Wednesday, December 22, 2010


/auc wtb fbss

No, not really.

I'm heading out shortly; I've packed mostly, but I have a couple more presents to wrap.

And, of course, earlier today I got an email from a student in a panic because s/he had (according to the email) gotten an F in a course because s/he turned a final paper in on time but to the wrong faculty box. And now the student is in a panic because s/he has gotten an email response from the faculty member indicating that the faculty member is not checking emails regularly until the new term.

Basically, the student wants a do-over. S/he wants the faculty member to accept the paper, grade it, and change the course grade accordingly.

And that's not unreasonable if the story checks out. But, it's also not unreasonable for the faculty member to refuse to accept the paper and grade it after having done all the work for the semester already.

So why did I get the panicked email? I'm not quite sure. There's nothing I can do except email the student to say that it makes perfect sense to me that the faculty member isn't checking email and that the student should patiently wait until next term to contact the faculty member.

I'm guessing the student is mostly in a panic stage and wants to be reassured that it will be okay and s/he can have his do-over. But I can't do that, of course. Nor would I if I had the power. But I did send an email.

And then I set my auto-out-of-office response.

Have safe travels if you're traveling; keep warm if you're in cold country.

Hold pulls. AFK. BBS.


  1. *sporfle at the fbss*

    Once a gamer, always a gamer. Need that extra speed for marking or for something else?

    I'm waiting for the final onslaught of email complaints to come my way since I posted marks for my last big class just before noon.

    Safe travels!

  2. i'm clearly out of touch on acronyms. it was nice of you to write back to the student. happy travels!

  3. My panic email was the student who somehow didn't notice that in addition to not having taken the first midterm, there was no grade posted for his first two papers. Why did he get an F? Well... that was 1/3 of the grade right there.

  4. See - this is a compelling reason to use the school's email address instead of my personal-catch-all email. Out-of-office replies would so rule!

  5. We had a student once who claimed she had been submitting her assignments all year to the wrong box (the assignment submission boxes are like metal letterboxes, with slits to post in the assignments, and they are locked. They are marked with the instructor's name, but she claimed she thought the name corresponded to the box above the label, when it actually corresponded to the box below.

    Anyway, she somehow didn't notice until the end of the semester that she never got any work back. When we went and unlocked the boxes, her assignments WERE all sitting there in the wrong box.

    She nearly got away with it, except for something she hadn't reckoned with. Various fliers advertising upcoming events get posted into these boxes randomly throughout the semester, and if she had submitted her assignments on time, recent fliers should have been ON TOP OF her papers. Or at least interleaved throughout them. Instead all her papers were sitting in a neat pile on top of all the advertising, including stuff from only a week or two before.

    In other words, she never submitted anything during the semester, panicked and did it all in the final week, and then came up with this cunning "mistaken box" scheme to make us think she had completed it on time.

  6. Oh, the important missing bit of information to that story is that the box above the correct one was unassigned, so no one had checked it all semester.