These are actual questions my students have asked, in person, on the phone, or via e-mail over the course of this semester.
Dear Professor K8edid:
I don’t know what happened on that last quiz. I would like to retake it as soon as possible. I have not slept in 3 days worrying about my grade. See, I must have an A in all my classes to get into the PhD program I want. I have calculated my grade over and over and I do not see any way that I can get an A. Am I doing something wrong? I.M. Sleepy
Dear I.M.S. – this is an introductory math class in which you will learn to calculate medication dosages. For medications that could KILL PEOPLE. I don’t know what you are doing wrong, but I can tell you this. I calculated your grade this morning while writing a midterm exam, balancing a cup of coffee on my knee, and answering a butt-load of student e-mails on what should have been a restful Saturday. I did this with a freakin’ hangover, painful fallen arches, and low blood sugar. I have calculated 6 different ways that you could get an A in this class. Since you can’t pass this medication dosage quiz or calculate your own grade, however, I’ve decided you don’t deserve one. I will deduct nuisance points now and for each whiny e-mail I get from you till the end of the semester. And that Ph.D. program you want to get into? I hope it is not in math.
Professor K8edid: Do you have MS? a concerned and nosy student
Dear C&NS – No, I do not have MS. Thank you for asking, though. Maybe you meant to ask if I have PMS? No, not that either. Now please read the chapter on conducting a medical history interview. I can assure you that I am perfectly healthy, and of sound mind. One of my personalities tells me to flunk your ass, but the others have talked me into letting you continue in the class. No more personal questions, though. Some of them just might be persuaded to change their minds.
Dear Professor K8edid: I desperately need to meet with you to discuss my grade on that last quiz. I know you have office hours on Tuesday from 1 – 4. I can come after work at 4:30. Would that be all right? – Failure is Not an Option but Appears Inevitable
Dear FINAOBAI: By all means come by my office after work. Since it will be after work for me as well, I shall probably pass you in the hallway on my way out. Or maybe I will already be at happy hour. Since I won’t be there, I shall just tape your last quiz on the window for all the world to see. Would that be all right?
Dear Professor K8edid: Where can I find the assignments for this week? – too busy texting to pay attention
Dear TBTTPA: You could look on the syllabus. You know, the one posted on-line. The one I printed out and handed to you on the first day of class. The one that you signed a receipt for – that you have received, read, and understood the contents of? Or look on-line under the weekly assignment tab. The one I point out every week. Or just text me every week like you’ve been doing. Since I don’t text back, that seems to be working pretty well, don’t you think?
Dear Professor K8edid: I just got my schedule for next semester and I see that you are teaching one of my classes. Will that class be easier than this one? – Wanting to Skate
Dear WTS: Yes, of course the next course will be easier. That is what getting an education is all about. You pay a bunch of money (or rather, you get a butt load of money from the government – you pass it over to the school) and we just give you a diploma. You should never have to work hard for that. You want to be a nurse but you don’t want to work hard? Get a freakin’ clue. Prepare yourself for the next 4 semesters. You will not sleep; if you do you will see nothing but concept maps, accidental fingers-sticks and nursing care plans in your nightmares. You will not eat. If you do eat you will throw up. You will not be without a book in your hand over the next 2 years. Deal with it.
Professor K8edid: I read the chapter and did the assignments as outlined in the syllabus. However, I saw a You-Tube video that contradicts some of the information in the textbook. Can you address this discrepancy in class? – Seeker of Knowledge
Dear SOK: Um, no. If you want a diploma from You-Tube-iversity, then continue to get your knowledge from that source.
Dear Professor K8edid: Will that be on the final? – Undermotivated/Overwhelmed
Dear U/O. Yes. All of it.
Dear Professor K8edid: Is there anything I can do to get a better grade? – Wanting More
Dear WM: When you repeat this class next semester, try studying, turning in assignments, and practicing skills.
Dear Professor K8edid: I am very shy. I just know I will not be able to participate in the skills demonstrations required because I suffer from performance anxiety and “stage fright”. Is there some other way besides you standing there watching me do those skills? – Shrinking Violet
Dear SV: Look, sweetheart. I’ve been to your Facebook page. Yes, you just might want to change your privacy settings. Judging from the photos and videos posted there, you do not have performance anxiety.
Dear Professor K8edid: What do you make teaching these classes? – Curious
Dear C: I make a difference.