It is that time in the semester when the emails happen...
I am having trouble turning in my assignments and I'm afraid I won't be able to pass your class.
Yes, those two things are usually connected.
I don't want to fail your class for this semester.
That is a good goal.
I have been late turning in half my assignments and essays and sometimes I don't turn in either.
Oh. That's not good.
I need some extra time to do what you assign me in class and at home. I have one other class I am worried about and I am afraid of failing too, I can't handle both classes at the same time with the fact that our assignments are due the next day.
You are aware that you have a syllabus with all of our assignments and due dates? You can plan ahead if you know you are going to be busy. Also, I have to say that while I do give homework every night, those little grammar assignments? Yeah, they take like 15 minutes. I don't know why you are failing your other class, but it sounds like you just don't know how to plan your time. It is almost the end of the semester and you have just now realized that you have this problem?
The hardest part for me is to do well in your class because I know I am good at English and what I don't know is why I am failing.
Actually, I think you just told me why you're failing.
PLEASE HELP ME FROM MAKING THESE MISTAKES I DON'T WANT TO FAIL YOUR CLASS.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHAT IS UP WITH THE YELLING? WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN THAT ALL CAPS EQUATES TO YELLING? ::cough:: Sorry about that, let me take it down to an inside voice.
Oh, student who sends me such a ridiculous email late on a Sunday night before class so close to the end of the semester. Oh, student whose email is riddled with misspellings and weird mistakes. What does one do with you? I'll send you back one of my most teacherly emails ever, ask questions, point out that I have already tried to be helpful and lenient, and remind you of the drop date. Oh hey, and here you are in class today? Decided not to take my advice? Okay, let's keep hoping for that miracle and please don't retake this class with me when you continue not to turn in your work.
There is a section I teach where I get to show this image:
My students, who really tend to be quite conservative, are always disgusted. I'll ask questions about artistic merit, intention, and censorship. This year was no different on the questions I ask, but was different on an answer I received.
Remember Pat? Pat is older than the rest of the class by a good 25-30 years, so s/he took a leadership role when the Beatles image was shown: "Let me tell you about the Beatles...it's like...how can I explain this? Okay, it's like you have to understand...they had evil spirits running through their bodies that would make them do these demonic things. The meat and baby doll bodies-it's because of bodily sin. All those artists had the evil spirits."
Evil Spir-...demonic....meat...evil spirits? I...what?
That was a new response, to say the least. I was a little impressed at Pat's connection between meat and a bodily existence, but I was a bit taken back and basically ended up ignoring that whole explanation. My experience has not yet taught me what to do when people bring "evil spirits" into the classroom, and my instincts are usually a little too blunt to be relied on all the time.
I was walking into class when Student X stopped me in the hallway.
"Hey Mrs. EA, I just wanted to apologize for not being in class the other day, I had an HIV test."
"Oh!" It slipped out of my mouth before I could stop it, and I felt my eyebrows jump high on my face.
"It was negative," Student X continued reassuringly.
"Well, that's good." Again, it just slipped out. What does one say to this kind of thing?
"Yep, just wanted to let you know."