The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

What Used to Be



With grades being finalized and submitted, I am now continuing to work on preparing materials for the start of Spring Semester, which begins this coming Monday.  

Several times during the last few days, I felt a fair amount of meloncholy about how the end of the semester grading and submitting used to be. It was a ritual for decades for at the conclusion of grading, I would head over to my in-laws to have a few drinks with my father-in-law and smoke pipes together.  

As most of you already know, that drinks and pipes ritual was fairly common across the year on a variety of Fridays, but the end of the Semester times were EXTRA special. It felt often like our conversations were even more ribald, fun, and engaging, our beverages more thirst-quenching and relaxing, and our pipes were even more nourishing, robust and nirvana-like.  

I miss that. A lot.

* * * * * 

This morning I received an e-mail from a very grumpy student.  She was suggesting quite strenuously that I was unfair in giving her a C+ as her final grade.  I carefully outlined how all of her scores were in the mediocre range, and that she had several tests where she earned "D" grades.  I also told her that her original final grade would have been a "C"...  had I not, out of the generousness of my heart, decided to apply a slight curve to everyone's final score in the course, which actually was the reason I gave her a C+.... she just barely scooted into that range with my added curve.  

The above is what I told her..... I did not add the plethora of other comments I had WANTED to add.... many of which would have involved several cuss words more vehement than I typically use.....  and I also wanted to indicate that perhaps if she followed directions (which she did not do most of the semester, if she had used the tools I provided for the class (she missed a number of assignments), attended more than 50% of the lectures (I would estimate she probably attended maybe 1/3 of lectures), and if she studied...... she could have done a helluva lot better.  But... I kept it calm.  

* * * * * 

  • Only ran 10 miles (~16km) this morning because of a stupid assessment (note the first three letters of the previous word are very appropriate for the goals of that kind of meeting) meeting to "evaluate" our Department.  I did not have enough time to do more.
  • PCS = 9.  It is exhausting to want a pipe.  No, I actually mean it is exhausting to keep refraining from a pipe when I want to have one. I still am angry at myself for missing my golden ticket opportunity in Des Moines.  I very much want to smoke my Butz-Choquin pipe now that I have found it again after I was afraid I lost it.


Blogger Margaret said...

Oh, my, have I ever heard that student story before from my older daughter; she is no longer a college professor because of it. They wouldn't even show up to class or turn in assignments yet expected to get a decent grade. It was somewhat better when she was a TA at UCLA but the small private college where she ended up bent over backwards (and tied themselves in ethical knots) to keep the students and parents happy. I wish you could figure out a schedule whereby you could smoke your pipes and have a drink (with a friend?) occasionally. You seem so disciplined that I believe you could restrain yourself from doing so too frequently.

Tuesday, 02 May, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I have probably asked this before, but do you always teach 3 semesters (trimesters) every year? It’s been a heckuva long time since I was in uni, but I am pretty sure that my profs only taught 2.

Friday, 05 May, 2023  

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