Thursday, August 31, 2006

Poor Unfortunate Souls

Once again a new semester has started and like clockwork, there are a few Poor unfortunate Souls, a.k.a. freshmen, who really struggle with the first week of college classes. My experience has been that most freshmen have very awkward moments the first year, some are just better at hiding it than others. Hey even I walked into at least one wrong classroom, only to quickly exit and move to the “right” class.

So far this week, I have one student who not only went to the wrong classroom, but ended up in the wrong building, and stayed the entire time because the teacher was talking about lots of different books.

Much to my surprise, I also have a repeat student. A very special repeat student. Last semester, Alice Wonderland (name has been changed) made it to class for the first two weeks and then dropped off the radar. About mid-term I received an email from Alice telling me that she needed to meet with me to explain her excessive absences. I reminded her of my office hours. Again she dropped off the radar…two weeks later another email shows up from Alice. I really need to meet with you to explain why “I don’t want to come to your class”. She continued saying that her schedule was not compatible with my office hours so I scheduled a special appointment with her. She didn’t show.

At this point I tried to direct her to the Director of Freshman Composition, if she wanted any hope of passing the class or taking an “I”. Again she dropped off the radar screen, until the last day of class when she emailed me and asked if there was a final for the class, in which I responded “No.” She also claimed that she had tried to get a hold of the director through email. I checked with the director and discovered that not such contact had been attempted.

I have two more classes to go...if anything happens, you'll be the first to hear about it.


compulsive writer said...

I love Freshmen! Particularly in writing classes. I feast on their words and their eloquent sentences.

Not really, but at least I was amused more often than not.

Hope you have a fun semester. I'm interested to hear more about "Alice." I had a communications class which I didn't attend after the first two weeks. I just figured I'd take the UW and then take it over.

Except that somehow--even after not turning in anything past the first assignment and not taking any tests--I managed to pull a C+. My theory was that I was one of two non-football players in the class and the prof just must have passed everyone just to make sure none of the necessary components of a winning season (it was about the time we won the national championship) were missing for academic reasons.

Fine by me. I'll probably rot in hell, but I figured trying to appeal for a lower grade wasn't going to go over really well, so I opted for one less thing to stand in line for.

~cari~ said...

Yeah, we've all had those "freshman" moments. I hope nothing too embarrassing happens to my freshman daughter! Boy, that one student is a piece of work! Good luck with that!

Lyle said...

Compulsive- Tee Hee! A C+ for not doing the work...lucky you.

Cari- Relax, I'm sure E. will have an embarassing freshman moment or two, but she has a good enough head on her shoulders to overcome them. She'll be able to look back on them and laugh instead of cringe.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I had ANY moments as a freshman other than meeting that special someone...we won't talk about that now as it's a LONG story. He He He!

carblemarble said...

I love freshmen moments, I see them about every day! It's interesting to work in a office where I get to see freshmen parent moments too.

Pappy Yokum said...

All I can say is it takes a "special" someone to take on freshmen students on a regular basis. As a freshman, I remember walking into college algebra with hundreds of other students there and wondering if I had stumbled into an assembly or something like that. The thought,"How does one teacher handle all these students?" kept running through my mind.