All Over but the Crying

Well, finals have been graded and grades turned in.  The great email deluge has begun.  (“Why did I get an F? I made a 76 on the mditerm?” Because that’s the highest grade you made all semester and your final/lab/homework/quiz grades were failing.)

Answering them takes time.  (“I feel I did better than a D in this class, even though my grades don’t reflect it.  What time can I come by your office tomorrow and go over my exam?  I’m sure I can find a few fractions of a point to push me over a 70.”  I really got an email like this.  My rule for this sort of time wasting is if you get to find points to add, I get to find additional points to remove.)

I’m thinking of having a tray of cheese nearby to go with the whine I’m finding in my inbox.  (“I think that your giving me a F in the course for cheating in lab, even though I was warned verbally and in writing in both lab and lecture and I signed a copy of the lab policies which included the cheating policy, is extremely unfair, harsh, and mean.  I look forward to hearing a decision from you that will be more in line with the grade I want rather than the grade I earned.”  I really got this one, too, although I’ve paraphrased and condensed its multiple paragraphs considerably.  This was a major case of academic fraud.  I can’t talk about the details yet, for reasons I can’t talk about either.)

Of course, hope springs eternal.  (“Dr. West, I see I earned an F in your class.  Could you please bump me up to a D?”  Considering that your lab grade was in the low 60s, all your other grades were failing, and your average was below 50, probably not.)

All of the quotes, while based on real emails have been changed, not so much to protect the identity of the authors, but to cover my ass in the extreme event one of them actually reads this blog.  It’s been a rough semester.  And, yes, there was a major case of academic fraud which I can’t talk about, and I really can’t talk about the reasons why I can’t talk about it, either.  At least, not yet.  But soon…

Anyway, I’m going to be posting either here or on one of the other blogs almost everyday until Christmas, starting tomorrow.  There will be reviews, opinions, and who knows what else.

Stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “All Over but the Crying

  1. PaulMc

    I know & I hope these kids are the exception. But frankly, it’s shocking to see so many attempting to get out of their own messes of lack of effort or cheating.

    If you cheat, if you don’t do well in a class, then own it and get on with your life.

    If they put in the school-work effort half as much as they spend on these emails…

    I don’t weep for humanity, but I do weep for America’s position in the world of the future if our “promising” young students in higher education are pulling stunts like this. (Harvard had a bomb scare during exams – because some kid didn’t want to take his exam and emailed in the hoax threat.)

    Anyway, I bet you’re looking forward to posting reviews and other non-work stuff and I’ll enjoy reading them.

    1. Keith West Post author

      Yes, I am very much looking forward to getting back to blogging. There are things about the cheating scandal I would love to tell, but some loose ends won’t be resolved until next semester, so I’ll have to wait. It is pretty scary, though, how many kids told me this sort of thing was no big deal in high and if it they had done something similar there and gotten caught there would have been no substantial penalty.


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