So this is an interesting entry to write and I think you’ll understand why after a few lines (read on). Being an adjunct professor at the local college puts me in a weird situation where I am now the person standing in the front of the classroom. It’s awkward at first, but you get over it in a matter of minutes. In fact, I find that I actually love teaching and if the pay was respectable (it is not), I would pursue it full-time. For some reason I don’t think that it’s logical to pursue a doctorate at this time so I can enter a profession what would require me to take a major pay reduction.
Not a smart move, right?
Anyway, now that I’m the guy in the front of the room I have a much greater appreciation for what professors have to go through. As the title of this entry suggests, I now have an appreciation for some really ridiculous student excuses when it comes to handing in their work on time. Some background information: my students are made aware that an 8 – 10 page paper is due on November 26. And since we don’t have class on that date, I even told the students that since November 26 ends at 11:59pm, they have the entire day to send me the e-mail with their paper attached. What a nice guy!
My students are also made aware that every day the paper is late, the student loses 10 points from their grade (some professors say that you lose a letter grade for each day that a paper is late, but I prefer to use points because it gives the students more time to send in the paper and still earn some credit). All of this is spelled out in the syllabus as is required by the university. So what can you expect between 11:30pm and 11:59pm on November 26? That’s right – tons of e-mails from the students. And I’m fine with that! It’s part of the deal – I get it and I understand completely.
But what I do not understand is when students hand in a paper 5 days late and expect to not lose 50 points from the paper’s final grade. I repeat in every class that if the paper is late, you lose points. Yet when points are lost, students are confused…which, in turn, confuses me. And what really gets me are the students who give me ridiculous excuses as to why the papers are late. The most ridiculous excuse that I get these days is, “I sent my paper by e-mail – I KNOW I did! But I don’t see it in my sent folder, so here it is again. Please do not mark it as late.”
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Riiiiiiiiiiiight! And I’m the Easter Bunny! What’s great about these students is that they send you a Microsoft Word document that actually tells you when the document was created. In other words, I can go in to an area of Word and have it tell me that the document was created on November 30. This is the same document that was due four days earlier!
I felt compelled to write this entry because when I was an undergraduate I never handed in anything late. And if I had a problem getting something in on time, it was a real situation and I was sure to get the item in on time by any means necessary. Who spends all of that money to go to college and then doesn’t actually hand in a damn 8 to 10 page paper on time – especially when you have three months to write it?!?
It’s amazing, really.