Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dear Students

-The word “so…” at the end of an oral presentation is really not the best concluding argument you could possibly make.

-You know office hours? Those things I place atop the syllabus, mention several times in class, AND post on the wall alerting you as to when I am available for consultation? They’re a pretty good guide as to when I am available for consultation. Therefore, do not leave plaintive, scolding notes outside my door reading “I came here at 4 AM with a question about the essay that’s due in four hours and YOU WEREN’T HERE.”

-No, we cannot have class outside, because the last time I tried it, several of you managed to vanish between the classroom building and the grass four inches away from it.

-Kindly do not refer to me as “Hey!” “But--!” is far more appropriate.

-I understand that you might occasionally forget to bring a notebook. You may even leave your textbook behind. But when you stride into class every single day with merely yo’ bad self and are in constant need of a pen for the reading quiz, which has only taken place every single time we have class, I start to get suspicious about your level of dedication.

-On some days, I don't want to be here any more than you do. So let's just get through this together. Okay?

-I’m probably going to lose at least a couple papers over the course of the semester. F or this, I apologize. I try to avoid it, and if it happens to you, please understand that I am a blonde who thinks that "absolute altitude" is some sort of vodka-based cocktail. But when I’m in charge of the education of 145 baby pilots at once, sometimes things get shuffled around.

-Showing up for class on Friday does not = extra credit.

-No, on second thought, let’s do that. Let’s boost your grade FOR PERFORMING THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO PASS.

-This may shock you, but I actually exist beyond the three hours a week you are in class. Running into me at the grocery is not cause to call your roommate once you think I've left the aisle, all, "Dude, I'm at Publix, and Ellis is here!" Sometimes? I even circulate blood. And wear shorts!

-“Three pages” is not synonymous with “two pages and a piece of paper with 1.5 lines.”

-I understand that my lectures may not be the pinnacle of fascination, but what would really super-great is if you didn’t tip your head back and place an enormous straw hat over your face. Then you’re just hurting my feelings.

-Please do not take calls during class. If you take a call during class, somebody had better be dead. If somebody isn’t dead, somebody will be very, very soon.

-In the event you are pleading for an extension on a deadline after class, and these pleadings include the words “But didn’t you get my email? I sent it last night!” you might want to make sure that the time stamp on the email does not coincide with the middle of the lecture.

we already had spring break at: mb@blondechampagne.com


Danica S said...

You sound upset . . . and what's the thing to do when you are upset? Look at excessivly cute (almost to the point of nausea) baby animals.


I dare you not to find something endearing.

Nicko McDave said...

Philosophy professor at Pitt 20 years ago explaining his policy (or lack thereof) concerning make-ups for the final exam:

"The only way that you will be excused from coming to take the final is if there is a death in the family...and it is YOU."

Mike Marchand said...

I know if I were a student, there'd be no way I could take your class. A professor I can't B.S. means too much work. :)

red pill junkie said...

After all you had to put up to when you were the student...

How sweet revenge is, right MB?


Anonymous said...

But that's the thing! I LOVED college!

Okay. Except for Spanish.

And the fetal pig. I hated dissecting the pig.

thatsnutty said...


All I can say is that the toughest and strictest teachers were the ones I learned the most from.

If I were your student, you'd get a chili pepper and some serious respect!

Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks, everybody. I wish we could all be in a class together :)

susan said...

Gosh MB,
You expect so much of your students. I hope they will realize soon how stoopid they were not to hang on your every word. And they should also appreciate having a good-looking teacher.
So, what is your policy on spelling?

Anonymous said...

Given that I misspell on a regular basis, I expect naught but perfection.

amy lou the reader said...

I think it would be awesome if I had you as a professor. I would so be a student you didn't have to write those reminders for!

I loved college. I loved high school. I liked homework. (Yes, you read that correctly). It gave me a sense of purpose and I was good at it.

I miss going to class every day. I really enjoyed every minute of it, even if I was super busy and nuts.

...oh...I'm a total geek... :(

2xgtld said...

I tell my students that if their phones ring during class, they have to bring food for the class the next day. The awkward thing is that MY phone has rung in a couple of classes (I AM the mother of two pre-schoolers, so I HAVE to be available- and I brought in the doughnuts the next day!

And how about: An 8:00am class means 8:00- not 8:05 or even 8:10 and certainly not 8:15. Welcome to the real world where you have to be on time. If *I* can't be late, neither can you.

bomber95 said...

MB, I can't get you e-mail to work. Please email me and let me know how to get in touch, I have a personal response for you. toolmd@fuse.net
your friend in the Nati

Anonymous said...

"And how about: An 8:00am class means 8:00- not 8:05 or even 8:10 and certainly not 8:15. Welcome to the real world where you have to be on time. If *I* can't be late, neither can you."

See, this wouldn't work with me, because I'm usually rolling in around 8:20.

Jenib said...

{{{HUGS}} Rough day, huh?

I am amazed that THE RACK is not working for you in this environment.

I'd love to have 3 page papers. It would make my life so much easier. As it is, my smallest this semester is about 10 pages and that is not counting the abstract or reference page (so I cannot count on them to meet the requirements when my imagination fails..LOL). Must be nice. I'd sit in your class and fall in love if I only had three pages...

Anonymous said...

I've have been following this blog for several months now and all this time I have been coming to one conclusion and this post it only seals that conclusion but posts and delivers it to the wrong address, returns to sender, sender then it sends it out again and after three months reaches the destination (only to find that the recipient has passed on). You are uncannily like my college English professor, though you seem much less strict than he. In fact I have feeling that you even be a veteran of his English course, which is a graveyard of those who met their end because they decided that Robert Frost's message in “Birches” was “Life is like Climbing a Tree” (Probably Forest Gump's term paper topic right there) and set about to prove it in a paper that they didn't bother to spell check.

This is my first year of college and so I don't know if all English teachers are like this, or not, I suppose the better ones are (None of this nice teacher foolishness, thank you very much, it's just an insult to a person's intelligence). Thank you for good job and for weeding out the dross so that those of us, who feel that one of the themes of “Birches” illusion vs. realty, don't have to deal with them (at least in class, at any rate). Please continue to be overly demanding.

Dusty said...

College Student Anonymous,

It sounds like you actually give a damn about your education. I have to say, as former a teacher, please keep that up.

I don't think MB is at all "overly" demanding, though. The actions she's calling people on is just baseline stuff that is expected of a student. For instance-- taking calls in class? Sheesh.

And stay around! You help the rest of us feel young.

Enjoy "Birches"!

Anonymous said...

Welcome, anon, and thank you for the kind words. I hope you are kind to your English profs. I know it's hard to enforce my own rules sometime :)

Miasys said...

You know, if their phone rings, I think you should make them watch Johnny Weir. Not enough pages? More Johnny Weir. There's got to be some way you can fit that into the curriculum. Surely he can lift his scrawny little culo off the ice long enough to qualify for airborne status? I have friends who teach and they all have the same lament: they love their job, but you just can't fix stoopid!

Anonymous said...

Hee! I'm actually in the middle of a massive internet debate right now because I've dared to diss Johnny. I officially name all of you my seconds (and thirds, and fourths, and fifths, and...)

Tameika said...

I am feeling the need to stick up for my fellow students, but somewhow I cannot....because everything you said is 100% truth. I cannot defend us. We do want extra credit for managaing to make it on a Friday, and teachers do cease to exist once class is over. 100% true

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