Thursday, December 30, 2004

It. Has. Beee-gun.

It. Has. Beee-gun.

Yes, the new quarter hasn't even started, enrollments are still abysmal (but that's a whole nother story that has to do with a truly incompetant college president and her administration and their wise decision -- based on a marketing study done by a freshman marketing class on high school students in our catchment area -- to not send out any course schedules), and yet, I do have student issues to deal with. For example, I got a phone message from a student who disappeared from class, really needed an incomplete, but disappeared from that and turned her work in well into the quarter, rather than during the summer, as I agreed, asking where her grade was. Sorry, chum, but you will have to wait. You couldn't manage to turn in your work on my schedule, you will now have to learn what it feels like to be slightly inconvenienced. And then, there's this e-mail:
Dear Ms. ADM [points for not calling me by my first name, no points for not using my academic title],

My name is Student who wants to start the quarter on the wrong foot and i will be a student in your
class. But i will be unable to attend the
first week of class due to a prior engagment. And i
know that the teacher is able to drop a student after
missing two classes. But i will come to class after
the first week, so please email me if there is
something else i have to do other than notifing you of
my absence. If there is nothing else i need to do then
i will see you the second week of class.


Student who wants to start off on the wrong foot.
[some editing done to protect the student's privacy]

Um... Ummmm....WTF??

DON'T scare the FTE away! Don't do it!

So I e-mailed the student back, did not correct the student on forms of address, spelling, etc., and told the student they still had to get online and do the hybrid work and keep up with the reading, because there was no way to make it up. But really.

But on the really cool side -- the survey with the really cool students from last quarter picked up 2 more today, which makes me hopeful that there will be enough people registered to let it go. I wouldn't really mind cancelling it, because a survey class with eight students is just not going to hit critical mass, but these four students from last time are really neat people and bright and make teaching a joy, so I really want the class to go.

Also, I am now having serious doubts about the book I ordered for the 19th c. class. I really wish I'd ordered the one from Oxford UP, because I hate the organization of this one, but I just had no time to look for anything better, since my own book reps (and for pity's sake, they plague me like flies, but never have anything I want) didn't have anything better and I didn't think about the English presses ... Oh well.

Regarding the Tsunami

And in case there are conservative bloggers out there keeping tabs, this is all I have to say. It sucks and I still am having trouble getting my head around it. What else are we supposed to say?

Update on AHA Blogfest

So far, colleagues have suggested The Elephant and Castle, Fado, and McCormick's Fish House. I'm checking into other places as well. I know a couple of really nice bars, but drinks in Seattle tend to be pricey (high liquor tax) and I'd like to find something fairly central (don't forget it's a rainy place) and in a price range suitable for all of us -- and as Sepoy said, one not overrun with AHA attendees! A couple of these are on the AHA "For Grads" supplement in the December Perspectives, but I think that there are only a couple. How do these sound, and what evenings are good for people? I was thinking Thursday or Friday evening or Saturday early evening?


Cheeky Prof said...

Yay! about the survey course.

And as for that email? are much kinder than I am because I would have told the student to drop. :-)

Another Damned Medievalist said...

I'd love to, but I was serious about the FTE. Our budgeting is such that we have to keep our fingers crossed that the drops happen after the 10th day, or we lose money. It totally sucks, because morally and ethically, I do feel obligated to let students know when I think they're out of their depth, but there's huge pressure to keep them in so we don't get program cuts.

Also, since I've been teaching at CCs, I've learned that prior engagements are sometimes total bullshit but are also sometimes euphemisms for "in jail," "in mandatory rehab so I don't go to jail," "can't get time off work because my boss is an asshole but I need the job," etc. It's not too normal where I am now (pretty upper-middle-class kids too immature to go to the U), but I've seen it.

sepoy said...

I vote for E&C. And friday night.

Kelly in Kansas said...

As a landlocked Midwesterner, I would vote for McCormick Fish House; maybe try to go during their happy hour to accomodate everyone's budget???

Can do Friday 5:30 or after or Saturday early (prior to 7).

BTW emphathize with you on student dilemma - I imagine the school calendar was set years before the student's "previous commitment". Not sure how to curb the trend of life being at the student's convenience since it's not longer unusual that they're used to being catered to prior to arriving on our doorstep . . . . (not pointing fingers at teachers; this one falls on the parents' doorsteps . . . .)

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Hi Kelly -- I absolutely love McCormick's, but we'll probably not get to a happy hour there (unless I can reserve a table) if we go at 5:30 on a Friday night. Happy hour starts at 3:30, I think, and it's usually packed out by 4:30. I'll check into that and the E&C to see if we can reserve a table and update later today or tomorrow.

Kelly in Kansas said...

oops - didn't think of that glitch until later. Thanks for trying to arrange all of this!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Hey -- are you Kelly in Kansas? (You do not have to answer, if you'd like that to remain private!)