"Favorite" conversations with students

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Conference with student:

Student:  My problem with this paper is that I don't know what to say.

Me: That is a problem.  Is there something about the novel that interests you?  Confuses or excites you?

Student:  No.  I just don't care. [pause]  Can you just tell me an argument?  I'm good at organizing if somebody else thinks up the ideas.

Me:  Part of the assignment is to create your own argument.  You have several topics to choose from, but if I simply give you the argument, neither of us will get to explore your thoughts.

Student:  [huge sigh] I hate thinking.  I just like doing stuff.

Quote from: mendeddrum on November 11, 2008,  6:26:39 pm

Student:  [huge sigh] I hate thinking.  I just like doing stuff.

McDonald's has excellent training opportunities for students of this sort, with campuses nationwide.  I'm sure there's one (or more) near you.

At least he's self-aware.

Here's one I had earlier this term.

[Background: This is a student who misses class frequently and did poorly on the midterm exam. I suggested that he try to get an early start on the next homework assignment and then come to office hours for assistance.]

Student: "I can't come to any of your office hours. Can I make an appointment for Wednesday morning?"

Me: "Sorry, I have two classes and a meeting on Wednesday morning. How about Tuesday or Thursday afternoon?"

Student looks terribly disappointed. "What about Wednesday between your classes? I only need about ten minutes."

Me: "Sorry, I'm booked. But I'm free Wednesday after 3:00".

Student, very distressed. "But my last class ends at noon!"

Me: "Wait a minute. I'm confused. If your last class ends at noon, then you should be able to come to my regular office hours on Wednesday afternoon."

Student, looking shocked: "But I go home at noon!"

Yes, I get this all the time.  They cannot imagine altering their own schedules.  I got this from a graduate student the other day:

Him:  Can you meet with me to talk about the paper?
Me:  Sure, any chance could you do it right after class on Thursday?
Him:  Hmmm.  Normally I do [XXX language] at that time, but I guess maybe I could skip it...
Me:  Well no, I don't want you skipping class.  Let's find another time.
Him:  No, I don't have class then.  I just normally use that time to do my homework for [XXX language] class.
Me:  [Silence]
Him:  Okay, so I guess Thursday after class works.


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