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  • It's the end of the semester...

    Time to deal with grade grubbers and plagiarizers (who for some reason I can't get expelled).

    A harsh critique on the special snowflake syndrome: http://www.ginandtacos.com/2010/05/1...n-negotiation/

    And the not-to-miss cringingly hilarious example cited in it: http://gawker.com/5525490/the-potent...tern-from-hell

    My own example is not nearly as bad. I had a student who came in to class for the first time about 5 weeks in to the semester basically demanding the course materials and syllabus and that I help him make up the work. His excuse? He hadn't bought the textbook and thus hadn't read anything and so felt no need to come to class. I told him to drop the course. He said he couldn't or didn't want to, and that he was going to finish the rest of the course requirements even if I didn't give him credit for the stuff he missed. He must have came to the next few classes, failed an exam, and never showed up again or dropped the course until I got an email yesterday demanding an incomplete instead of an F. His reasoning? Some kind of EOP (equal opportunity program where they provide grants for low social economic backgrounded kids to go to college) is funding his schooling - I took it as a claim that he thinks he's a special snowflake. Somehow this means that I ought to give him an incomplete and let him make up all the work.

    PS. Oh, I should mention that this same student apparently had taken this very same course with me 3 or 4 semesters ago and I had given him an F then - presumably for the same reasons. Apparently he didn't come to class enough then to recognize that it was me again.

  • #2
    Re: It's the end of the semester...

    He's learning a life skill: Even if you are wrong and a total tool if you complain loud enough to people who can't handle it but can't make you go away you will probably get what you want.

    You should fail him and let the administration override you if they really want to, you already addressed his options earlier in the year.
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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    • #3
      Re: It's the end of the semester...

      These kids will go on to have great lives in "public service". Their negotiation skills are exactly the thing most effective on city councils on up the political ladder. So people who were actually productive will continue to slave away in the private sector, while the negotiators get positions of power over the rest of us. ("People skills" like this are what I suck most at.)
      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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      • #4
        Re: It's the end of the semester...

        If the kid was really smart he would have recognized the ability to do nothing and get a good grade in your class early on. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a student taking advantage of the system to get a easy grade. There is something wrong with a instructor allowing a student taking advantage of the system when they recognize the act.

        @Scratch of the monkey

        Tsk, tsk. Many people in the public sector are actually are very smart and work very hard, for almost no pay, to make it better. They do have to fight the leeches but show me any organization, private or public, that doesn't have leeches.

        Leeches exist because humans have emotions. Get rid of emotions and there is no need to live.
        Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
        - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
        - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
        - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
        - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
        - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
        - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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        • #5
          Re: It's the end of the semester...

          He's not going to get a good grade. He's going to get his second 'F' for the same course - meaning he can't replace both by taking it again. Clearly the kid is not smart. He's an idiot. But in his mind, he thinks he deserves special treatment.

          I'm not sure what upside you guys are seeing. He has terrible negotiation skills. (You should give me an incomplete and let me redo the course over the summer or next semester because someone is giving me a scholarship to attend school? I don't see what incentive I have to let him to such things. Is he going to give me some of this scholarship money for the extra work I'd have to do to redo the entire course with him? When you negotiate, you must bring something to the table that your negotiating partner wants.) He's not learning any life skill at all. He's just continuing to build habits that will help him fail at life.

          Gringo, if there's nothing wrong with a student taking advantage of the system to get a good grade, what could possibly be wrong with an instructor allowing that? Presumably it would be wrong for an instructor to allow that once they recognized it in virtue of it's being wrong. If there's nothing wrong, then when I recognize a student doing it, I should think to myself "there's nothing wrong with that." So given your presumption that it's not wrong for students to do that, why should it be wrong for me to allow it? That makes no sense. On what grounds could I possibly not allow it? I think the right thing to say is that it's wrong for me to allow it when I recognize it exactly because it's wrong for them to do it. It can't be wrong for me to allow things that aren't wrong.

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          • #6
            Re: It's the end of the semester...

            I did the exact opposite of what this kid did to great success several times for my gen ed requirements as an undergrad. When I went to CU, they wouldnt accept my AP credits from high school for some reason I didnt have the patience to decipher. So basically, I had a pocket full of biology, physics, chemistry, english, calculus and a few electives that I couldnt do much with. In an effort to spend an entire year partying my ass off, as well as playing massive amounts of computer games, collecting scholarship cash and enjoying the company of the ladies on campus, I made deals with my professors in several subjects. Armed with my AP test scores, I asked them if it would be alright if they gave me the sum total of the graded material for the semester (attendance doesnt mean squat in freshman courses with 100+ people per class) and I could turn it in as soon as it was completed. A few were hesitant, but after some haggling and making one bet that if i didnt ace all the tests the prof could flunk me, I walked away with a pile of midterms, finals and papers to write.

            9 days later, I returned to the professors for EVERY ONE of my classes, completed coursework in hand. I spent the next two days visiting office hours to confirm that I had aced everything (I did take some of the finals proctored during a class session by a TA so I couldnt cheat), and walked out a free man. 16 credits completed in less than three school weeks. I tried again several times with other classes in the later semesters, but wasnt ever as successful. Either way, that first semester of college, sans the first three weeks is a bit of a punch-drunk haze.

            On the flip side of things, sordavie's story made me ever so glad that my nursing undergrad program had an entry requirement of a 3.5 overall GPA. Made it so much easier not having to deal with people who weren't committed to making the grade, especially going into a field where mistakes can literally kill people.

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            • #7
              Re: It's the end of the semester...

              Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
              @Scratch of the monkey

              Tsk, tsk. Many people in the public sector are actually are very smart and work very hard, for almost no pay, to make it better. They do have to fight the leeches but show me any organization, private or public, that doesn't have leeches.
              I didn't mean to imply that they weren't smart, or that many don't work hard. I'm referring to the political class here (the guys who run for office), not the poor grunts who actually work for a living. And the political class has to be people-smart to manipulate their way to their position. In some ways they're similar to private deal-makers (eg. Hollywood producers) because they know how to "work" people to get what they want.
              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: It's the end of the semester...

                @El Gringo
                Are you saying that cheating and manipulating the system are important life skills and you should learn them at any cost ?
                Jaded, but I would have to agree with you.
                But the same concept would apply to sordavie, he gets a better pass average if he doesn't flunk the kid.
                But isn't this college or university ?
                So the professors don't get judged the same way a public school teacher does ( the ones who get caught cheating for their students on a regular basis ), so where is the upside for him ?
                I look it at this way, if he fails him, maybe that will save me some tax money.
                You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
                So that when they turn their backs on you,
                You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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