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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Adventures Among the Overprivileged

Sorry for the hiatus, my laptop is dead and I haven't gotten a new one yet. And may not for awhile.

So I'm teaching again this term, which I usually like. Except with the part where I have to actually deal with the damn Ivy-league undergrads. Case in point: it is spring break this week. As a lowly grad student, I do not, in fact, get a break. So I'm bitter. But my advisor and I scheduled an exam for the last day of class before Spring Break, which was Thursday. Thursday, and there were still classes Friday as well. But apparently 10 days isn't a long enough break for these charming kids as one of them asked if we could reschedule her exam because she was going to be "out of town" on Thursday. Yeah, she was taking two extra days and thought we should accommodate her ditching early to go drink and get herpes from some exotic frat boy from another school. My advisor, being far too nice, said she could take it when she gets back (giving her an extra 11 days to study, at least in theory). Girl says she can take it any time Monday so when I say great, she can do it in the morning, asks if actually she can take it in the afternoon. Um, no. Bitch is lucky I'm not making her take it at 8am. We both know she wants to put it off to the afternoon so she can study and I'm going to make her suffer. Why does she think she gets to take off sans consequences anyway? But the upshot is that my advisor said we'll give her a different test and make it extra hard by just adding a bunch of the questions we didn't use on the actual exam so the exam will be too long for her to finish. Ha!

Another kid hasn't shown up for class and currently has a zero as he signed up to do a group presentation but didn't bother to actually work with the group. Boy doesn't show up to the exam. Advisor goes and checks her email, in which is waiting a note from the boy that he wants an incomplete (despite the fact that he can still withdraw and that at this university it is actually possible to withdraw after you've taken the final) because...he's really overwhelmed with his duties as pledgemaster for his frat. Look, I'm sure hazing is quite time consuming. But to the point that you think you can get an incomplete? And the very notion of "incomplete" implies that you've at least done something, some little bit of work, that you just didn't finish. Not that you didn't show up all semester and didn't bother doing anything until the morning of your midterm.

But really, these kids are so different from (most) of the ones I went to the big giant state school with. For one, they have much nicer cars. And very, very few of them actually work. Even in the summer. They've been told their whole pathetic lives how smart and special and wonderful they are so now in college they expect to be treated accordingly. And they're really not. Not most of them, at least. But professors here are so scared of bad evaluations that they let the students get away with so much. Plus, giving Ds and Fs tends to draw negative attention from the department. So all these kids that really, truly, honestly deserve to fail skate with C-'s and never get their comeuppance. And it drives me nuts.

Yeah. Maybe I'm just mad because I have to be at lab at 6:30 in the morning and I gave my advisor the key for the exam to go over and check last week and she didn't bother to get it back to me until today yet I'm still expected to have all the exams done Tuesday in addition to a big spate of rat killing and despite the fact that I told her I had plans for the weekend. Because she gets to procrastinate and delay but I do not. That's tenure.