I've written here (December 2013) and here (April 2014) about difficulties with an MA student who has moved away and still wants to finish hir thesis. We had contact in April, when I responded to a "full" draft that it wasn't acceptable, noting that the writer hadn't responded at all to my revision suggestions. And the last I heard was that the writer was going to think about whether to finish or not because zie was pretty down and busy and life is complicated.
Yesterday, I heard, just a short note asking for clarification about some notes I'd put on draft chapters. (I've received emailed draft chapters, read them and made marginal notes, and then typed up an overall response. I then pdfed the pages with my notes and email them back along with the overall response.) My writing is difficult at best, especially on a pdf. I was able to read my marginal notes easily, even on pdf.
BUT, these are the marginal notes I made way back on the first chapter draft, and the student is only now looking at them carefully enough to notice that zie couldn't read them?
I'm dismayed. How much does it take to read a 10-25 page piece of writing and respond thoughtfully, trying to be helpful? A bit of time, no? And a bit of energy, no?
The email yesterday promised revisions to come soon.