Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just Don't Get It

So I don't get it. Here is the story and please tell me what you think. Last year there was a student in my class. This post on generation me was pretty much dedicated to her. I never actually wrote an entire post on her because I was really tired of dealing with her issues in real life, and I had no energy to reinvent them here on the blog. Let me sum up her record in my class last year.

1. attended 9 out something like 20 classes - typical excuse would be something like this:
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.....
2. turned in half of the work.
3. finally... plagiarized on her final paper - after I warned her about it!

So all in all this nightmare of a student (to be polite) was shocked to find out that she would fail the class (despite all the warnings I gave her over the semester) and could not understand how plagiarizing from an review is not only pathetic but completely unethical and against the rules. She came to my office crying—this was supposedly during her Grandmother's funeral which became non-existent after the words "You are getting a failing grade" appeared before her eyes. I guess Grandma was able to rise from the dead. Anyhow, after dealing with nice polite old me— I was kind, I said, "look, it is simply the numbers —they don't add up" and after being accused of taking my personal feelings out on her I calmly replied, "This is not personal in any way, I only need to grade you with the same criteria that I grade all the other students in the class,"— she had her taste for real "meanies" when she cried to my boss - the Chair of the department. She ran to me saying, "He was soooo mean." Yeah, welcome to the real world honey. I put on a professional face even though deep down inside, I loathed the self-absorbed brat. I was tired of being called "Hey you" in her emails, and feeling the disrespect that it must have taken for her to lie to me over and over again. In all honesty I felt satisfied failing her. I was glad that she messed up. But if she hadn't, I would have also passed her without any hesitation.

Ok. Did I mention that she got a hold of my cell phone number and called me about 5 times in one day? After all of this was over with I was relieved that she quietly disappeared. I thought her name was one that I would never see again.

So then you might guess my surprise when I received an email this week asking me to be a "connection" on the networking site "LinkedIn." LinkedIN? Connection? what? Why would she want me there as a connection. Now in case you are unfamiliar with this site. It is not unlike Facebook, MySpace or Friendster, only that it is supposed to be for professional networking. Your connections are supposed to be references - people who have your back in the business world.

Has she forgotten the fact that I failed her last year? That I caught her plagiarizing? Lying to an authority figure?

After thinking about this for awhile I realize that this is so typical with the way she behaved the entire time that I had her as a student. She acted as if we were equals, that I was someone that she could negotiate with, and that ultimately I had no power over her. When I failed her I felt good because I was able to prove that she had made a big mistake with this assumption. Now, she is probably trying again to show me that we are equals, that I didn't shake her, and we can be buddies online.

Ok. Fine. Yes. We can be online buddies. But if anyone contacts me for a reference I will not hesitate to tell the truth.

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