In one of my courses, students turned in a big assignment today. We spent much of our last class session going over the assignment, looking at the rubric, and then having them make revision notes. (This was after peer revision the session before. This is an important assignment.)
So I walk into class early, and one of the students comes up and says something along the lines of "You know how you told us that [x needed to be done]? I didn't do it."
And I looked at the student and said, "I can't do it for you." Which was true. Of course, they wanted me to say "Oh, don't worry, it's okay." But I didn't, because it's really not so okay (though, honestly, it's also not the end of the world.
When class started, I set them to doing final proofreading, at which point this same student said, "Remember how you told us to put our citations in alphabetical order? I didn't." And waved their "Works Cited Page" vaguely. It's in quotation marks because while they thought it was a works cited page, it wasn't, really. It was just a list of web urls.
So I told them that they hadn't cited correctly, and that they should remember that we talked about that, and I had shown them how to use OWL at Purdue, and I reminded them of the rubric part about formatting, proofreading, and such being acceptable in order to pass, and theirs wasn't.
The thing is, they can make neat corrections in ink or pencil during the proofreading process, and they had 30 minutes to do that, so it wasn't just me being mean.
So the student sort of whined that they had tried but couldn't find authors, so I said that OWL at Purdue could tell them how to do the works cited when they don't have authors.
The student whined and said that they couldn't figure out how to cite using OWL, holding their laptop open three or four feet away, and I said that I couldn't read what was on their laptop, but that they might want to look for how to cite electronic sources.
And the student looked, and said that OWL said to put media, so should they put "internet" and I asked them what the model showed, because as a Shakespeare person, I always have to look up how to cite internet sources, which is why I know about OWL. And they looked, and no, it didn't. And then they asked if they should do what OWL said. At that point, my inside brain wanted to yell at the student, but I merely said, yes, please, and answered another student's question.
Then the student whined that they couldn't write all the information down, and I suggested that what I'd do is retype the page and print it out again, since they still had 20 minutes or so.
So the student types. And types. Which is fine, because other folks are making corrections, too.
By the time the student finished, everyone else had finished and gone. And the student whined that they didn't have paper to print out. Nor, of course, did I.
Finally, I let the student email me just that page. Except they just copied and pasted so it looks crappy and improperly formatted.
The upshot is, I feel like a failure. This student needed their butt kicked, and I let them get away with being whiny and incompetent, helpless. It's not that I want the student to feel horrible or anything, because seriously, formatting a paper isn't a life or death thing for me. But I do want them to realize that they need to do their work and be prepared, because sometimes it really does matter.
In other news, I have some super colleagues. That is all. :)