Tuesday, May 16, 2006

student humor

Ah yes, being a TA for the first time has really opened my eyes to the crap students try to pull. To my credit, I don't think I ever did this in college. High school maybe, but not college. Let's see who the winners (losers?) are for classroom etiquette. (Note: these may not be students in my lab sections, but word gets around. Also, certain details have been altered to protect their stupidity).

-The guy who spoke to his TA, then the TA who graded his paper, and finally the professor because he wanted a re-grade and wasn't getting his way. Even though his answer was in pencil and we pointedly announced during the exam that answers in pencils could not be re-graded. He was angrily talking to the professor for five whole minutes before class started. She didn't cave.

-One of my students apparently thinks I will not notice if they are not in lab. You are not the Invisible Man. At this point in the course, I know all the faces even if I still have trouble putting names to them. I still take roll every class. Going to another section which is more convenient and claiming that I gave you permission to do so will not win you brownie points with me.

-This same student then e-mailed me asking if it was too late to sign-up for a certain activity. He had missed the sign-ups two weeks in a row.

-Several variations on "Can you please check my calculations for my lab report before I turn it in?" Sorry, no. That's called grading. I never said I would read rough drafts; I don't have time.

-And then this morning, I get this fabulously worded email. "i don't have the data. do u think u could send it to me? or should I come to ur office hours or something."
The data was sent out a week ago via email, and then followed with a message on how to find it again if they lost it. I sent them a link to the message. What really bothers me is that the report is due either tonight or early tomorrow morning and they haven't even started working on the calculations. Gah.

Something genuinely funny to wrap up:
As we slogged through grading midterms in one mass grading session, one of the TAs turned an exam over and found this written on the back:
"Dear test,

I am going to rock you.

Love, Student"


At 8:39 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

did they actually rock the test?

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

I love that last one!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Honeybee said...


The irony is that they did NOT rock the test. At least not the written portion that we were grading. (The overall scores on that part were dismal). He may have rocked the multiple choice and we'll never know.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger B said...

Ahh undergrads- sometimes they just make you wonder. I had student who did not hand in any of the assignments, who missed the midterm and the final, but was demanding to retake the final. um no, sorry you fail. You can not rearrange a final after the fact.

I also had a student who emailed the Friday of finals week, asking to hand in the last assignment, due two weeks before the end of classes! Again, who are these people? I wouldn't have dreamed of handing in something so late, or expect to be able too, especially since the final for the class was on Monday! Then she emailed me back complaining when I wouldn't except her assignment. the GALL!
oops sorry for the long comment.

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Honeybee said...


Thankfully I haven't had any of that yet. I do have one report which is two days late as of now. She promised to give it to me yesterday.

I have a feeling the last lab report will have several latecomers though. Ugh.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Tabitha Grimalkin said...

Ha ha!! The last one is funny and refreshing. The others are so typical and so frustrating.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Tiesha said...

I love the last one! This is funny. I don't know how you do it :)

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Abel PharmBoy said...

Tell me if I told you this before (I AM becoming my father): I used to put an "exam feedback page" at the end of each exam for students to tell me independently and at the time of test-taking if any questions were poorly worded and, for MC questions, whether multiple choices were worded ambiguously. This way I learned objectively about my exam-preparation performance before the post-exam mob mentality materialized.

The feedback page could then be kept attached to the exam so I could respond personally, or they could be torn off and dropped anonymously.

I backed up my commitment to their concerns by already offering points for shitty questions before the concert-ticket queue began at my office door. After an exam or two, I got useful feedback from students, less freaking out during the exams, and, to my shock and amazement, an occasional compliment on my teaching (and a few castigations as well).


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