Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Students: A Gift That Keeps on Giving

I thought that I'd heard every weird request that students can possibly make of me. Until, that is, I received an email from a student who is actually not a bad student at all. She enrolled in my Advanced Spanish Conversation course last semester, but had to drop out in mid-September because of a variety of family issues. Mid-September, OK? Of 2010. And today is January 12 of 2011. A different year and a different semester. And, obviously, I teach different courses.

So the student writes to me to explain why she dropped out. In mid-September. She is also asking if she can do the coursework (for this course that ended last year) and get a good grade (in this course that ended last year.) Notice also that the course in question is Advanced Conversation. Every single graded assignment in this course was understandably oral. Conversations, oral presentations, oral exams, etc. The in-class participation grade was 25%, which she knows very well. Maybe the student expects that I will round up her colleagues who were in this course with her and get them to repeat everything we did for a semester for her sake. She also seems to believe that I can administer any number of courses to any number of people if I choose to do so. And that I can keep administering the same course to the same people, irrespective of whether it is offered this semester.

I wrote back to the student, informing her very gently that the semester has been over for a while but she should feel free to take the course whenever it is offered again. It feels pretty weird to write to students to let them know what the date is.

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