Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"And Why Is This MY Problem?"


I got up to campus this afternoon and was greeted by my Esteemed Chair: "You have a student looking for you." After the shock wore off (no one EVER comes to visit me during regularly scheduled office hours!), I was briefed/warned about what to expect.

The student had been enrolled in my Christmas mini-term class. The student had never darkened the transom of my classroom, not one time. Consequently, I had dropped the student with a grade of "W." This was over Christmas. Now, almost two months later, the student has shown up with a giant sob story, about my having to change the W to an actual letter grade. It seems that the student's immigration status is now in question, and if I don't intervene promptly, s/he will be deported back to the Motherland to face All Sorts of Very Bad Things.

Of course, the prime reason the student didn't come to class (according to him/her) was that a full-time job prevented them for doing so.

Naturally, I have already composed my response to the student, thus: "And why is this MY problem? You could have shown your face several times in class and 'earned' an F, which (perversely enough) would not have negatively affected your visa status. You could have contacted me at any point prior to now and made your case, but evidently you were busy working --oh and never let's mind that as someone who holds a student visa, you have no business (legal or otherwise) working full-time. No no, you wait well after any and all deadlines have passed and try to lay some kind of guilt trip on ME, as though this were all MY fault?!?!? Get your [act] together and take it on the road, I'm not going to help you."

Brutally honest and cold? Yes. But it's not at all fair to the many international students who do work very hard to do everything properly, for me to help this ....person try to scam the system.


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