Monday, May 22, 2006


It seems that I am a-- directly quoting one of my students here-- " ****ing Psycho ****!!!" who will "never let you out of class early and wont budge in trying to change a grade." Further, the student left me "a voicemail, email, and i went to her door and it took her a week to get back to me."

My deepest apologies, O Student, for the horrific practices of using the entire class time, lying prostrate for several days under finals paperwork, and shipping you off to certain death in a rice paddy with a B instead of an A. See, this is why I had to go to eBay for this year's Mother's Day present. The last time my parents came to see me at The Swamp, we visited The World's Largest Disney Shop, which is a combination of Wal-Mart and Microsoft and the Toll Road Authority, which is like unto Satan on roids. One of my mother's favorite Disney characters is Jiminy Cricket, but there was no Jiminy-related crap to be found in all fourteen miles of Disney crap, so I had to hit eBay to find a Cricket-bearing coffee mug. (Note: It was not purchased used, because ew. I'm po', but I draw the line at presenting my mother with some stranger's Folger's stains.)

Why the Jiminy diss? The markedly lame Aristocats get more merchandise. I mean, from what I remember correctly, Jiminy seems overly concerned with pedestrian safety, but considering that his past career was keeping an obnoxious uppity puppet out of trouble, his remarkable insistence, via filmstrip, that he is, in fact, no fool is permissible.
I imagine Mr. T would beg to differ, but Jiminy is charmingly convinced that he is Methuselah Cricket. He's gonna live to be a hundred and three! I would like to see Jiminy's life insurance policy. I bet he eats a lot of bran.

I think what we have here is a blatantly self-indulgent culture (and bear in mind, I'm typing this in my nightgown with piles of untouched dust at my right elbow... and knee... and ankle) uncomfortable with getting called on lapses of responsibility, particularly by an insect. Student doesn't get an A? Teacher's fault; she's a
****ing Psycho ****!!! I weigh eight thousand pounds, so I'm suing McDonald's and its fry-based mind control. No horrible licensed cell phone holders for you, Mr. Cricket. Jiminy was stuck instead with Environmentality Patrol; the only place you see him at Disney World is, fittingly, on the sides of garbage cans.

When did we get here? It's not Clinton's fault, but the moment was dragged into clarity when "is" no longer had any meaning. (You kind of get the feeling that if Clinton were assigned a Jiminy of his own, he would 1) hit on the Blue Fairy 2) send Jiminy to scout the local talent of Tuscany.)
We fear conscience, even when it comes with a wee top hat and adorable little vest.



susan said...

Start grading everyone at ------c++. Or simply UnSat. If they can't handle your grading, let them clean up after dogs who sniff out orca scat.

Tamar said...

I Love Jiminy!! He can be my conscience anytime! Too bad I don't know how to whistle :(

(Marvin the Martian is cool too, I want one of his disintegrating guns. Umm, probably should get an integrating gun too. Ya never know!)

Tamar said...

Hey! Check it out! The idiot figured out that you don't have to be a member to post as an other! D'oh!


Dantelope said...

It's really hard to post family-oriented comments when the subject matter isn't... unless we're to believe that somehow converting individual characters into stars somehow eliminates the filth factor :(

MB, this was -- IMHO -- one of your best posts. I hope you'll be turning this one into the publisher as part of a collection entitled "Students are the Ultimate Teachers: How I Lost My Faith in Humanity". I'd do the 1-click thing at Amazon for that one. Pure brilliance!

em said...

I wonder if this Student tries to negotiate their Christmas cash from Grandma, "Now Grandma, I have been to every holiday meal this year and participated in dish clean up. Clearly my Christmas allotment should be upped from $25 to $50. I showed up at EVERY MEAL."
Uppity little bugger.

red pill junkie said...

A common mistake of the youth: to think you are entitled to EVERYTHING, like expecting an A from a class just because YOU DID THE TEACHER THE FAVOR of showing yourself every other day.

Nothing a couple of lay-offs will not cure in due time.

Anonymous said...

I am sure we have all had days when an Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator would come in handy. I just want a heads-up targeting display for driving on I-95, "I have good tone!" OK, deep cleansing breath. All better now.

Dantelope said...

I'm sure I speak for many folks when I say -- to the above comment --

_ _ _ _ _ _ ___ ___
| | | | | | | | | |__ \__ \
| |__| | | | | |__| | ) | ) |
| __ | | | | __ | / / / /
| | | | |__| | | | ||_| |_|
|_| |_|\____/|_| |_|(_) (_)

Dantelope said...

Wow, my "HUH??" didn't look nearly as good after I posted... *sigh*

Nicko McDave said...

Four stars followed by three exclamation points is a good thing, right???

amy lou the reader said...

Take solice in the fact that, if you didn't use all the class time, some students would complain that they are paying good money and want a full education.

And I'd much rather have my fellow faculty think I was making kids miserable by teaching than know I'm making them miserable and not doing my fair load of work.

In my 16 years of schooling, I never once asked for a change in grade. I was a decent student, but when I messed up I took my punishment and didn't cry about it.

red pill junkie said...

I must confess I once whined for a change of grade at college. It was my Human Factors class, and I really liked this teacher. After a minute or two I began to realize that my teacher, while still being polite was starting to get annoyed, so instead of ruining my good relation with him I decided to quit trying. I smiled, shaked hands and thanked him for all I have learned with him. I looked in his eyes and knew I had done the right thing, specially when another student who kept insisting got a good yell a minute later.

People get obsessed with grades at high school and college, and sometimes grades are helpful, I got a 50% scholarship for example, but in every job I have applied nobody has ever given a damn for my final score. Grades do not often ressemble how much you do know, because some students did very lame projects that were very well presented, while I think it's more honest trying to do a very hard project that may not be that well done for lack of time and/or experience. In my line of work you learn more from your mistakes.

savannah the student said...

To be honest, it irritates me to no end to have a college teacher that essentially gives every student an "A for effort". True, I am in a creative degree program so it's hard to judge someone's creativity without crushing what little bit they have, but when I spend an entire semester perfecting a multimedia timeline mobile and someone else turns in a timeline drawn in blue ink on the butt of an old pair of jeans (which - what do jeans have to do with multimedia??!!), and we both get an A, I tend to get somewhat upset.

So back to my original premise - MB, you're right to not give everyone a grade just because they beg you for it. You either do the work and do it right, or you accept the low score you deserve.

*calmly steps down, dusts off her soapbox and carries it away*

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

*applauds savannah's soapbox dust*

Thank you. I needed that. And you know what else, savannah? You're the type of student who is going to be ordering fries from THIS type of student someday, because you understand what the real world is going to require of you: Hard work. Good attitude. Respect for others. Not grades. Or, for that matter, ink on jean butts.

Dantelope said...

Somehow, I doubt it, MB. The students that whine are at least trying to do something about their situation, even if it's bass-ackwards.

The ones that you don't hear from, don't give a crap, and take the bad grades they get -- those are the ones doing the fry cook thing.

Sadly, your whiners are likely to end up a lot more successful than you think. After all, squeaky wheels do get the grease first, right?

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you, dantelope, these people might get hired initially, but they so quickly wear on the patience of their co-workers and managers that they are rarely long for the corner office. There's an entire strata of students out there who think that the easy way to a grade is to wheedle their way there when they could expend far less energy and benefit their careers far more by simply buckling down.

Just because a student is quiet doesn't mean he doesn't care. There's a difference between not taking anything seriously and knowing when to take responsibility. Savannah is the type to take responsibility, and I would hire her any day even if she had a 2.5 and some kid who majored in Grade Hounding had a 4.0.

red pill junkie said...

Alas, in the corporative world is not difficult that whiners transmogrify into brown-nosers...

Also, don't you guys hate the fact that now these days "emotional intelligence" is more valued than good-old fashioned wits? That the guy who used to be the dumb-but-popular sport jock will likely earn double the income than the geek who was never picked to play at recess but could name all the elements in the periodic table by heart???

Yeah I know, I'm projecting myself a little bit here...

Dantelope said...


I'd agree with you in principle... unfortunately, the client company I've been working at the last four years is populated with many-a-whiner (and worse) who maybe don't have a corner office but certainly make significantly more money than you or I.

Anonymous said...

In the long run, skills savannah displays are far more of the Succeeding In Life variety. The Suckedy-Sucks tend to do themselves in, from my experience. I completely include myself in this statement.

Tamar said...


Re: Anon's

"I am sure we have all had days when an Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator would come in handy. I just want a heads-up targeting display for driving on I-95, "I have good tone!" OK, deep cleansing breath. All better now."

I do believe that he/she was referencing my Marvin da Martian post. :)

(Now, how do I convince my kids to name the turtle we rescued from the yard Cecil? How cool would Cecil the Turtle be?)

Similar rant: I have ALWAYS wanted to name a cat Azrial, like from the Smurfs (Gargamel's cat). My brother just named his new SON Azreal, completely destroying any hope of me being able to name any cat that name. I have wanted to use that name since I was but a tot watching the Smurfs! He is such a jerk!

Please feel free to COMPLETELY disregard this post. I just needed to vent for a moment. :)

Anyone remember the Snorks?

Jcat2323 said...

My friend and I consoled ourselves through those couple bad classes with two phrases:
"C's get degrees" and
"They don't print GPA's on the degree".

My boyfriend is in the MBA night program at IOWA (because he works full time during the day while getting his degree) so he has 3-4 hour block classes. A prof canceled a class and my boyfriend asked the prof for his $250 (the cost of one, that's right ONE, night of class) back. The prof decided to have a makeup class instead of a final (and made the final a project or something.) So there are students out there who value class time, though he's definetally in the hard-working group.

And to Savannah, I've been there too. I had to take a assembly language programming class, and there was one assignment I only got 8/10 (I know, ooo 2 points, but there were only 200 or so in the whole semester) because the output wasn't correct. The guy sitting next to me had 10/10 so I asked him how he got his program to work. He said he didn't, he faked the output and got FULL CREDIT because the prof didn't check the code! (There were only 25 people in the class, not that hard to do.) Grrr.

red pill junkie said...

Tamar, if your brother named his own son after the islamic angel of death (AZRAEL), then definitely HE'S A JERK.

It's like a mother I know that named her own daughter Mara, because she thinks is so cool and is an hindu name, but does not realize Mara is the name of the Devil in buddhist religion...

As for me, if I ever have the irresponsible nerve to have a son, I will name him Aragorn (Morpheus would be just a tad too much don't you agree?)

And yes, I remember the snorks, glad I'm not the only one who wasted childhood years watching saturday morning cartoons :-). I console myself thinking John Lasseter did that too.

Auntie Tamar said...

That is why he choose the name. The smurfs story is his cover. Our parents are VERY religious, and he didn't want them to fight him on it. He tells them that he just thought that the name sounded cool.

Truth is...He thinks he's a badazz, and wants his son to be too. Oh, did I mention that this poor child's middle name is Knight? Yes, with a K.

Family, ya gotta love 'em. Don't you? (please tell me if there's an out!:)

red pill junkie said...

Azrael Knight? Is that the name of this child??

Memo to your your brother: stop spending so many hours playing World of Warcraft.

Memo 2: Open an account for all the money that will be spent on your son's therapy RIGHT NOW.

And MB was worried of punching holes to an innocent baby without having her consent first. A poorly chosen name can be a zillion times more scarring on the subconscious.

Tamar said...

Ahem! ^^ Hi there, My name is Tamar. I was named such because my father is named David, and King David had a daughter named....Tamar. (2nd Samuel 13)

BTW!!! Did I mention that said daughter (if he had read more than just the 1st paragraph, he'd have known this!!) was RAPED by here half-brother, and then thrown out into the street? He wouldn't even marry her, which was ok back then, and would have saved her the humiliation of the rape.

When anyone asks, I tell them that I was named for an Israeli princess, and not much else.

If you continue to read, you will learn that Absolom defending/protecting his sister was what started the war between him and David, which culminated in Absolom's death.

(Please pronounce it Tay-mar, and no, I did not forget the a on the end. :)

tamar said...

p.s. Isn't that a lovely story to discover and read during the sermon when you're a bored 12 year-old? I know that I couldn't put it down!

tamar said...

O O O!!! Did I mention that my brother also says that when his son is running for presidant, he can use the slogan," I'm AzReal as the come!" GAG!

red pill junkie said...

Well... it could've been worse. Your daddy's name could have been Lot instead of David, and then you would have no choice but to name your sons either Moab or Ammon ;-)

This reminds me of a story my brother-in-law once told me, about a contest held in his country Ecuador, to find out the person with the weirdest name. There was someone called "USANAVY", because his daddy once saw the most beautiful boat in all the port, and he of course thought that was the name of the vessel... another guy was called "Semen of the Gods", but alas, my brother-in-law told me poor Semen didn't win, who did he doesn't remember.

tamar said...

lol! that's great!

(My brother's name is Adam-him being the 1st male. Original, huh?)

RPJ- I love reading your posts, AND I love warm weather. Can I come visit? ;)
Cold and raining again here :(

Dantelope, you'll get some of this later I am sure.

Love 2 all from the west coast! (of Michigan, that is)

red pill junkie said...

Sure, Mi casa es su casa :-)

If you don't mind some somg, 2-hour traffic jams provoked by public manifestations and riots, and oh! let's not forget our honorable rapist police officers.

And our politicians insist we call Mexico city La Ciudad de la Esperanza (city of hope) because every day everyone living here HOPES they won't get robbed or kidnapped today :-(

You shouldn't complain of Michigan's weather. In fact, if this get's any worse, instead of our usual acid rain, we'll be starting to have rains of LEAD. But hey, nothing a couple of shots of good tequila won't help forget!

Josh The Pilot said...

Tamar: Of course, you have full right to choose how to pronounce your name, but the original pronounciation is Tah-mar, at least that's the Arabic pronounciation...

red pill junkie said...

Whatever you say, my dear Yehoshua ;-)

Tamar said...

It's more the Tam-mar, and the Ta-mar-a, and the Tam-mar-a's that bug me. I'm just going by my parents pronounciation. Regardless, it's been fun. (sarcasm evident)

Tamar said...

It's more the Tam-mar, and the Ta-mar-a, and the Tam-mar-a's that bug me. I'm just going by my parents pronounciation. Regardless, it's been fun. (sarcasm evident)

Scott Arthur Edwards said...
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