Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Administrative Nonsense Continues Through Add-Drop

  1. Today I dropped nine students from calculus because they haven't gotten in touch with me about their prereqs. I sent an awful lot of emails about how if you didn't get things right with me by 4pm on Tuesday, I was going to drop you. And I did. The end of add-drop is Friday.

  2. One of the students I didn't drop is from China. It's pretty clear that Dent Stu has taken math classes, but I'm not really sure what's in them. Normally, I'd quiz the student on some problems, but my class schedule and Stu's class schedule are completely incompatible. So we're trying to hash this out via email. In English. Gee, I wonder if there isn't an easier way to do this. Do you think that maybe there is someone who might be familiar with Chinese language, culture, and education and also with the courses taught in the math department?

  3. This is the seventh calendar day of the semester, and you can change your schedule until the tenth. Today a student came to my office, sent by the registrar's office. The student had failed Math for Graduating three times, and has come up against our three-strikes rule and decided to finally do something about it today. Instead of, oh, in December. Once you fail a class three times, you can't take it again without permission of the department; I'm in charge of granting permission for Math for Graduating. I've started asking the three strikes students to write a 300-word essay about what has changed since they last attempted the course that makes them believe that they are going to pass it this time. This student has plans to graduate in May 2010 and stands in my office and tells me about them, insisting that this time will be different. Unmoved, I still demand the 300-word essay. Written. This student must have failed Math for Graduating three times because a D-is-for-diploma is good enough in Math for Graduating. Even a D- counts. No essay has reached my inbox yet.

  4. Today I was reviewing the academic records of a transfer student with some placement issues, and I noticed that he had credits from SCCC. So when I call him on the phone to discuss his math options, I ask him where he's from. He went to Shaker High School!. I let him know that I am from Niskayuna. I refrained from mocking the local response to snow or commenting that the local public schools close as often as Ichabod Crane.