflexivity is stunning.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Sisyphus said...

Emails and conversations like this always make me wish I could shoot flames from my eyes --- not deliberately, just like a facial tic, and then flame a couple times when a student is laying down crap for me ... "what? Sorry, did I shoot flames again? You were saying?"

A little pre-emptive intimidation can be a good thing is all I'm sayin'.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger medieval woman said...

Hee, hee, hee....that would be FANTASTIC to have a flame-throwing facial tic! As well as various forms of ESP so that you can tell exactly who's written each one of your evals. They're so vulnerable when they're walking across the quad....just kidding! Sort of...

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Morganlf said...

That is a horrible email!!!

PS--yes, it's me. I got an internship w/ the British Library for the summer. I posted about it on the normal journal, but it was under a lock. If you log onto your livejournal account, many secret doors will be opened for you! (Including seeing all my uber-exciting - not really - locked posts!)


Post a Comment

<< Home