Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Extending Deadlines

Yesterday I was discussing how I sent some of my students an e-mail because they had not submitted certain work over the course of the semester. I love the way the mind of a student works and what they will actually say.

I told my students at the beginning of the year they had a paper to write. I even told them what it was about and explained it in my course syllabus. I told the students the paper had to be handed in by the last day of class. This particular class met on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While I did have a Friday class, it was at a different location, about 30 miles away.

In response to my e-mail, one student e-mailed me back saying he did hand me a paper. Further e-mails led to him explaining that actually he put it in my mailbox, even though the paper was supposed to be handed to me directly. After a few more e-mails, I learned he had submitted the paper on Friday, the last day of the semester. It may have been the last day of the semester but the last day of the class he took with me was Thursday. I was not on campus on Friday and he never even e-mailed me to tell me he had submitted it.

Being the nice person that I am, I decide to accept the paper and drive the 40 miles to campus to pick up the paper. Guess what? It was not in my mail slot, or anywhere to be found. I talked with the secretary and he said that no one had come in over the course of the week asking where my mailbox was (it is not always so easy to find) and he did not recall anyone coming in and simply putting something in my slot (and he is usually good remembering such details). So, I drove out for nothing.

I e-mailed the student back and he insisted he put it in my mailbox. I tell him to e-mail me a copy but he explains that he did not save the paper so he does not have a copy. He is willing to retype it but I won’t get it until the end of the long weekend because he is out of town, partying. I even agreed to this.

Guess what? By end of day Monday (Memorial Day) there is no paper in my box. I even checked on Tuesday, just before I had to submit grades and still no paper.

Some students just don’t get it and students like this louse things up for other students as well. The next time someone wants me (or in his/her mind, needs me) to be flexible, I am less likely to do so because of this instance.