Monday, September 5, 2011

New Semester, Old Problems

At the beginning of this semester, I have been solidly booked with meetings. I'm so swamped that I barely have time to think about my upcoming proposal deadline - eek! So I'm especially frustrated when students from last semester come back to haunt me with complaints about their grades. I'm too busy!!

Some student filed a grade dispute form, so I had to fill out loads of paperwork to document why she deserved the grade she got. I have to provide email threads, class rankings, syllabi, previous assignments, etc. It's especially tiresome when the student in question has been caught cheating before…

Another student barges into my office unannounced and says, "I want to know why I got a C." No introduction, no how was your summer, nothing. He didn't even tell me his name! I was also in the middle of eating lunch. And so it goes on with others.

The grade thing is frustrating, especially since I graded according to exactly how the syllabus describes.

So… after a few days of this, I realize that I have to go back to my old ways: shutting my office door, working at home, essentially hiding. Don't get me wrong, I generally love interacting with most students. I've got all the time in the world for someone with scientific curiosity and maturity reflecting their age. Aaaa - who's got some good student stories?


Miss MSE said...

Before I switched desks and we got blinds, I had a lot of students stopping by (even if the door was closed), to ask me if I knew where *insert random professor here* was. Most of the time, the professor in question wasn't my advisor, and often wasn't even in my department, but as the first human being they spotted, it was clearly my job to answer their questions.

I think the best was the freshman student who was offended that I didn't know where his class was off the top of my head. Just because I'm in the same building, it doesn't mean I know when/where every class in the building is.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. This kind of thing makes me so mad b/c it is such a waste of my valuable time. I wish we could charge the grade-grubbing students for the amount of time it takes to handle these pointless requests. Need me to defend your crappy grade? Fine. That will be $50/hour. FYI--it will likely take me me 1.5 - 2 hours. Send the check to the department. Kthxbye.

Sarah Jane said...

I know this is a tad late but...

How do you feel about students who come in just to chat about the class or life etc? I always hear how we are supposed to go to office hours, how we need to form some sort of connection with professors, etc etc.

Also, I had this random urge today while walking to class (I was incredibly early). I saw an office door open and noticed that the professor was in my major. How acceptable is it for a random student just to come in and say hi and ask about your research and life in academia etc when they aren't, and have never been, your student?


Janus Professor said...

I'd just make an appt!