College Life

Hello everyone:

I have had a couple of students who took the wrong approach to asking me to overlook their lack of performance in the classroom. They told me what to do. That was not a popular course of action.

One of them told me to give him back some lost points because “he’d been too busy to do the work on time.” I wonder if he’s ever seen the poster that talks about failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. Who knows? Attitude is everything and I have been known to cut students a break, if they are nice and apologetic, but not in an Eddie Haskell way. (See Leave it To Beaver for a cultural explanation here!)

Another told me she deserved another chance because she had sent her essay to the Writing Center, gotten back a marked-up copy, and had posted it in error, without fixing it. Yeah, that might have worked but it was the third time it had happened (posting a marked-up copy that she didn’t bother to fix) in the last six weeks. She also wanted my feedback and the chance to fix the document again (that would have given her how many re-writes on one assignment???)

So, what do you do? If you mess up, admit it, apologize, and ask the professor if he or she will give you a break. If this is the only time it happened, you might get lucky. If you are a student-with-a-problem-of-the-week, it is not as likely.

Best,

Dr. Sheri


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Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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