Students will drive me out of academia, part 2.

I want to write fascinating awesome things with this cool pen. Instead I am stuck answering student emails about why they can’t do their homework on time, have mercy because they have 6 classes, woe is me.  Sigh.

What I said was, you had the assignment for a long time and you have known the schedule all semester. If you waited to the last day to do it, oh well.  [not in those words]

Do your 6 classes not give syllabi with due dates, allowing you to plan ahead? Oh, they do? Well shucks then, I guess you’re just not keeping up.
In general…
my student is a sassing bitch.
  my colleague had a student send threatening emails.
  we’ve both had to protect our TAs from students who harrass them.
Why do I keep this job, again?
I would find this job better if I felt more respected. And if I didn’t feel that at any moment a student might snap and become a creeper.  It’s too bad that I have to tell my RAs and TAs to keep the phone number of campus security handy, for protection from their fellow students who don’t know how to handle their own rage and entitlement.

All my female colleagues have stories of creeper students.

This is not acceptable.  The men don’t get creepers.
I call on all humans to end the patriarchal nonsense!
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26 Responses to “Students will drive me out of academia, part 2.”

  1. feMOMhist Says:

    srsly, students tried to throw me under the bus this week. I was like ummm yeah nice try that, but NO! Although what drives me out of academia will be “service”

  2. Belle Says:

    Same kind of people litter the landscape outside of academia. Believe me; and there is not a culture of reasonability out there either. Grass not greener out there, I assure you.

  3. Pamela Says:

    OK, I have attention issues and can plan for squat, but in college I regularly pulled all-nighters because I *knew* that I would not get a “poor baby, here’s a silver platter full of hankies” pass. (Oddly enough, my grades were better when I worked that way.)

    And yes, creeper nonsense. I have a lot to say about this. But I’m not going to because it will derail. Suffice it to say I’m with ya.

  4. min hus Says:

    I didn’t even *imagine* sending a whiny e-mail to any of my professors…and I never had those issues because I am a serial planner-aheader. Had the idea occurred to me I would have been far to afraid to actually do it. But then again I always have been a goody-goody type. Sadly, I know quite a few profs these days that always wait until the very last minute to ask/demand something from me that causes me stress I’d never cause myself due to their lack of planning. I know they’re busy, but yeesh, I’m not losing my weekend because you asked me at 5pm for something you need at 8am Monday. I guess one can’t escape annoying/unreasonable people anywhere.

    But the safety concerns? Yeah, those are unacceptable and sad.

    • min hus Says:

      Also, I used to want to be a professor someday, until I came to work in academia and saw what they deal with. I don’t think I could hack it for these and a million other reasons.

  5. Laura Vanderkam (@lvanderkam) Says:

    The multiple deadline excuse bothers me — it did in school and does in life now. I remember in college we had a famous choreographer come work with some of us (I danced in a prior life) and the week of midterms, half the dancers didn’t show up for rehearsal. Not because their tests were during rehearsal. They just assumed it was a completely legitimate reason to miss a prior commitment — even though having half the dancers does not make for a good rehearsal. The choreographer was upset, with good reason. It’s not like people didn’t know midterms were coming. They’d been on schedules for weeks.

  6. undinenotofgeneralinterest Says:

    What cool pen? We pen nerds among your readers want pictures or at least a name that we can google!

  7. rented life Says:

    The email I got this week: “I’m sorry I missed the final. I was in jail. I didn’t know you could get arrested for driving with a suspended liscense, but apparently you can. That’s why I missed the last two days. Can I turn in my work late somehow? I am sending you this email because [family member] is a cop and is letting me have access while in jail.”

    In the past I’ve have 2 male students threaten violence, and as a TA I had to go to extreme measures to protect myself from students who managed to get access to my unlisted home phone number (which was never supposed to happen) and consistently prank me. It’s just not right.

    • becca Says:

      rented life- Assuming the lousy driver is otherwise independent from the violent phenotype, that one is kind of funny in a “LOLSOB for humanity” kind of way. I think what they meant was “I didn’t know you could get arrested when your [family member] is a cop”.

      nicoleandmaggie- I think when one is stressed, everything gloms together in a terrible way. That’s why people are bad at handling deadlines that are all at the same time (even IF you can and do plan for them, December in traditional academic calendars is just a hellish month). It’s also why obnoxious entitled students who are “merely” disrespectful spiral together with obnoxious entitled students who are disrespectful and creepers/ragey/dangerous. The former are about as much a fact of faculty life as all-the-deadlines-at-once are for undergrad life; but the later… there’s gotta be something that can be done about that. I’m just at a loss for what that might be right now. *sigh*.

      • rented life Says:

        Yes, different people. When I got the “I didn’t know you could be arressted” email I was a little loss for words. You didn’t know you could be arrested for doing something illegal? huh. I don’t know what to tell you. This is also a good reason to show up on the day you are supposed to present–if you don’t you might get arrested and not be able to present on other days!

  8. Historiann Says:

    What is a creeper? I have never heard this term.

  9. Leah Says:

    When I was a grad student teacher, I had a few particularly creepy guy students my last semester. I actually sent my supervisor an email saying “If something happens to me, it is one of these two guys.” I also bcc’d him on all communications with those students. My students were usually pretty good, but a few thought it was okay to get in my face because they didn’t agree with the grades they earned on tests (nevermind that most of their poor grades came from stuff like multiple choice and not the few points I’d docked them on short answer stuff) or on labs/papers. Blegh.

    I’m now a public school teacher, and I feel grateful that despite having some really difficult students, I’m not afraid for my safety. But that possibility always lurks in the back of my mind.

  10. chacha1 Says:

    All of these are among the multitudinous reasons I opted to flee grad school after finishing my M.A., which I went into thinking I would proceed to a Ph.D. and the life of academe.

    I looked at “how much time will I get to spend enjoying being among smart people and continuing to nourish my brain” versus “how much time will I have to spend dodging assholes festooned in red tape” and it was clear the ratio was incorrigibly off.

  11. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Our new hire caught her first plagiarist today. *sigh* I had to tell her it wasn’t about her, it was about the student.

  12. Melete Says:

    So, soo, sooo glad that now the semester’s over, I will never have to walk into a classroom again.

    Not just because of the obnoxious students (who really are not all THAT common), but because of the crazies who might mean them (and me) harm. Enough, already! Why does anyone teach at all?


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