Friday, April 30, 2010

The Light in the Distance...

I need a break. This school year has been difficult at best. Not just for me...our entire campus is exhausted.

Yesterday and today a particular student called me multiple times to beg me to let her turn in her end of the semester work.  I told her that my grades for her online course were due at noon today.  If she could get me her binder before noon, I would count it.  At 12:10 today her sister entered my office with the binder in question.  I opened the binder and guess what was in there?  Blank pages.  Yes, you read correctly.  Blank pages.  After holding up an entire class of grades, this student turned in a binder with blank pages inside.

I called said student on the phone and told her that her binder was incomplete; she would not pass the class. 

Said student responded, "What do you mean my binder is incomplete?" 

I explained to said student that her pages were there, but that the pages were blank. 

I promise on a stack of bibles that said student began to argue with me about whether or not her pages were blank. 

I described the blank pages to her.

It gets even weirder.

After I described the blank pages, said student continued to argue that the pages were NOT blank...BUT the reason she didn't do the assignments was because she didn't understand them.

Yes, I was confused at this point as well.

I explained that 10 minutes after grades were due was not the appropriate time to mention to the instructor that you did not understand the assignments and that there was nothing I could do to help her now...the binder is a major portion of the grade in the class.  Without a complete binder, she would fail. 

Then, yes, ladies and gentlemen, said student continued to argue...apparently she expected me to take some kind of responsibility for her lack of work, the excuse of not understanding should negate the fact that she didn't complete her work, and with the rising volume and tone of her voice, I guess I was supposed to be intimidated.

At this point I was stunned.  That's really just about all I can say.  I was stunned.  Speechless.

Said student then yelled into the phone, "My binder is NOT blank!!" and hung up on me.

Right now I'm having a difficult time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel...I know it's there...I can even hear the distant rumbling of the train. But, I'm still at that place where I've just picked up the sound and haven't quite decided whether it's a welcome sound or an ominous one. 

After spending 3 hours entering grades for 3 classes of students due to a server reminiscent of dial up internet, I have put 3 of the 7 classes I teach to bed.  The other 4 will be tucked in next week.

I'm looking forward to focusing on other things...I have books and magazines to read, a pool to swim in, a house that needs a serious cleaning, and 3 girls who need a full-time mommy the last few weeks of their school year. That's me. And, I can't wait.


  1. I'm speechless as well. I just read this to my husband and he's as stunned as I am. Here's the interesting step daughter is taking an online class right now trying to finish a class she should have taken as a freshman and now has to have it to graduate in a month. I email her counselor all the time to check on this online class and was told last week that she's HALF finished! You know what is more bizarre? Her MOTHER is defending her. It's not fair she has to take this class, you should take this class as a credit for it...blah blah blah.
    I blame the parents. As a mother of three former high school kids, I know they don't always focus unless you push. My step daughter has no one pushing her and at this point, may not graduate high school.
    God bless you for what you do. It's more than just a job.
    (my husband and I are joking that this could be his kid)

  2. Ok, I am laughing at this student! I know it was not funny at the time, but to read it, and to imagine it! Too funny! How dare you not accept her BLANK binder! You bad teacher! Ha! :)
    I hope you have a wonderful summer break! You deserve it!