Coincidentally, a friend in a different university and state found herself in a similar situation as I: student didn’t take final/do final paper.
While I have personally never been in this situation, from the student side, here’s what we both felt would’ve made these situations a lot better.
- Inform the grader/professor/TA immediately. It sounds very simple, but for my situation, the student never told me that s/he was turning in work late or at all. Numerous contact had to be made. I consider this to be very, very lenient and bending over backwards. If you have a good reason or even no reason, you need to communicate it, especially if you are trying to gain permission to turn in your work late during finals. No one is psychic or if they are, they are not in the majority. Communicating this shows maturity, respect, and some responsibility. Everyone screws up sometime or another, but it’s often what you when you mess up that makes a huge difference.
- Be apologetic and own your mistake. In both my friend’s and my situation, the students were well-informed of the papers being due or the date/time/location of the final. While not this time around, I have had students in the past be belligerent about things, blame trivial things, or act apathetic when they’ve messed up. Besides my personal belief that being disrespectful, rude, and mean doesn’t get you far in life, if you did screw up, you aren’t exactly in a position to argue. People are understanding if you have extenuating circumstances, of course (family/personal issues) and giving those is not whiny or blaming trivial things. Blaming the fact you have finals is quite whiny (and is also something you can plan around/on).
- Be prepared for whatever the decision is and unless it’s completely insane, accept it. I allowed the student to turn in the work, with a fairly steep penalty. The points s/he received did very much help the grade, though, but I couldn’t in good conscious treat the work as though it was submitted on time with everyone else’s; it wouldn’t have been fair to the other students who did things when they were supposed to. I think my friend did the same. There hasn’t been enough time pass to ensure that the students accept our decisions, but I’m hoping they don’t fight it. Besides the fact the student is in the wrong, the person grading isn’t obligated to help out.
- Meet the deadlines set if you’re given a second chance. In other words, be reasonable and don’t screw up again. For my situation, the student kept saying s/he would turn in the work at x date and then it showed up a week later. It’s really disrespectful to my time and makes you look irresponsible and inconsiderate.
- Thank the person who cut a break for you. I wasn’t thanked, and it would’ve been nice. Because it’s finals/end of the year, I set aside specific time to grade to ensure that happened and because I had things in my own life to get accomplished afterwards. If you have graded work, one develops a rhythm so grading 20 papers/exams/assignments in a row is faster than grading a few here and there with random amounts of time that passes. I not only had to find time to grade, but I also had to re-familiarize myself with whatever I was grading.
Hopefully, you never find yourself in this situation. I feel rather sour about it from my end, and I hope that the student learned something from this. From personal experience, things (grants, for instance) have due dates and if you don’t get them in on time, tough luck. I even had a professor in my master’s program whose attitude towards late work was “there is no late grades.” That is, your work is in or it’s not. You get 0 if it isn’t in. It is ALWAYS a gamble to do things late, even a day late. Just try not to do it, and if you do, please be polite and understanding.
After the Boston marathon bombing, the lockdown, and the subsequent capture of one of the suspects, it obviously hasn’t been easy being a Bostonian. I don’t know anyone who was directly affected by what has happened, but it was a turbulent week. While this past week has been pretty uneventful on a personal level and it feels somewhat back to the same ol’ stuff, many folks I know are still struggling with what has happened.
Some of them are my undergrads. Two of them (and this is in a small class of about 12 people) have emailed me looking for extensions and briefly discussing how the marathon tragedy has affected them. One of them emailed me again, discussing more in detail how s/he has been bothered by this. They’re young (I think first year students). Although it isn’t easy to make sense of it and continue on as an adult, I don’t know how I would’ve handled things as a seventeen/eighteen/nineteen year old.
The only thing I could offer was, besides an ear to listen (or rather, eyes to read), was suggesting that the student should consider taking advantage of the free therapy or the trauma/crisis counseling that the city/school has been offering (therapy is always offered). I did this because I realized that I’m not qualified to help the student and because, regardless of how I feel, therapy is still rather stigmatized among people, even young people.
I hope anyone out there gets the help they need, regardless of the reason, and people recognize that sometimes it’s better to directed to professionals.
For those concerned, I am fine as are the people I know and love in Boston. A few friends and I did watch the marathon today, but we thankfully were not terribly close to the area where the explosion occurred and none of us live in the affected area.
To whomever reads this, I hope you and your loved ones are well.
The last few weeks of my life have been filled with caring for one of my cats. She has renal failure and a heart disease, which means a lot of giving meds. She is doing well, but it’s one of those thing where we have to wait and see.
Luckily, this hasn’t impacted my work, but it has left me tired.
I’ve been thinking about how I costume myself for dance. Shadia of Boston has made two custom-made costumes for me. Part of the process has been costuming in a way that doesn’t look bad with my large waist wrapping tattoo. I personally don’t want to wear a strap that goes around the tattoo, because I don’t like how the strap crosses the tattoo. I’ve known dancers who try to make sure their costumes look good with the colors of their tattoos. My tattoo is a turquoise-blue shade and black, so it’s easy enough to find costumes that don’t clash.
Does anyone else costume around their tattoos?
Last night, someone broke into my apartment and stole my laptop. I luckily wasn’t home and none of my cats went missing as a result. I also am lucky to have renters insurance which will help defray the cost of the laptop. In all honesty, there isn’t much that I could’ve done differently to have prevented this; whoever broke in was pretty aggressive in the break-in.
With that said, here’s what you can learn from this besides call the police ASAP and the many, many tips listed online:
- Backup your work regularly. I do, but I’m still losing a few days’ worth of things. I cloud a lot of things via Dropbox as well, which helps.
- Consider locking your portables down. I do have a lock for my computer, ironically, but I never have used it at home. I will now. It isn’t total security, of course, but some of the items they didn’t steal that are worth something I imagine were just an inconvenience (my desktop, for instance).
- Get renters insurance. While that doesn’t recover data, purchasing a new laptop is much cheaper now as a result. The deductible isn’t low ($500), but a new version of my computer is $1900.
- Get a lock box that’s ridiculously heavy. I have one, for research purposes as well as to keep my passport, but I also am going to use it to store other valuable items.
- Be a good neighbor. I think this largely could’ve been prevented if people in my neighborhood were more invested in this neighborhood. It appears that the burglars had made at least 2 different attempts to enter my apartment and this was in plain view of the street. I have neighbors above and neighbors across. Whenever the burglar(s) broke in, it wasn’t that late only early to mid-evening, and plenty of folks get home in that time frame. I’ve never broken into an apartment or attempted to do so, but this suggests to me that it wasn’t that fast. Had somebody noticed and called the police, I may still have my laptop and maybe a better sense of security.
While I obviously have a lot to be thankful for, the whole experience is very raw and troubling. I don’t live in a high crime area, I am pretty cautious about my things and myself, so I don’t really know what else to do.
The woeful negligence of this blog has partially been me over-committing myself this school year, as well as making good progress on my research project. The thing with research is it has its highs and lows for a million reasons. The plus side of being on the “high” side is I’m making progress. The down side is time is aticking away and a precious commodity.
Speaking of time, I realized today that I filed for FAFSA for the last time ever. That was shocking. Technically, I could be one of those people with multiple doctorates or get another master’s, but I think I will be one of those people. I enjoy parts of school and I’ve done well, but I can’t see myself being a career student. In any case, I started realizing how soon an era is going to end. Not only being a student and having scholarship money available to fund my studies, but it also coincides with the last year of 20s; if all goes to plan, I’ll be 29 when I finish school. Even though it’s only a number and I probably won’t feel much different at 30 than 29, I noticed it is symbolic to many people and probably some of that will rub off. Regardless of age, lots of changes in store in the next year or so.
My S3 arrived back last week, and while I missed it, I was surprised in the ways in which I did not. I text for work, I keep my calendar on my phone, use Evernote for my grocery lists and meeting notes, and like browsing stories online. However, as cumbersome as it was to be on a more vintage cell phone (sending a text was hilarious), I realized it was ultimately a convenience and no, the world, didn’t implode because I couldn’t do things as I had used to. However, it is an awesome convenience and to be fair, I didn’t need to use maps or access email on my phone during that period.
My friend Andalee of NC has launched Belly Dance at Any Size within the past day or so. I’ve watched her thoughtfully develop this project and am so excited for its launch.
The idea is belly dance can be for anyone, regardless of size. And I support that idea entirely. Andalee has developed the idea beyond simply saying acceptance and is promoting a real discussion about these issues. Check it out!
My Galaxy S3 died very, very suddenly and without warning on Friday. A visit to T-mobile and my own attempts at resuscitation were fruitless. I am on a very old flip phone until the repair center sends a new phone to me. One of the downsides of having a popular phone that was fairly recently released means they don’t know when they’ll have more of my phone in stock.
While the world doesn’t end because I don’t have a smart phone, I realized how much I used the phone. Obviously, I have social reasons to use my phone but my professional life is entangled in my phone. Phone numbers, work texts, notes from meetings, Google maps (I visit different schools and am hosting several events for the APIASF around Boston). Some of those things I can work around, albeit with less ease, such as the maps. However, communication is a bit trickier.
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting my phone back.