You’d Think

UPDATE: There’s an update to this post, but it’s in the private posts. If you read it, you’ll see why.

You’d think by the time graduation rolls around, every student would have learned that doing homework leads to good grades, and not doing homework, especially homework graded in cumulative performances rather than leveled evaluation, leads to bad homework. You’d think they’d know to make sure what the basis of their grades will be at the outset, to pay attention when it’s stated and ask carefully if they missed it.

And most of them have. Most of them.

So I have a few meetings this afternoon with people who haven’t learned this, who are full of excuses, and you know what my response is?

What’s your part-time job? Other students are working part-time to survive, and fulfilled or surpassed the stated expectations on this assignment.

What’s your hang-up with computers? There’s a student who doesn’t have a computer at home and who fulfilled the stated expectations on this assignment.

What’s the big stress-issue? I have a student in another class with a comparable workload whose mother died in the middle of semester, and who handed all of her assignments on time, and at an outstanding level, and even turned downan extension I offered her.

This is not an “I deserve a better grade” issue; this is an “I want a better grade that I didn’t earn though I had the same opportunity to do so as everyone else.” I’m willing to reconsider the subjective grades on their final essays, yes, but that won’t get the result these students want; the effect on their final grades will be negligible. The really big assignment, the one that was easy to do well at, is the one that dragged their grades down on, and that’s what is eating them up inside. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about that. After you tell people to do something, after you remind them a few times, it’s up to them as adults to do the work. (And everyone else either did it or accepted the fact that they didn’t, with the attendant consequences.)

Heaven help them, though, if they start in on personal complaints about my attitude during this meeting, as they attempted to do in class and after class last night. I will be much less prone to reconsidering anything if they start in on that.

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