Have I told you about the student who has been to two out of 9 classes and every time she emails me the subject of her email is "Hey"? Then she proceeds to write me an email full of ridiculous excuses as to why she has not been to class - an email with no greeting, or closing. Here is an example pasted here exactly as it was sent (no editing):
Hey I missed class today b/c I had to meet with the counselor at 2:00 and it took longer then expected. Let me know if you received both responses sorry for all he confusion with the emails. PLease let me know what I missed in class.....I repeatedly get students handing things in late with any excuse tagged along with it. "I didn't get the email until today" "I was out of town and just got back" "I had the flu that is going around"
I finally had to send an email to all my students restating my course policies - no late papers, only 2 unexcused absences, excused absences need to be accompanied by a note from doc or other authority...
and my newest course policy (something I have been wanting to do for years but finally got up the nerve to do it) -- NO LAPTOPS in class.
Thanks to beauty of wireless internet - students sit in my classroom instant messaging each other, shopping for music, and sending emails! Not anymore. I explained that if you want to digitize your notes - you will need to type them up at home.
The attitude with the majority of my students is that they already seem to know everything that they need to know and if I am lucky they might listen or learn something that I am teaching them but only if I put on a good enough performance to prove that this material is worth knowing. Nobody comes to college to actually learn, and no matter how hard they work they always deserve an 'A' - even if they didn't do anything!
Anyhow, it is very difficult for me to relate to students to seem to have no capacity to think outside of themselves. Beyond grades, partying, and sex, there is no room in their world view for history or social concerns.
We still have more than half of the semester to go so I hope that they prove me wrong, though I am not optimistic.