Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I've had a term full of delusional students, at least in comparison to every other term that I've taught at SLAC. These students come into my office to ask me what they can do to get a good grade, usually because they're sitting at "barely passing" and don't want to get a D. Usually, the answer involves something like, "if you want a C, you would have to get A's on everything from now until the end of the course", and these students whole-heartedly tell me that they WILL do that. I don't even think they're bullshitting me. I think they really believe that, if they just try, they can get an A+ on every assignment. While I would really love to ask them what part of getting D's on everything has convinced them that they have this particular ability, instead I try to make some reasonable statement about aiming for a passing grade. I don't think it works, though, if today's 5% exam score from one of these students is any judge. Big changes, just in the wrong direction.

So, maybe these kids are just really good at BS. I would prefer to believe they're delusional, though I wish I knew what I could say to snap them out of it.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Dear graduate programs:

Please stop making me comment within individual boxes on your webpage, just let me upload a damned reference letter! I comment on all these things you're specifying within the letter, I promise, and I have to rewrite it all to make it fit within your narrow damned boxes.

Dear weather:

Stop being crazy. It's definitely FALL now.

Dear conferences:

Why did I agree to so many of you this term?

Dear undergrads:

I can tell when you haven't done the reading. Really.