Monday, November 26, 2007

Musings during an exam

One of my students is wearing an Arizona State sweatshirt. I was very confused about my location for awhile.

So often we complain about "kids these days", but I've found that their parents are equally, if not more, irresponsible. For example, I have a student missing the quiz today because her parents decided to surprise her with a trip for her birthday. I've had parents phone their students during class and, in one case, I actually grabbed the phone and scolded the mother (a repeat offender who was afraid her daughter was lying about her whereabouts). In one instance of a power struggle during a divorce, I've had a father hide a daughter's shoes and car keys in an attempt to keep her at home. (She showed up to class in slippers.) I also had to write letters to her father stating that she had to be in class on particular dates when he wanted her to go on family trips. Parents regularly schedule flights home for break as early as possible (gotta get the good rates!), and pay no attention to students' final exam schedules. If you think the students are pulling scams, I've seen them in tears in my office because their profs won't reschedule exams and their parents don't want to eat the fees from the airlines. So for all my friends with kids, remember that responsibility does begin at home and that you want your kids to become independent adults with their own lives, even if you're still helping them pay for school. And paying for their schooling does not give you control over their lives or their professors.

The student I made the deal with remembered to bring a scantron and a pencil today. Unfortunately it looks like he forgot to study. However, chocolate chip cookies for everyone during the final quiz!


Pat. said...

In Japan, parents actually pray to the gods for their children to get good grades on exams!

A ha. So your students got to eat the cookies intended for your parents-in-law!

Judy said...

I totally agree, it happens here too. I tell kids to talk to their parents and tell them they really should be here for the last day before break. I also usually schedule something fun & educational for those days to entice the kids and usually the parents cooperate, but there are always a few.

Jackie M. said...