Students say the darnedest things! (UPDATED)

I really like my students (well, most of them anyway… (:-)…). For the most part, they are smart, but even better, they are hard-working and responsible. As for a small yet noticeable fraction of them, well… Not so much. Over the years, I have compiled a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) that is derived from some “gems” that some of my students ask…

Some questions are kind of expected, like exam makeups, etc. However, some are of a different nature; these are the questions that when I hear them, I truly do not know whether to laugh or cry (sometimes I do a little of both).

Here they are. Please keep in mind that these are UNIVERSITY students! O_o

Q: Do I need to read the book?

A: -blank-stare-from-yours-truly…

Q:How can I get extra credit? (asked during the VERY first lecture)

A: There is no individual extra credit. Please see the syllabus.

Q:I have an 89 % in the class and I’d like to get a 90 %. Can you bump my grade?

A: Absolutely not. Your request is disrespectful to me and unfair to your classmates. This applies to 79 to 80, 69 to 70, etc.

Q:I am applying to (Dental – Medical – Nursing – Beauty – etc.) school and I have an 89 % in the class; I’d like to get a 90%. Can you bump my grade?

A: Please see the previous question.

Q:I have a trip for a (wedding, family reunion, etc.). Can I take the exam at another date?

A: Nope!

Q:What will be included in the exams?

A: Any and all lectured or assigned material is fair game.

Q: I did not come to class last time. Did I miss something important?

A: Blank stare from yours truly, with a single tear down the right side of my face…

Q:I’d like to know how am I doing in the class. I have my grades, but how do I calculate my overall %?

A: -blank-stare-from-yours-truly…

Q: I will not be able to come to class tomorrow. Will you cover anything important?

A: Blank stare from yours truly, with a single tear down the left side of my face…

Q:(as they hand the exam to you, in a 200+ class) When will the grades be posted?

A: -blank-stare-from-yours-truly…

***I actually had a lot of fun with this question once. As a young lady gave me the exam, she asked the question. I immediately said “the grades are already posted, look them up!” She said “really?” and I just smiled. When she realized what she’d said, she gave me a dirty look that clearly meant “idiot”…

It was absolutely worth it! (:-)***

Q:(In any given exam day, after the first person has finished the exam and left the room, a student rushes in, huffing and puffing):

I (overslept-forgot the time-the line to pay for the coffee was slow-the alarm clock did not go off, etc.), can I take the exam now?

A: Absolutely not.

Q:I e-mailed you a question about the course X days ago and I did not receive an answer. Is there a problem?

A:No problem at all! It means that the answer is found in the syllabus.

Brace yourselves for the last three!!!:

Q:I worked a lot in this class this semester and I think that I deserve a better grade. What can be done?

A:I commend you on your hard work, but nothing can be done about your grade. You are a university student now, and just like in real life, effort must lead to actual results.

Q:Is there another lab section that I can attend? I am not a morning person.

A: -blank-stare-from-yours-truly…

Q:Dear professor, I would do *anything*: to get a good grade in this class. Any suggestions?


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10 thoughts on “Students say the darnedest things! (UPDATED)

  1. Pingback: Things I wish my graduate students do (or don’t) | Baldscientist

  2. I think one of the most priceless questions you can hear as a teacher is whether the student should read the book. Why would the book be provided in the first place unless it was meant to be read, studied, highlighted? I also think the people who can’t face the morning have a lot to learn about the real world. These are great!

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  5. My father’s favorite story about getting some academic slack was in the late 20s when he took his exams to get into CCNY. He took the morning part of the exam, and, having never eaten in a restaurant and not having packed lunch, went back home to eat at Mom’s as he done in high school. By the time he returned, he was seriously late for the afternoon part of the test. They originally didn’t want to let him back in to finish the test, but he managed to convince them. Then he aced the test.

  6. Good post Professor! Someone has to put some boots to asses and get the new generation of students serious about their studies. Keep up the good work :)

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