Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Professor Ellis' End-Of-Semester Emails

Here is what happened at the final.

ME: Do not whine to me about your final grade. It won't help. I won't change it. You will accomplish nothing but piss me off. Do not whine to me about your final grade.

STUDENTS HEAR ANNOUNCEMENT AS: "...whine to her about my final grade."

Dear Dr. Ellis,

I know you don't actually have a doctorate, and I never referred to you as such in class, but I thought I'd do so here in a lamely transparent attempt to send you an e-kiss.

Seeing as it's May, I thought I'd take a look at the syllabus you gave us in January, the same one that has been available online for the past three and a half months and that you begged us at several points in the semester to read. Also, although I've been blatantly ignoring the assignment sheets and rubrics you've been giving us at regular intervals, I am now an expert in the minutiae of each.

I will now demonstrate more communicative skills, passion, effort, and reasoning ability in one email than I have displayed in every single class of the entire semester put together. I'm not completely sure of the exact reason why it's taken me so long, but I'm pretty sure it's your fault.

I am not pleased with my B. I know that you have an attendance policy, one that you reminded us of until you wanted to impale yourself on the overhead projector, but I wanted to let you know that now that I have violated said policy and it has lowered my grade, I neither understand nor like it. Or the fact that you included peer review as a small part of the final grade. Or the fact that you expect me to make intelligent contributions to class discussions rather than just sinking into my ballcap, letting you stand there in front of the room desperately rephrasing the prompts as the silence presses down on all our heads and your soul develops yet another fissure.

Of course, had I received an A, I would have been totally okay with all of these things.

You need to give me an A for the following reasons:

1) I attended not all, but several, class meetings, at which I both inhaled and exhaled.

2) All the other teachers I've ever whined to about raising my grade immediately did so. This means that you will, too.

3) I am me.

I would like to talk to you about this in person, so, although I never came to visit you before, I spent all day wandering around in front of your office assuming that you would somehow materialize, now that you have calculated everyone's final grades and will, as you have informed us several times, be leaving the state in three days. I cannot believe you weren't there. You obviously don't care at all.

Please rest assured that if my A is not granted, I will cyberstomp immediately to RateMyProfessors.com, where I will type, in capital letters, that you are, quote, a "F****** PSYCHO B****." This will then rectify the situation.

Also, all three of my grandmothers died simultaneously in a tragic grandmother-exploding accident on the day of the final, which is why I didn't hand in any assignments for the entirety of February.

Thanks for your timely response. I expect an answer in .00000000001 seconds.

The Occasional Student Who Creates The Bile-and-Chunk Aftertaste Following The 72 Hours Of Violent Vomiting That Is The Stack


college gal said...

If a student writes an email as eloquently as you have MB, I might even reconsider their grade...

But then again, the students who write said emails have a lot of practice in "BSing" professors for their grades rather than actually earning them.

At least you post your grades in a timely manner. For the fall semester, one of my grades didn't show up until the day after New Years.

Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks :) I bet you are a classroom joy, and would be among what I call my "saving few."

I don't believe in making students dangle. Plus, the departments make us post the grades ridiculously early. For graduating seniors, the registrar's office sets the deadlines two days before finals are even done, and then scream at us when we don't have them in by then.

kelebek }{ said...

You know, for a few minutes I thought that was an actual e-mail from a student.
Time to go to bed!

The Token Redhead said...

I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it was an actual email. And you're right, MB--students see Rate My Professors as their personal vengeance medium. But then, I know of a couple REALLY BAD PROFS who get on RMP and give themselves good ratings, so who can even trust those things anymore?

ShannJ said...

Glad to see that you've yet again conquered the Stack. Sorry the students aren't so easy to conquer, but all the better for our amusement!

Carrie said...

Love it! I'm waiting on a final grade from a class now - I may have to use that if it's not to my liking!

Laney said...

Seriously? Kids these days! I would lower any student’s grade that whined about it. Then when they called me an “eff-ing Be-och” it would be because I am one. You are too nice MB.

red pill junkie said...

Come, come now!
You expect us to BELIEVE a college student actually makes use of the word "MINUTIAE" in an e-mail???

BTW, you definitely deserve the title of Doctor as far as I'm concerned: MAGNA COMic LAUDE ;-)

Anonymous said...

I found your site through the NYTimes (and I'm sure your hit count is going to go through the roof). Your eloquent sarcasim is wonderful. I'm graduating on Sunday, and your writing reminds me of one of my favorite profs.

Kate said...

You read Rate Your Students, right? If not, you're in for some funz!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for RYS, Kate. Now I know it's not just me :)

Amber Lee, welcome and thanks for the kind words. I am unaware that I was mentioned in the NYTimes. Could you let me know in what capacity, please? Thank you!

Lisa said...

...I just have the feeling that 'round about next May, mb's email will show up on snopes.com as "You won't believe what my student wrote to me!"

Jules said...

MB -

PLEASE give me permission to share this entry with the faculty in my department!!

Also, I am interested to hear what you might have to say on the subject of "media communications" during the class. As well as being a full-time employee here at George Fox, I am also in the undergraduate program and therefore have become familiar with sitting amongst people young enough to be my own children, and over and over I have seen many of them surfing, chatting, texting and gaming on their laptops and/or cellphones as the instructor lectures away. I feel like I want to choke them after I remind them about how much money thier parents are paying for them to sit in these classes while they pay the least amount of attention possible, if they bother to pay any. This was simply not an issue when I was first in college 20+ years ago. Back then, they had to do it the old-fashioned way...via handwritten notes! :-)

Anonymous said...

Share away, jules :) I'm much obliged for the free publicity.

Brent Bowen said...

MB, as one of your students, I found this post HILARIOUS!!

You're a great professor, and I left you good ratings on Ratemyprofessor.

All the best on "the big move."

-- Brent

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