24 July 2011

This Is What Happens

...when so-called institutions of higher learning cater to students.

A 20-something woman, who failed to submit a class paper, sent me an e-mail casually explaining that she'd been sick and would get her paper in a few days late. I responded with condolences, and explained that late points would have to be deducted, since I'd made clear at the start of term that any extension requests need to be made before the due date (and she had waited a ridiculously long time to contact me). She immediately shot back an e-mail expressing shock and wondering if deducting late points for a late paper was a "new policy" at the university.

I didn't even know how to respond to that.

She then proceeded to compare me to her other more lenient professors, whose compassion over the griefs and vexations suffered in student life extended to the eradication of deadlines altogether.

I explained, as calmly as I could, that deducting late points for late papers is standard policy at not only this, but every, educational institution since time immemorial, and that, since I'm preparing students to enter the legal field, and since all legal professionals live by deadlines, I am doing students a favor by making them take due dates seriously.

As I suspected, the following weeks revealed her to be a complete slacker. She ended up failing her last assignment because she didn't bother to submit half of it--and then proceeded to lecture me on how turning in the other half would have been redundant, while demanding that I accept her revised paper. Sorry, kid. She's got a tough road ahead with that attitude of entitlement, fostered, unfortunately, by instructors more concerned with high ratings and being liked than actually, I don't know, educating.