Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"But what about what *I* want/need!" Meditations on convenience.

"Hey, I stopped by your office to ask you a question about my final paper, but you weren't there! T^here wasn't anyone in any of the offices, and I need to meet with three different professors and NO ONE is in their offices! Where the Hell is everyone?"

"Uh, no, I wasn't -- no one is on campus right now. It's Christmas break. The whole U is closed until the 4th of January, and even then it's skeleton crew until the 9th. Didn't you notice the empty parking lots, and the fact that all the lights are off?"

"But I have stuff I need to do on campus! I want to , and today is the best day for me to get things done. Why isn't there anyone there?"

"...because everyone is enjoying their break? No one has to be on campus until their report-back date except security, and they are probably asleep in their pen?"

"That's awful! I want to get my errands done today! Can you drop everything and come in right now? "

"No. I am on break. I don't have to be back until the 10th. I'll be in my office by 9 AM on that day."

"Well, that's ridiculous. Who though that professors ought to get a break, anyway. It's not like you need them, or anything. Your jobs are the easiest."


** edit, for clarity: we are "asked" (read: required) to give our cell phone numbers as alternate contact info "in case of student emergency." Guess how often that gets abused?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kiss my mistletoe, buddy.

I should know by now that answering my mobile when I don't recognize the number -- especially on a holiday -- is a bad idea. Foolish, foolish me.

So, at 6 PM on Christmas day, comfortably stuffed full of baked ham, smashed 'taters and lighter-fluid-spiked eggnog,  I should have juts let that sucker roll over to voicemail. Instead, giddy with holiday cheer, I answered it.

Sobbing Student : "It's your fault my parents ain't lettin' me back livin' on campus, bitch!'
CM: "Who is that? What?"
SS: "You flunked me, and momma says I have to commute until I gets better grades!"
CM: "Who is this? I only had fifty students last semester...wait, never mind. Was my class the only one you failed?"
SS: "Naw. I flunked Bio, Freshman Year Experience, and Math I, too. Got a D in Philosophy, though!"
CM: *giggling* "Hooooly shit. You flunked FYE? All you had to do was show up and sit in the auditorium for forty-five minutes, once a week! It's a joke of a class!"
SS; "..."
CM: "Again, who is this?"
SS: "...Raymonique-Shane Relondo."
CM: "Dude, you failed my class because you missed 23 out of 30 class meetings. You did not turn in 2 of the 4 major papers, and the two you did turn in were wrong, because you missed the classes that we discussed them in. You slept in 3 of the classes you did manage to attend. You didn't turn in a portfolio, skipped your last conference and basically did no work. If you recall, you were given a midsemester grade warning, referred to tutoring and were told to get your shit together by me, your advisor and the Dean. This is all documented."
SS: "I'm fighting this grade 'cause you're sexist! You're a bitter old dyke who hates real men, and you failed me 'cause I gots a penis!"
CM: *laughing uncontrollably* "Merry Christmas, dude. See you in the Dean's office when school starts up again!"

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It came upon a midnight clear...

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
  and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 


Merry Christmas to you and all of yours. If you are reading this, you are among my many blessings, and I wish you love and light.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Litany

With two weeks left to go in the semester, things are winding down. Unless someone fails to turn in a portfolio paper, or does not show up to the final,  grades are mostly set.  This, of course, is cause from drama for those who are going to hop aboard the FAILroad. Thus, the Litany has begun.

The Litany is the last gambit of the student who knows a) they're going to do badly, and b) it's beyond too late to do anything about it.

The opening feint of the Litany is sickness. Whether it's personal or familial, someone spent the semester fixin' to die (in one memorable case, it was a grandma, and for the third time). Hospital visits/admissions, massive amounts of drugs...all prevented Precious Snowflake from completing classwork. Usually this feint can be blocked by asking for documentation of any type. A doctor's note (from a doctor that does NOT have the same last name, thank you), hospital paperwork, anything. No docs, no grade bump.

The secondary assault usually involves stress/anxiety/overwork/the Freshman 15....take your pick. It boils down to "College is haaaaard, and I didn't realize that I had to manage my own time and schedule appropriately!" Honest bonus points awarded to the guy who flat-out admitted that he partied too hard and studied too little, and deserved his "D," but was hoping for the best.

Whatever strategy is adopted, the fact is, no one can go back in time and do what needs to be done: work harder.

Sadly, they lesson won't be remembered next semester, either.