We’re all familiar with the one-sided conversation that happens between professor and student.
(Some) professors have a zero-tolerance policy for late work. Assignments are due when they are due, and not a day later.
If you miss class and cannot be here to complete class work or turn in your homework, they require the signatures of every medical professional that diagnosed your disease – which better be serious.
If you’re sick to the point of essential paralysis or if your car breaks down and strands you on the side of the Western Kentucky Parkway, too bad. Not only can you not turn in your work that was due that day, but you will also lose attendance points.
Granted, that was a little dramatic. However, I’ve heard the following line preached to me at the beginning of almost every class I’ve ever had – no exaggeration.
“Deadlines are deadlines. If you miss one in the real world, you’ll be fired.”
Procrastination Nation – Population: NOT YOU, OR ELSE.
Unfortunately, this one-sided conversation usually ends there.
For the first half of the semester, there’s an assignment here, a quiz there. The occasional test or project pops up, but for the most part it’s smooth sailing.
Then, right around this time every year, I start realizing that more than half of those assignments, quizzes, tests and projects haven’t been looked at, let alone graded. I don’t actually know how I’m doing in my classes or what I need to be doing to improve.
Right around this time every year, the number of ungraded assignments increases about as much as the number of last minute final projects and papers.
Last week I had to write about 20 pages of grade-making or breaking content, all due the same week for different classes.
Off the top of my head, I know I have two more papers, two more presentations and quite a few final exams coming up.
Having a relaxed semester is all fun and games until key pieces of the curriculum haven’t been met by the end of the semester and everything important is crammed into a few short weeks.
But deadlines are deadlines, right?
Why are students held to this rule if professors can get away with not grading things for months and not getting assignments to us in a timely, manageable fashion?
I have expressed my concerns about this in email after email, evaluation after evaluation and mental breakdown after mental breakdown.
But every semester it’s always the same thing: double standards and professors not practicing what they preach.
If you’re a professor of mine and you’re reading this – I don’t mean to offend.
I really, truly appreciate your time, hard work and commitment to my academic success.
The reason I love Murray State so much is because of the relationships I’m able to build with professors who genuinely care about me.
I’m merely a student who can’t imagine how much you’ve got on your plate.
You’re only human – but so are we.
Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor