The days are dwindling down to a precious few. Some students have finally noticed. (It's about time!) The ones who have been planning to “catch up” and do some studying “later” are realizing that “later” has arrived. Many of them check to see if they still have time to drop the classes they've been neglecting. Others opt for desperate measures: They contact their teacher.
A colleague recently received the following frantic e-mail, which I present just as the student wrote it (except for rendering it anonymous):
Ah, yes. Another one of those students who “will do anything and everything” to pass the class. Whatever could she mean by that? We know she doesn't mean actually coming to class or doing assignments. Perhaps she would like some nice extra credit?
My name is Mary Jane Doe, and I attend your M/W Intro to Stats class. At this point in the sememster I know my grade is not where it needs to be. I need this class for my GE and tranfer agreement. Is there anything I can do to bring up my grade to a passing C? I know I have done poorly on the test and my attendence has not been steller. But, sir please I will do anything and everything I can to pass your class. Please give me guidance on how to proceed from here. Thank you for your time. If you could help me in anyway I will be forever in your debt.
Mary Jane Doe
Seeing the possibility of one of those teachable moments, my colleague seized his opportunity and sprang into action. He wrote back:
He told me later that he was richly rewarded for his efforts: She wised up and dropped the class. Perhaps she'll enroll in one of his sections next fall, in which case he can remind her that she's willing to do “anything” to get a passing grade. I know him. He'll give her a syllabus and point to the homework assignments. If she does them for a change, then her otherwise wasted current semester will not have been entirely in vain.
Hello Mary Jane,
In light of your current class average, it is highly unlikely that you will pass this course. I recommend that you drop the class and retake statistics next semester.