Femme Frugality asks:
What are the qualities in your ideal student? Where’s the line between being a good student and being a kiss-ass?
There’s no such thing as a kiss-ass in the grumpy nation. A good student is excited about the material and about learning and isn’t concerned about grades, just doing a good job, being responsible, polite, and understanding the material in the class. Enthusiastic students are often labeled kiss-asses as if it is a bad thing, but we’re here to tell you that enthusiasm for learning is never a bad thing, even if it forces you to go to graduate school and perhaps even become a professor. So stay bright-eyed and respectful, we will not think less of you, even if your classmates are secretly jealous and try to pull you down.
Come to class, look attentive, don’t sleep or text. Make some reasonable effort on all assignments. Don’t ask for exceptions to the rules. Don’t give me presents or try to be friends, it’s weird. (#1 says: I do not mind presents from my international students whose cultures suggest gifts for all professors after the holiday break, but only *after* the class is over. I have a nice collection of New Years red ribbons, which are entirely appropriate, especially when all your first semester professors have one.)
The students that stand out in my mind were really interested in the topic of the class and found something to fascinate them. Also, intelligence. Smart ones are better. (#1 notes: even if you’re not smart, hard work will *make* you smarter, at least in my classes.) Respectfulness (not obsequiousness) and good writing will help. I will have a soft spot for you if you volunteer for an in-class demo, but you don’t have to.
Grumpy academic readers, what makes your ideal student?