I missed class, yada yada yada

Dear GripeDoctor,

I know you told us on the first day to get contact information from a few classmates in case we miss a class and need to get the notes from someone, but I didn’t do that. I missed the last class and now I need the notes. I have no idea what I need to have done for class tomorrow. I need you to get back to me as soon as possible so that I can be prepared for tomorrow’s class.


Ima Serious-Student

Dear Ima,

I am sorry you had to miss class, especially because I divided the class into groups for the group project I mentioned on the first day and now you are not part of a group. Since you didn’t bother to get contact information from anyone in the class, not only will you be unaware of what’s going on when you come to class tomorrow, but you will not be very popular with whichever group I end up adding you to. The other group members will, most likely, have spent part of the weekend preparing for today’s class and working on the group project; you will have done nothing and will have absolutely nothing to bring to the group’s discussion.

It sucks to be you.



Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 7:09 am  Leave a Comment  

I’m plagiarizing–is that a problem?

Dear Professor GripeDoctor,

I have a question about the research paper due tomorrow. I just found out from a classmate that we are supposed to cite our visual sources and I have only cited my text sources. I need to know if you will take points off for me not having my visual sources cited since I just got this information today.


Dear BigNuts69,

First, I would like to recommend that you use a different email account for your class-related emails. It is quite disconcerting for me to have to address your concerns seriously when all I can think about are your big nuts and your penchant for a particular sexual position.

Second, I am sorry to hear that you just became aware today of information I gave to the class ten weeks ago. I have told the class once in a handout, several times in class, and several times via email that all sources, including visual sources, must be cited. In addition, the class took a midterm quiz on citing sources and several of the questions concerned citing visual sources. I emphasized when I returned the graded quizzes the importance of noting which questions you missed and making sure you understood what the rules concerning citing sources are.

I am afraid that I will, indeed, hold you to the same standards as I hold those students who paid attention when I went over citing sources. Whether or not I would deduct points for your failure to cite some of your sources is immaterial. As I’ve stated in the syllabus, papers that exhibit plagiarism will earn the grade of F. Although you may dutifully cite your textual sources, as you yourself have said, you have not cited your visual sources. That, my friend, is plagiarism.

I urge you to take a few minutes and add the citations for your visual sources to your works cited list.

Professor GripeDoctor

Published in: on November 29, 2007 at 6:24 am  Leave a Comment  

no thank you

Is saying thank you that hard? Apparently it is. Witness:

  • A professor at another institution contacted me because someone at her institution went to a presentation I did and thought I might be able to help her with something she was working on. She asked me some questions, I answered them, and I thought that was the end of it. The next day, she called me and basically said, “I don’t have time to deal with this, I need you to do it.” I politely told her I didn’t have time. The next day, she called again, again telling me she “needed” me to follow up on something. Hello—I don’t work for her or with her. I was doing her a goddamn favor! She called me six times in all and emailed a couple times—I helped as much as I could, given that I have a job and have my own tasks to keep me busy. I was as polite as I could be, given the circumstances. After all that, did I get a thank you? No. As far as I can tell, she’s pissed off at me for not “helping” her more (i.e. doing her job for her).
  • A student at my institution who is not actually my student brought me a very long and troubled draft for a class he is in. He said he would appreciate my feedback on it because he had heard that I “give good comments.” So I spent an hour reading and responding to the paper and emailed him my comments. I saw him several times in the days following and he never said a word about the paper. Finally, I said, “Did you receive my emailed comments?” He said, “Oh, yeah.” Just like that. No thank you. No acknowledgement that I did something nice.

It’s not like I want people to fawn all over me and thank me for every little damn thing I do, but come on, people, if I go out of my way for you, couldn’t you at least acknowledge what I’ve done with two simply little words???

Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 8:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

today’s gripe

Students who turn in work three weeks late that they obviously wrote yesterday (because their work makes reference to a class discussion we just had)—and claim that they thought they turned it in when it was due and have been wondering all this time when I would return it. Yeah, right. Exactly how stupid do they think I am?

Published in: on November 9, 2007 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment