Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unsent letters: Student edition

Hey you,

Yes, short of failing your portfolio requirements spectacularly, you are on course for a solid A. This is a good thing because you are a good writer and a great addition to the class. That said, your grade and exemplary marks have nothing to do with the constant, how shall we say, sycophancy. Seriously. You'd be making those grades without the appeals to my ego, and indeed, I'd prefer you not. Ah well. Our paths shall part shortly, and you'll do me proud in your Comp 2 class regardless.

Hey you,
Yes, you of the frantic, panicked e-mails, so worried about failing. Take a deep breath and then another. Now, relax a bit. Are you going to make an A? No. But you'll be darned close, and I'm proud of you. You've been struggling with the consequences of difficult life choices, and you work hard, and you write well, and I'm proud of all that. So give yourself a pat on the back for having made it through your first semester successfully. You did it.

And you. Hoo boy, where do I start with you?
You've been a pain in my ass all semester. I really don't care if you fail to turn in papers because, hey, it's one less for me to grade in any given stack. I also don't particularly care that you show up when you show up and don't when you don't feel like it. Again, this means less work for me. I do greatly despise it when you schedule yourself for tutorial times--and then do not show up. Not once, not twice, not even three times--but consistently, even double-booking times during the last paper when worthier students would have shown up. And now, you want short-notice accommodation for testing services to take your final. Fine. Enjoy it. I highly suspect that when I am on campus next to pick up the completed exam, it will be likewise not completed. And that's fine too. Know why? Your grade is going to be the same regardless of whether you take it or not. Cheers.

And you and you,
I've enjoyed having you both in class. Different classes, but you're remarkably similar--I see the same work ethic and constant attention in class, the regular if perhaps slightly unpunctual attendance. You're neither of you the brightest ones I've ever had, but that hard work and attention to detail and the drafting process makes up for a lot. You're right--that final paper sure did have a lot less inked-in corrections on it. Congrats. You'll do me proud in your next class, I think.

And last but not l--er. Nevermind.
You never turned in a single paper over the course of the whole semester that came anywhere near meeting the assignment criteria. Your quiz results were clearly pulled out of your ass in an attempt to bluff me, and while you were present in nearly all classes and had a most pleasant demeanor, you still are failing. And you know what the kicker is? I'm disappointed. You had an awesome semester's research topic that could have yielded some fascinating papers, and if you could just channel a bit of that strong voice into more appropriate academic writing, you could have produced some great papers. Perhaps you'll do so for your next Comp 1 teacher. I hope so for his or her--and your own--sake.

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