Thanks for the input concerning the student issue below. I haven't yet replied to her email, but I probably will send a concise statement similiar to what I typed earlier, but I still think it wise to let it sit so that I can be certain of how I want to respond. My husband said I shouldn't respond at all; he says she's just trying to provoke me and hurt my feelings so she doesn't deserve a response. Which may be true, but I feel compelled to acknowledge her comment.
But seriously? I thought about it all day yesterday. Certainly in each semester, when I have somewhenre between 125-150 students, there's bound to be one or two that give me issues and who dislike me; however, I've never had a student accuse me of favoritism. So, this accusation hits a nerve. In part it unnerves me because I do strive so hard to be so objective when grading student work, which is pretty hard when grading writing. But I use a series of rubrics which I created to help make the process of grading their work much more specific, and I think it helps make the grading more objective. Plus, when tallying a student's final grade I stick to my syllabus' guidelines concerning the breakdown of percentages (this particular young woman mostly earned a C because of her excessive absences and some missed work -- she might have done better had she turned everything in and been there everyday).
But it also hits a nerve because, let's face it, I do prefer some students over others. I'm not a robot. And over the course of a semester, sometimes several semesters (I frequently have students take me for more than one class), I develop a certain like or dislike for some students. I try not to let my personal preferences interfere with how I grade a student (in fact, it has pained me to issue poor grades to a few students who I really liked and really wanted to succeed). Yet, her comment made me think that perhaps she was right: did I favor some students and not her? If she'd ben a different student, would I have assessed her work differently?
Concerning her grade, no, I'm no wavering on that. The more I look at her work over the semester (re-consulted my records for her), the more I think she deserved the C. I probably will give her a short reply to her rather venomous email, and, yes, I will remain courteous. But maybe it's a good thing she sent it; maybe I do need to hear her opinion in order to remind myself to strive for fairness when looking at student work.
Anyhoo, after brewing over it for most of the day yesterday (even my very excellent book could only distract me from thinking about it for bits at a time), I really needed my run last night. As I noted yesterday, my legs were still pretty stiff from Saturday's 20, so I decided to turn my planned 5 into 3, and I think that was a good idea. Once out there, the run was a smooth as butta, and halfway through, my legs felt great. It rained yesterday evening, so the air when I went running was cooler, although still very humid, and the run was nothing but pleasant. I didn't take the Garmin, so I just listened to my music and let it determine my pace, which was comfortable. Certainly I could've done 5, but I think the easy 3 was a better way to recover. Today? My legs feel great. So, I cross train today and then add some distance to tomorrow's mid-week run.