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Author Topic: "Favorite" conversations with students  (Read 1850856 times)
yellowtractor
Vice-Provost of the University of the South-East Corner of Donkeyshire (formerly Donkeyshire Polytechnic) (a Post-1992 University) and also a
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« Reply #5730 on: April 27, 2012, 9:28:52 pm »

My favorite, from earlier this year, was from an advisee who came to me for advice on how to file a grade protest (in someone else's class).  She'd gotten a D on a major assignment.  I asked her to lay out her grounds for the protest.  She looked blank.  I said "You know, evidence that the grade assigned does not accurately reflect the quality of your work."  She hemmed and hawed, then said, passionately, "But Prof. Tractor, it's not about the evidence.  It's about this D.  I am not a D student.  A D student is just not who I am."
Doesn't she understand that one's actions help determine one's identity?

No.  It's about essence.  And destiny.
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llanfair
Still reading past her bedtime and Very
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Whither Canada?


« Reply #5731 on: April 28, 2012, 5:31:55 pm »

My favorite, from earlier this year, was from an advisee who came to me for advice on how to file a grade protest (in someone else's class).  She'd gotten a D on a major assignment.  I asked her to lay out her grounds for the protest.  She looked blank.  I said "You know, evidence that the grade assigned does not accurately reflect the quality of your work."  She hemmed and hawed, then said, passionately, "But Prof. Tractor, it's not about the evidence.  It's about this D.  I am not a D student.  A D student is just not who I am."

Doesn't she understand that one's actions help determine one's identity?

No.  It's about essence.  And destiny.

More like density, in this case.
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cc_alan
is a wossname
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Caution! Nekkid Zamboni driver ahead.


« Reply #5732 on: April 28, 2012, 5:33:49 pm »

My favorite, from earlier this year, was from an advisee who came to me for advice on how to file a grade protest (in someone else's class).  She'd gotten a D on a major assignment.  I asked her to lay out her grounds for the protest.  She looked blank.  I said "You know, evidence that the grade assigned does not accurately reflect the quality of your work."  She hemmed and hawed, then said, passionately, "But Prof. Tractor, it's not about the evidence.  It's about this D.  I am not a D student.  A D student is just not who I am."

Doesn't she understand that one's actions help determine one's identity?

No.  It's about essence.  And destiny.

More like density, in this case.

You are my density.

Alan
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llanfair
Still reading past her bedtime and Very
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Whither Canada?


« Reply #5733 on: April 28, 2012, 5:36:08 pm »

My favorite, from earlier this year, was from an advisee who came to me for advice on how to file a grade protest (in someone else's class).  She'd gotten a D on a major assignment.  I asked her to lay out her grounds for the protest.  She looked blank.  I said "You know, evidence that the grade assigned does not accurately reflect the quality of your work."  She hemmed and hawed, then said, passionately, "But Prof. Tractor, it's not about the evidence.  It's about this D.  I am not a D student.  A D student is just not who I am."

Doesn't she understand that one's actions help determine one's identity?

No.  It's about essence.  And destiny.

More like density, in this case.

You are my density.

Alan

Exactly.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 5:36:55 pm by llanfair » Logged

Stop looking for zebras when the horse is already standing on your foot.
ranganathan
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« Reply #5734 on: April 30, 2012, 9:11:39 am »

I'm having student conferences on the drafts of their final papers.  I gave some feedback on a particularly weak draft and asked the student if he had any questions:

Student: "Do you have my final grade for the class?"
Ranganathan: Explains how the student can calculate it via the online grade book.
S: "Because I don't really feel like writing this paper."
R: "It's up to you, but it's worth 15% of your final grade."
S: "I'll tell you now, I'm not going to put much time into it."

Oh, how I had to bite my tongue to NOT say "Sounds like I won't really feel like reading your paper and shouldn't put much time into grading it."
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I just wish people were more like dogs--ready to learn and make friends with no private agenda.
isotope
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« Reply #5735 on: May 01, 2012, 2:04:17 pm »

Me: [handing out final exam] Alright folks. This is it. Put your names at the top. Have a good summer. If I see you around campus next year, try not to throw anything at me.

Student 1: We wouldn't.......wait........what if it's confetti? "Dr Isotope!!! Woohoo!!!"

Me: I don't think I'd like that.

Student 2: Why not? It's a celebration!

Me: It would make me very unsettled. How about you just wave and say hi.

Student 1: I might get some confetti and keep it with me just in case.

Me: [stern face] Don't do it.

Student 2: God...everybody is so crabby this week.

Student 3: Shut up! Don't make him mad before he grades these.
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"I dunno, Dr. Isotope.  All your music sounds like something off of guitar hero, expert level." -- student
fancypants
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« Reply #5736 on: May 03, 2012, 8:34:35 am »

I apologize; this is a long one. My bumbling, good-natured slacker, who says he wants to be a teacher someday, came to my office. 

BGNS: Hey, can you help me with something?

FP: I hope so; what is it?

BGNS: (rummages around in backpack) That thing for your class that's due... uh...

FP: You're taking two classes from me.  Which "thing," and which class?

BGNS: (still rummaging) Aw, man, I know I had it in here! 

FP: Well, I can't help you much if you don't have it with you.

BGNS: Can I just use your computer to get it off my email?

FP: Sorry, no; students aren't allowed to use my computer.  You could go to the computer lab and print it out and bring it back.

BGNS: No, I didn't bring my wallet. (pulls paper for the other "thing" that's due for the other class out of his backpack) Can you help me with this instead?

I look at it... a tedious conversation follows because student hasn't done all of the required research, the assignment has glaring organizational issues, etc., and needs a major overhaul--plus, it's due THAT DAY.

BGNS: So, what grade would it get right now?

FP: Considering that it doesn't have the required research, it would not pass.

BGNS: But if it did?

FP: I can't tell you that without seeing how you've used the required research.

BGNS: Well, I'm aiming for a C, so...

FP: That's all?

BGNS: Like they say, Cs get degrees! (laughs)

FP: (does not laugh) Okay, so, it's about ten minutes until class starts, so...

BGNS: I have another question.  Um, can you tell me how to do (skill he should have learned at the beginning of the semester and continues to forget how to do, which means that this is approximately the tenth time I've repeated this conversation with this student)?

FP: (I tell him again, and this time he actually takes notes, which is a small step in the right direction.)

BGNS: Oh, and that thing where we have to have a cover letter? What does that have to be like?

FP: We went over the format for that part of the assignment in class several times, I gave you feedback on your issues with this for the last two assignments, and we discussed readings about this very thing in class.  Go back over the readings, your notes, and my feedback.

BGNS: I don't get why we have to do that.

FP: (explains significance and purpose of this part of the particular assignments)  Also, I assign this because you need to know how to do this in the real world.  When you apply for jobs, you will need to know how to write and format a cover letter to go with your resume.

BGNS: Come on!  I've never had to do that for a job!

FP: Maybe not yet, but when you're applying for teaching jobs after college, you will.

BGNS: Oh. Okay, and, um, that thing where we were supposed to bring a thing for the class to do the other day?  Did I do that right?

FP: Well, no, you didn't.  What I actually assigned you to do, and as you probably noticed, what the other students did, was for you to think of a short activity relating to a particular skill in (subject) and lead the class through completing that activity.  (Trust me, this makes sense given the particular course.) What you did was read aloud a list of two ideas for activities.

BGNS: Oh, I can't do what you wanted.  That sounds too bossy.

FP: What do you think you're going to be doing every single day when you're a teacher?

BGNS: Uh... I never thought of that.  Oh, by the way, is it okay if I skip your class today?

FP: Excuse me?

BGNS: I just really need to study for my math exam, and I've been wasting so much time on this (major assignment) for your class that I got really behind.

FP: I think you need to be in class, but you get to choose how you spend your time.

BGNS: Okay, thanks!  See you next week!
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cgfunmathguy
Beer-brewing
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« Reply #5737 on: May 03, 2012, 10:23:17 am »

Oh, Fancypants.  Have some candy on me.
Here's a glass of mead, Fancy. Oh, did I mention that it's bottomless? Enjoy.
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Alas, greatness and meaning are rarely coterminous with popular familiarity.
galactic_hedgehog
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« Reply #5738 on: May 03, 2012, 4:44:02 pm »

Me: [handing out final exam] Alright folks. This is it. Put your names at the top. Have a good summer. If I see you around campus next year, try not to throw anything at me.

Student 1: We wouldn't.......wait........what if it's confetti? "Dr Isotope!!! Woohoo!!!"

Me: I don't think I'd like that.

Student 2: Why not? It's a celebration!

Me: It would make me very unsettled. How about you just wave and say hi.

Student 1: I might get some confetti and keep it with me just in case.

Me: [stern face] Don't do it.

Student 2: God...everybody is so crabby this week.

Student 3: Shut up! Don't make him mad before he grades these.

How about mica?  It's glittery and geologic at the same time.
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prof_cj
Still uses actual books for his gradebooks
Senior member
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Posts: 280


« Reply #5739 on: May 03, 2012, 5:03:34 pm »

STUDENT - "But it's a really great paper!"

ME - "It's a week late."

STUDENT - "But I worked really hard for it, I'd like for you to at least read it."

ME - "I can't accept it."

STUDENT - "But I sent it to you the day it was due!"

ME - "You did, digitally. And now today you bring it to me physically. What part of 'I do not accept papers digitally,' which I've brought up several times, didn't make sense."

STUDENT - "BUT I WORKED REALLY HARD ON IT!"

ME - "I'm sorry. Now excuse me, I have to get to another class."

STUDENT - (following me into the hall) "But I talked about [all sorts of things] and I had some follow-up questions [about stuff from class lectures he's missed]..."

ME - "Sorry, don't know what to tell you other than it's not the end of the world. Remember deadlines for the next paper."
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octoprof
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« Reply #5740 on: May 03, 2012, 6:01:46 pm »

Student came in late for the final exam and threw a hissy fit when I reminded the class (for the second time... she was too late to hear the first announcement) that phones must be off and out of view. Students who touch their phones during the exam will receive an F on the exam (This is my colleague's policy, I'm proctoring this exam for colleague). I'm sure colleague has announced this every exam all semester and it's written on the cover page of the exam.


(50 minutes into the exam, a final in financial accounting.)

Hissy <walks to the front of the room with her exam>:  Am I allowed to ask you how many days are in September, October and November?

(no doubt, students are being asked to calculate interest for something...)

Octo: No, ma'am. That's part of the basic prior knowledge you are supposed to have before you take this course (I refrained from saying "since kindergarten").

Hissy: Really?!

Octo: Really.  Think it through. You probably know this.

Hissy: <stomps back to desk and sits glaring at me>


I sure hope she didn't sign up for my section of the follow-on course in the Fall...

Don't children learn such things anymore? "Thirty days has September, ..." or the weird knuckle thing? Or, has it gone the way of cursive?
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octoprof
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Love your loved ones while you can.


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« Reply #5741 on: May 03, 2012, 7:51:24 pm »

I have no idea if students are taught such things, but I respond the same way when asked such foolishness.

I posted about this incident on Facebook and one of my colleage who teaches that same course (first accounting course, sophomores and higher) replied that she teaches students the knuckle method in class because so many don't have a clue...

I despair...
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 7:52:24 pm by octoprof » Logged

Love your neighbor.

Your new cephaloverlord.
ALL HAIL TO THE OCTO!!!

When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
dr_alcott
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« Reply #5742 on: May 03, 2012, 8:18:50 pm »

I have no idea if students are taught such things, but I respond the same way when asked such foolishness.

I posted about this incident on Facebook and one of my colleage who teaches that same course (first accounting course, sophomores and higher) replied that she teaches students the knuckle method in class because so many don't have a clue...

I despair...

I asked my 3rd grader if he'd learned how many days are in each month. Nope. And my 1st grader just ran to the calendar on the wall and starting shouting them out, as if I were somewhat helpless.

Adding another thing to the list of things to teach my shorties . . .
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You must be your own snow, Dr_Alcott.  You must lift, and sparkle, and then melt away.

I love everyone here!
galactic_hedgehog
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« Reply #5743 on: May 03, 2012, 8:22:22 pm »

Octo, were you tempted to tell her, "They each have 27 days."  Which they do.  Plus a few more.
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octoprof
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Love your loved ones while you can.


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« Reply #5744 on: May 03, 2012, 9:08:44 pm »

Octo, were you tempted to tell her, "They each have 27 days."  Which they do.  Plus a few more.

I was tempted to tell her several things, but held my tongue as a) it wasn't my class, and b) I was shot up with steroids this morning and probably have impaired judgment...
Logged

Love your neighbor.

Your new cephaloverlord.
ALL HAIL TO THE OCTO!!!

When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
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