Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Didn't Your Composition Class Teach You to Write with Your Audience in Mind?

Dear Student,

I understand that you are upset by the low grade that you received in your math class. The fact that you have waited until now to discuss it with the Math Department indicates to me that either you didn't bother to check your grades or else some unanticipated consequence has you scrambling to take retroactive steps to heal your wounded GPA.

No matter. I shall investigate this matter with care and detached professionalism, and I will report my findings to you in a timely manner. Moreover, I will communicate with you by emails written in a fairly formal tone, in which I use words like "moreover."

However, when you respond in an extremely colloquial manner and make ad hominem attacks against one of the instructors who I supervise, I am not inclined to find your point of view to be especially reasoned or compelling. Furthermore, I am now becoming quite suspicious of your claim that someone such as yourself -- and with scores like yours in a math class -- is an expert on the "right" way to calculate someone's course grade.

I shall be in touch.


S. Rudbeckia Hirta,
Irate Outburst Containment Division,
Math Department