Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Himself teaches college chemistry and is home on the Winter semester break. (Actually, he's starting a sabbatical, but that's another story). I was watching him reading his mail and shaking his head. Mail from his students some of them questioning why they got a poor grade and wanting to drop his class. He read me some of their excuses. Some are amusing. Most are lame. The school gives the students the opportunity to drop the class up to a week before the final. Himself clearly lays out his grading how to in the syllabus. Coming to lecture does not guarantee a passing grade. Tests, homework assignments, and labs all count to the final grade as does the final exam. Himself offers office hours each day where he's available for help.

I'm getting old because when he told me all these things my first thought was, When I was in college, we only had a two week period to drop a class. We couldn't wait until the class was nearly finished to decide we didn't like it, or it interferred with the whist tournament. If you missed the drop period, tough.

Most of the comments the students listed were variations of the course was too hard. (Mind you, many of these students are planning on going to pharmacy school or nursing school so the chemistry classes are a requirement)

"You need to add something to your syllabus," I told him.

"What's that?"

"Chemistry is hard. It's rocket science!"


  1. Amazing how, as lax as you can be with some people, they still want more! Himself must be a patient man, because that'd drive me nuts :D

  2. A week before the final and you can still drop the class? YIKES! DOUBLE YIKES!!!!

    We had the two week add/drop period too.

  3. Welcome to the world of helicopter parents who have taught them to make excuses and bail when something gets hard rather then deal with the realities of the world. My daily life as well... HOWEVER, at our school, if they drop after two weeks, they take an F.