By Daris Howard
Most of my college students are bright, fun to teach, and work hard. But each semester I get interesting letters, emails, and phone calls from a few students. I save these, and occasionally I compile them into a column. Last year I shared some of these, and I thought I’d share a few more this week.
This semester, some of my colleagues have also forwarded some on to me, and the first three are from them. I don’t think any of these comments need any explanation, other than to say I changed or removed any names for anonymity, and some I had to pare down a bit.
Dear Professor, I have a complaint. I don’t feel the test we took was fair. I know that in class today, as we went over the results from it, you said that the questions on it were taken from the homework without even changing the numbers. Even if that is the case, I feel you chose the ones that weren’t the mainstream homework problems, because every single problem on the test was one I skipped because I didn’t feel I really needed to do it.
Dear Professor, I looked at my grade, and it is really low. I noticed that I don’t have any points for the quizzes we take each day at the beginning of class. I was wondering if you would mind taking them off of my grade. I don’t think it is fair to count them against me because 10:15 is way too early to get up for class. So it is not my fault that I am always late.
Dear Professor, I have some family things that have come up and will not be there the first week of the semester. I hope this won’t cause you any incontinence.
Dear Professor Howard, I want to apologize for missing class the last couple of days, and also for falling asleep in class today. I haven’t been able to watch my soap operas for nearly four months. I’ve been recording them, and I finally decided to watch them, but it took two full days and I didn’t sleep at all.
Dear Professor Howard, I saw on the Internet that you were responsible for hiring tutors in statistics, and I need a job. I have never had statistics or anything, but I’m sure it couldn’t be that hard.
Dear Professor Howard, I won’t be in class on Friday. I am planning on being sick that day.
Dear Professor Howard, I’m sorry I have missed so much class this semester. I do plan to come, but every time I think about it, I get a headache.
Dear Professor Howard, I’m sorry but I won’t be in class today. I have to go to a funeral. I’m sorry for the late notice, but my uncle didn’t inform us that he was going to die.
Dear Professor Howard, I would like to talk to you. You have given me lots of point deductions for turning my assignments in late. Do you think that is fair? I always turned in my stuff late in high school, and the teacher never docked points. Is this some stupid college thing, or what?
Dear Professor Howard, I really bombed the exam, and I can’t figure out why. I was sure I knew everything. But now I need all the points I can get, so I was wondering if I were to do the homework and turn it in late if I could get some points.