If I Ever Teach College Students…

… My own version of this would likely be the first handout. And then I imagine that my second class would have half the students of the first. Which would be fine.

The only thing I would add to it would be the notation that should a parent call or e-mail me to complain that I’m being unfair to their darling child, my response will be to knock a half-grade off the student’s overall grade. Because if I’m going to be labeled as unfair, I might as well live up to the title.

But I don’t imagine anyone would let me near a college classroom, since publishing eight books in six years and working as a full-time writer for fifteen is not nearly the equivalent of an MFA. Ah, well.

48 Comments on “If I Ever Teach College Students…”

  1. I went through the graduate business program at USC. The link pretty well sums up the professors’ collective attitude. Add in a blurb about “if you can’t handle this, how are you going to run a profitable business in the real world?”, and you have it.

    Oh yeah, the administration imposed a forced curve to ensure the average grade for every class was not above a B-. I never imagined working so hard for a 3.0.

    I learned far more there in 2 years than I did in 4 at a Liberal Arts college.

  2. I used to use a similar handout years ago. It also included the basic rules for my classes, which were that I expected students to actually attend my classes (because if I had to drag my butt out of bed for an 8 a.m. class, there damn well was going to be someone there for me to teach) and that I never accepted late work unless someone, preferably the student in question, had died. I generally had 150 papers a week to grade. I wasn’t about to track down strays. Just those two rules generally lowered my class sizes.

    John, I think I’ve mentioned before that if you want a college-level teaching job, there’s one out there for you. MFA not always required. Honest.

  3. From what I’ve seen of your writing, both here and in your novels, you both know how to write and what important writing skills are, and you can communicate that knowledge with humor, succinctness, and relevance. You’d probably make a great college prof.

    As far as that lovely list of rules, I say great. If expectations are not maintained at a high level, great results will not happen. Far too many kids enter college thinking that the world owes them something, when in fact it’s the other way around.

  4. The one thing he missed was the “Death of Grandmother” phenomenon. Grandmothers die by droves during midterm exams. Grandparents everywhere must fear the start of term.

    My wife teaches major and non-major biology. I think her score is 3 Grandmothers, 1 Grandfather, and 2 pets on a single exam.

  5. Wow. That is awesome.

    As an undergrad I would have thought the teacher an assh*le for that handout. As an adult and a teacher, I totally respect it! I wonder if I can hand it out or something like it before my yoga classes.

    John, if you did go into teaching, I’d definitely go back to school. Maybe even in Ohia.

  6. I was never a professor, but I spent years of my career working at two major universities as a researcher and worked with professors on the classes that they taught.

    I was amazed at the crap students tried to pull. Since I was a blind/hearing impaired student in college, I always had to negotiate with professors. But it was just that, negotiations. Let’s decide the fairest way to accommodate me so that I learn the most and perform to the best of my abilities without giving me an unfair advantage. Other kids…they just WHINED.

    But something that happened when I was working that I never, ever saw as a student was this concept of helicopter parenting. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_parent). Parents came in and whined for their children by proxy. I mean, wouldn’t you have just died twice if your mom ever set foot inside your college professor’s office? These parents would whine and cry about their babies’ grades and say things that would have horrified me if I’d caught my mom saying anything like that past the second grade. “My child had constipation last night.” “My child just broke up with her boyfriend and can’t take the final.” “My child just struggles so much with anxiety when she has to take exams that I can hardly console her, can’t you let her out of it?” Horrifying!

    I hope these students know that the professors are all making fun of them with the graduate assistants and even the clerical and maintenance staff. It doesn’t make for glowing letters of reccommendation.

  7. At a party I was talking with a nurse supervisor at a local hospital. They’re the place that a local private college would take any emergencies. They had to have training so their emergency staff would be able to handle students and the fact that when they started asking questions about those patients that the patient may hand them a cell-phone that had a parent on the other end. The parent would answer the questions, including the question, “where does it hurt.”

    I think my comment was something along the lines about the hospital’s mortality rate going up.

  8. My wife and I were just discussing the generational differences in parenting the other night. Xers had parents that were too busy and self-absorbed, so when they had kids, their parenting style can best be described as omnipresent. It’s the bane of this most recent generation that they were overscheduled and overparented, and it’s led to a bit of overcompensation for the wild and wooley days of our own youth.

    One thing I didn’t see on the list (understandably) is the professor’s take on the common lament: “I paid $128 for this book, and we only read three chapters!” What’s your take on that, John?

  9. Jas, personally, I solved the book problem by not buying the really expensive books. But I don’t recommend that particular solution to others.

    Re: hovering parents — I think they’ve always been around although they may be more common now. I think eventually there will be some pushback from schools; indeed, I think that’s already happening.

  10. About books:

    Some textbook publishers are starting to offer books online. For example, my roommate has to take a Chemistry class. The book, being a new edition, costs $150. You only use a quarter of the book in the first class. But you can go to the publisher’s website and buy individual chapters for $4.50. I don’t like some of the restrictions they place on it (you only have access for 180 days, you are only allowed to print once), though I understand them. But this is a much better way to do things. Plus, more money to be spent on beer.

  11. That article is quite amusing, but this article on memorization, also on that site, is something I wish I’d read in high school or college.

    As far as hovering parents go, whenever we get calls from them regarding any email/network/other issues, we explain that FERPA prohibits us from discussing those matters with anyone but the student with the student’s written consent.

    College students are legally adults. They deserve the opportunity to be treated as such.

  12. That’s just great. And I’m pleased to see that the author teaches in the same university system as me! This is my first year, so I’ll wait another year before posting those rules on my office door…


  13. Most of that is perfectly sensible, but I would disagree with the credit-hour correspondence. A credit is generally defined as one hour in class and two hours outside of class, but this is almost never the case. Program structures have changed slowly over the years, and in that process the correspondence has been lost. Now, for some majors, you are expected to take an average of 19 credits per term in order to graduate in four years. The only reason this is possible is that the workload per credit has decreased. Can you imagine working 57 hours a week? And in such a major, where most students are taking at least 18 credits and some are up around 24, it would be utterly inane for a professor to expect the antiquated definition of credit to apply. That would be like expecting a hundred dollars to buy you what it could in the 19th century. Inflation occurs, and people (professors included) have to accept it.

    That said, I mourn the devaluation of grades; I think it’s sad that some skills are seen as a lucky coincidence by those people who haven’t developed their own; and I have little sympathy for people who try to do more work than they actually can, over and over again. College is a place to learn how to interact with the world, and you don’t just complain about the real world: You deal with it.

  14. Journalism 1 at my college was (and probably still is) taught in the largest room on campus. It had 147 seats.

    First day of class was always SRO. Then the rules were read. Work is due at 0900, late work is worth zero points. Papers are graded down from 100, and no graded work gets less than 50. Assignments are due every other class session, on average. A listing of the various ways in which a paper would lose points (including a few which cost 50 points, right out the gate).

    Anyone who was there could add, but no adds would be accepted after the first class meeting.

    The second class meeting always had enough room for everyone to sit. By the end of the term everyone could fit in the first three rows, and half of them were failing.

    But no one could say they’d not been warned.

    About the credit hour thing.

    Maia (my better half) just graduated from a program that is now taking more than five years, on average. She had to cram a couple of 18 unit quarters in at the end (though to be fair, that was because her graduate program told her she needed an extra couple of classes).

    With a 15 credit load she was struggling to keep up with the work, and that without needing to work. I understand that the school she was in (ag, large animal science) isn’t as brutal as the architecture school, though I have my doubts about the engineering depts, based on the students we had over for weekly dinners (as well as our housemate).

  15. I’ve taught genetics to undergraduates for a number of years now, and have probably heard all of those excuses at least two, if not a dozen, times, and given out similar comments in response.

    Just last semester I had a student that failed three of the four exams, never came to see me for the whole semester despite being asked to do so, and then demanded that I add enough points to his grade to bring it up to a passing score so that he could graduate on time…

  16. I have been to this guy’s website and it is quite entertaining. The problem with his list is that it would be quite a good list if the professor was a good teacher. If he wasn’t a good teacher, this list would turn a bad teacher into a bad teacher who was a major league a**hole.

    The one quibble that I have is his whole take on real life vs. exams. The traditional closed-book, sit down exam is a completely unreal thing.

    Real life isn’t like an exam; typically when I have a work-related project, if I have a question, I can ask a colleague for advise. In certain situations, it is expected. If I have to look in a book to solve my problem, I am allowed to do so. In a closed book exam, all of these things are called cheating.

    I have always found it a tad precious on the part of academics when they pontificate on the requirements of real life when their only experience with real life is the ivory tower.

    I had an experience with a professor after being called to the bar. By this point in time I had been practicing law for about five years and was taking a survey course on early modern european history. The first test happened and the professor handed it back and talked about the marks. I guess the marks weren’t as good as he thought they should be and he proceeded to lecture us on the requirements of the “Real world” and writing.

    The lecture was fair enough but one thing sort of stuck in my brain. I had done reasonably well (an A-) but I noticed that the marker seemed to want a mind numbing amount of irrelevant detail.

    During the course of the lecture on “the real world and writing” the professor mentioned that lawyers have to know how to write well too. I thought to myself that if I were to put forward an argument before a judge that had the level of detail that this professor wanted, I would have gotten a “I get your point, move on cousel” from the judge.


  17. I graded and proctored for several classes while I was in grad school. One of my favorite memories was a class where the prof handed out a homework expectations sheet on day one, that included the requirement for page numbers in the format “1/5” on every sheet. And, as it was group work, every group member had to sign the front statement that they finalized as a team.

    Never happened. Week after week I took off a linearly increasing amount of points for these items – by the end of the semester I was hitting 50% and they still could not remember to either number their pages, get that numbering correct, or have everyone sign the front page that it was their work. No mercy.

    On two occasions I was told to cut a group some slack after the fact if they brought me back their papers, because the group in question had all dropped the class except for one guy. I was prepared to do so, but no one ever showed up – my lab space was across campus on the top floor of a 10 story building, apparently it wasn’t worth the trip.

  18. Chris Writes,

    And in such a major, where most students are taking at least 18 credits and some are up around 24[…]

    There’s a word for that: dumb. Either on the students’ part for overloading themselves or departments’ for designing a stupid major. It’s probably a little of column A and a little of column B. From personal experience, wouldn’t believe the number of people I’ve met over the years (especially as a TA) who seem to relish the fact that they’re taking an absurd number of units as if it’s some sort of competition. Pulling all nighters was like some sort of badge of honor or something. I never really got that. Things got much better for me when I figured out that 12/qtr (quarter units and semester units being slightly different) was the most I could do. It took an extra year but “thems the breaks.”

  19. I could get you a job teaching in a Boston high school (albeit a private school, and the kids would be there through some sort of SPED or anti-violence program) just by snapping my fingers.

    Any boss would jump at the chance to get a guy with your resume, especially if he wanted to be there. It’s easy to get someone certified as a teacher… it’s hard to get someone who makes real money somewhere else to come in and teach thugs.

    I worked once with an old guy who had no certification. He was getting it a class at a time, nights. He took over my History classes when I “got into counseling.”

    He was a millionaire who had travelled the world, fought in wars, etc… he’d just sit the kids down and tell them stories. They ate it up. He would have never been let near a public school, but he was absolutely superb at his job.

    He died one summer, and his funeral was the only place I ever saw Antoine and some of the other students wearing suits… and this includes their own graduations.

    You’d be out of luck in public schools, though. They’d make you go back to college and get an English degree and go through a lengthy and often-futile teacher certification process…. where you’d be groomed by people who Mencken called “those that can’t.”

  20. I’ve given some thought to teaching at my high school, which is private, if for no other reason than that tuition is free for teachers’ kids, which is nice since the school costs $37k to go to.

  21. Though, in fairness to the system and with my stated feelings that I’d hire you in a second kept in mind… techically, MC Ren has worked as a full-time writer for 15 years, too.

    Make him the English teacher, and you have a Gettysburg Address that has the word “bitch” in it.

    Public Education is very much of the assumption that there is a grey area there, and they swab over it with a dollop of black by making schools adhere to a firm-yet-occasionally-harmful guideline of Teacher Certification requirements.

    You can sneak around it in the private schools and some SPED programs, though. My last school could let a crackhead teach English as long as they had 50% of their other teachers SPED certified., and as long as they had advertised unsuccessfully for a more qualified candidate.

    If you ever come down to it, let me know if you want the job. Oh…has anyone ever come at you with a knife before?

  22. Actually… I’ve heard your voice, and it probably wouldn’t work out for you.

    My voice is way, way less authoritative than yours, but I can always sit on the desk in a skirt. You’d get stomped in less than an hour.

    It might work in a small-town school, though. While it’s not my own particular problem, I know that no one in Ohio would hire anyone with the Boston accents I’m used to after a few ears teaching in Charlestown.

  23. andrew: “I have always found it a tad precious on the part of academics when they pontificate on the requirements of real life when their only experience with real life is the ivory tower.”

    I hear that a lot, and it doesn’t make sense to me. I know a few academics, their lives seem quite real to me. They have kids, and illnesses, and they worry about money.

    They have tenure, too — but tenure only guarantees you’ll have the same job forever. It doesn’t do you a bit of good if you’re ambitious, which the academics I know are. If you’re ambitious, the academic life is highly competitive.

    People who’ve chosen careers in academia work hard, for middlin’ reward. They have the same real-world economic, social, and health concerns as we do. And they’re widely sneered at in the general society. Sounds plenty real to me.

  24. In my college days, this would have gotten from me a mild “Ah?” It could easily come across as defensive and condescending, and works best as humor if you’re willing to cut out sympathy with those people, the slacker students. As andrew says, it could very well indicate a major asshole.

    I remember a similar first-day-of-class lecture at the basic intro-to-business class I sampled. 50 minutes spent preaching “my way or the highway” “do as I say and you’ll live”. In majors more focused on learning rather than fanning ego, you got either “this is the syllabus” (bad) or “this is the syllabus, today we’re starting with blah chunk of learning” (good).

    As a handout, you’d be better served to go for the basic points “no late work accepted” “no excuses for missing tests save death” “graded on a curve, average grade is C”, with perhaps a pointer to the rant on your website if the rant is too dear to leave in your drawer.

  25. I was with him until the memorization part. I’m good at memorization – I read a list of 3500 word definitions the night before the SAT, aced the SAT verbal, and nearly aced the GRE verbal a couple of years later – but it’s so boring I just can’t stand doing it, so I didn’t memorize anything once I got to college. It wasn’t a problem with either of my majors (math and EE); I can see how memorization would be important for majors like biology or geology, but Prof. Dutch seems to claim that memorization is important for creativity in general. But then, it’s a course handout, so maybe he’s only talking about his field.

    I have to agree with Chris on the credit-hour correspondence. The only courses I took that had a 1:2 credit:hour ratio were EE labs, which is why everyone hated EE labs. Otherwise, the ratio was more like 2:1, if not 3:1. I think a EE major required something like 130 credits, so it would have taken six years to graduate with a “full-time” 12 credit/semester course load, and you’d be missing a lot of knowledge that’s pretty fundamental if you only took the required courses.

  26. I’ve been dealing all day with a student who already took my class, but who needs a grade change. He happens to be on the football team, and as we’re “big time,” negotiating the problem with the athletic department has taken up most of my day.

    So if you teach, and I think you’d be fantastic at it, I hope you would go to a lovely, quiet place like Wilmington or something. Or Muskingum; I taught there for four years and it was quite lovely.

    I would love to hand something like this out in class but my teaching technique deals too much with creating early rapport, only to strike down harshly later.

  27. While the number of grandparent deaths reported during exams (and other high-stress periods) greatly exceeds the expected value, I’d just like to point out that at least some of those grandparent deaths are actual deaths.

    As someone whose paternal grandmother passed away during Reading Period, let me tell you, getting a “Yeah, right. Your grandmother. Sure.” response when all you’re looking to do is talk to someone is pretty damn upsetting. (And mind you, I didn’t miss an exam or term paper or ask for a single damn extension.)

    It’s also pretty traumatic when you’re the one who’s being skeptical about a grandparent death that turns out to be geniune. I’ve been there, too.

  28. First despite my comments, I really admire teachers. Most of my teachers from Grade school to Grad school were good teachers and I learned alot from them. It is fair to say that I am the person that I am today partially because alot of teachers had their part in shaping that person. However since I have had over 100 teachers, there have been a few bad ones in that mix.

    I hear what you are saying Mitch, and the funny thing is that the really good ambitious hard working teacher’s never seemed talked about the real world to me. The one teacher that I remember talking about the “real world” gave me an example that I knew to be false. He talked about the kinds of skills that a lawyer would need and I, knowing what it took to be a successful lawyer, knew that he was did not know what he was talking about. (BTW, you can accuse me of drawing an inference from precisely one data point; it is a bad habit I have.)

    To NJ Soldier, I have heard that about open book exams; the amount of knowledge that teachers seemed to expect was alot higher because you had access to the books but little time to read them during an exam.

    I had an advantage however. For some reason, I could look at the index of a textbook and remember alot of what the text said. This was especially so in law school, when I could open to the index of the casebook and know what the facts and ratio of a case was simply by looking at where the case was in the textbook. Made open book texts a breeze for me.

    However, I still thought they were a little artificial. I litigate for a living and nothing in my professional life remotely resembles my law school exams.


  29. G. Jules:

    “I’d just like to point out that at least some of those grandparent deaths are actual deaths.”

    Indeed, my grandfather passed away during my very last finals week. I basically told all my professors that I already had all the credits I needed to graduate, so if they didn’t cut me some slack, I’d just go ahead and fail the class because it really didn’t matter to me. Fortunately, they were all more than understanding.

  30. While the number of grandparent deaths reported during exams (and other high-stress periods) greatly exceeds the expected value, I’d just like to point out that at least some of those grandparent deaths are actual deaths.

    Of course they are; if someone didn’t check to make sure about this, then they weren’t doing their job. I had a similar experience in college–my father had died, I missed 4 days of classes, and asked for a one day extension because I’d literally missed all of the material on the exam being given. The prof in question should have been notified that my absence was legit, but for some reason, he wasn’t. I was furious that he thought I’d make something like that up.

    But as someone who spent 8 years in academia, I can’t tell you how many dead relatives turned out to be miraculously alive when I asked for the student’s home phone number “to express my condolences.” I caught plagiarists every term I taught. No matter how often I said I did not take late work, someone would always try and give it to me, then stand there in disbelief when I refused to take it. Honestly, if half those kids had spent half the amount of time on their work as they did thinking up ways to get out of their work, they’d have been able to finish it easily.

    And Tim in Tampa, I hear you about the football thing. I once had a football coach threaten me if I didn’t change a player’s grade to a passing grade. Amazing.

  31. “The one option that is never on the table in life is to choose a course of action and choose the consequences.”

    Any student who fully assimilates that advice gets his tuition’s worth. Not a bad lesson for world leaders, either.

  32. My reaction is pretty much the same as Madeline F.’s. While I sympathize with having to deal with idiot students, if I’d gotten that handout on my first day of class, it’d go in the trash on my way out the door to Drop/Add.

    Because it’s one thing to have firm rules, to make it clear that you expect the students to follow them, and that you will not accept lame excuses. It’s another to, in essence greet your new students by saying “Hi there. I’m pretty sure that you’re an immature, whiny idiot, and I’m sick of you and your ilk. Since I’m the professor, I’m going to be snotty and condescending, and if you don’t like it, leave.”

    By the way, the prof also doesn’t seem to get that many people don’t disagree in class for the same reason you don’t mouth off to your boss. Some professors enjoy debate and are pleased if a student actually presents a good counter-argument. Others take it as insubordination and grades reflect this accordingly.

  33. One of my favorite memories of my undergrad days was a programming class. (COBOL. Management school. Yes, I’m that old.)

    The professor said at the start of the semester that he believed in the class preparing you for the real world. The good news? No closed-book tests, because employers aren’t going to tell you to put your reference materials away. The bad news? No extensions. If it’s late, too bad. Even if it’s not your fault.

    One night, I finished an assignment (from my room, since I’d invested in a computer and modem), sent the output to the computer center printer, and went to bed. The next morning I stopped by to pick it up on my way to class; when I walked in with it, several people asked me how I’d done it, since the system had been down “all morning”. Simple…I hadn’t waited until the last possible minute!

    As for the dead relatives: I never had any die at inconvenient times, but I did have my father’s Army posting turn into a war zone the day before one of my finals senior year. That was…distracting.

  34. Lovely posting. Classes start Tuesday for me, so this was fun.

    (1) The year I taught at Grand Valley State University, a geology professor presented an analysis which looked at credits attempted, work hours and course grades. The magic number was 30 — more than 30 hours worth of credits plus job work hours and your chances of success in your classes go down. While the 2 hours of study per 1 credit hour can be debated, the 30 hour situation protrayed still is at least the equivalent of a full-time job.

    (2) A true open book exam is a nightmare — if the questions are any good, the book alone isn’t going to help you. (grin) My students are surprised when I tell them I don’t expect them to complete 100% of a Dr. Phil physics exam…

    (3) I assign a science literacy reading assignment which requires students to read a book from my booklist. So-ooo many students write in their papers — these ARE opinion papers, by the way — that they never read books. I also insist on 1″ margins all around — that is the computer literacy component of the course as many students don’t know how to change the margins in Word…

    (4) Normally I link my LiveJournal to my name on comments to Scalzi’s blog, but tonight I link to a PDF of the syllabus to one of my courses. It’s not the longest syllabus I’ve ever handed out, but it is 14 pages long. And it covers some of the ground seen above. (grin)


    Dr. Phil

  35. Andrew,

    I think the artificiality (artificialness? hmm, you get the idea) of open book exams depends on your field. My open book exams were very much like what I now do every day, though mostly there isn’t the same time pressure (there can be, but it’s relatively rare) as the exam. Of course, grad school usually meant take home exams or projects since you can’t do anything that meaningful in an hour or three.

  36. “So-ooo many students write in their papers — these ARE opinion papers, by the way — that they never read books.”

    I have to admit that I rarely read nonfiction books myself–I read them frequently when I was a teenager, but not so much now.

    I suppose part of the reason is that I’ve come to mistrust popular nonfiction. In my own academic specialty of physics, I know that there are some good popularizations (which I respect immensely) and a lot of bad or frustratingly wrong ones, and it’s dismayingly common for people with cranky ideas to put them into popular books as a way of routing around peer review. So I come to think that if I start reading popular nonfiction about some subject I don’t know much about, I’ll probably absorb a lot of crankery without realizing it.

  37. …As for students, when I was a teaching assistant in a physics department, the worst courses to get were always the ones designed for pre-med students. They were there because they had to be there, they were completely uninterested in the subject matter of the course, and they desperately needed good grades. That’s a combination that leads to unbelievable levels of whining and special pleading. I just kept telling myself that there was a fair chance one of these kids would be leaning over me with a scalpel someday.

  38. My science literacy booklist is a mix of fiction and non-fiction for the very reasons mentioned above — some folks never read fiction, some folks never read non-fictions. It’s the ones that don’t read anything that get to me. (grin)

    There’s a lot of pressure to cut down on the departmental copying bill. The text mostly varies between 10 and 12-point, but then the pages are printed as 2-ups, which then makes the text smaller. They are also copied double-sided, so I’m not killing all the trees in North America with each handout.

    For students with visual impairment or simple older students who request it, I’ll either run them off a full-size set, or in one case a few years I reset the whole text in an even larger font.

    Dr. Phil

  39. Heh, I actually did have a grandma up and die just before an exam! Fortunately the funeral wasn’t held on the day of the exam.

  40. Andrew, as a village councilman (I’m from the government and I’m here to help) I can tell you that your “look it up” doesn’t always work. The solicitor who was on duty when I started council was that type. Ask a question during a meeting and get a “I’ll research it and get back to you.” After a week we’d have a letter and an extra bill. He’s no longer our solicitor. He was a damn good lawyer, from what I’m told and we’ve hired him to handle cases, but he won’t be our main solicitor anymore because he couldn’t answer what we felt were basic questions. Our current solicitor occasionally has to research a question, but we get a half answer and an opinion to begin deliberations. For the majority of our questions he knows the answer off the top of his head. He and I don’t always see eye to eye, but for my money, as long as he wants the job he has my vote.

    G. Jules, my wife has a policy of no exam retakes. When a student comes in and says the line, “My grandmother has died and her funeral is on the exam date,” her response is if they bring in the obituary or funeral card, she will double the score of their next exam. Most can’t bring in either. When they are able to she’s very helpful and understanding.

  41. Steve Bucheit,

    You have touched a nerve with your story.

    I personally believe that lawyers who have to look everything up before they give you an answer and then bill you for their ignorance are an embarassment to the profession. They are akin to auto mechanics who always find $300 – $500 worth of repairs to do on your car when you bring it in for routine service.

    There are reasons that a senior solicitor can charge more than a junior solicitor. They have more valuable knowledge in their heads and you get to access that; while they charge more per hour, on a per case basis it is cheaper because they tend to know the answer. Senior solicitors who always have to “look stuff up” are either timid, stupid or unethical. You probably should stay away from those guys.


  42. Truth be told in my career as a student I have had all these thing happen to me on exam days:

    Exams on Good Friday despite it being prohibited by state law.

    I’ve been victim to a home invasion.

    Either work or lose my housing.


    Car accident.


    Bitten by a spider and ended up with blood poisoning.

    Food poisoning from the school cafeteria.

    Non-stop diarrhea.

    Military deployments.

    Side effects from vaccines while in the service that a normal person would consider kind of bad.



    Couldn’t pay the tuition. Forced to drop out.

    Too cold. And I mean 20 below is too cold to walk a mile to an exam where the professor isn’t even there.

    Wrong Room Postings.

    Throwing up constantly.

    Exams scheduled on Christmas Eve.

    Incoherently written exams by professors who should be in a care facility.

    Professors just randomly never show up while everybody was there only to find out they went to Israel.

    Professors who don’t speak English. Seriously you should go to the electrical engineering dept.

    Classes where it was considered cheating to have study groups. Yes they wanted individual study. That’s right. No group study allowed. And they even threatened to find out through various methods.

    Told that there will be an exam on a certain book we harped on for weeks and say it ends up being on an exam covering mostly a book that the professor never put on the syllabus but just half-heartedly mentioned.

    Exams where only 1 student out of say 30 has passed and that was with a C. No grade scaling there. But hey the honor society begins at 2.7

    I really could go on. But I generally had found that state colleges don’t support students in the slightest. It really is sink or swim survival of the fittest Darwinian notions that prevail.

    I have graduated.

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