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Monday, September 03, 2007

My Day of Non-Labor: A Summary

I am still sore today from Saturday's 20 miler. But I have mostly been sitting around or laying around reading, so I think my legs will be rested enough for a recovery run later this evening. I would like to do 5 miles, but we'll see what the legs feel like when I get out there; it might be a 3 miler.

My left foot swelled up yesterday afternoon and evening, and it's a bit of a mystery as to why. At the concert on Saturday, I did get bit by some fire ants, but I wouldn't think that'd be enough to make my whole foot swell. But last night, I just went to bed with it swollen and when I woke up today and it was still swollen, I decided to take an anti-histamine. That helped. Swelling went down, but now I have the side effects of the anti-histamine thrumming through my veins.

A student I had this summer was displeased with her final grade. She got a C and she felt she deserved a B, and ever since the summer semester ended, she's been sending me emails asking for explanations for her grade, yet she hasn't wanted to come in and talk to me about it in person or pick up her final two essays. I hadn't heard anything more from her in about two weeks, and then I got an email from her this morning saying she thought I was an unfair grader and that I showed favoritism toward some students in my grading. This bothers me. I really strive to be as fair as possible in my grading, and I do think her work was C work. Part of me would like to snarkily reply to her email quipping something mean about how her writing in her email demonstrated her C level writing skills (she didn't capitalize "I" and she spelled "showed" as "should"), but I know that is inappropriate. I wonder if I should respond to her at all? If I do, I would merely say "sorry you feel that way; I strive to always be fair when grading student work; I appreciate your opinion and will keep it in mind in future courses" but I am not sure I even want to respond. Best to let it sit for a day or two before I decide.

The 3rd book in my vampire series is very good. I doubt I'll finish it today, but it's hard to take a break from it -- the story is really intense.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the day off today -- it's glorious, isn't it?


ws said...

I wish everyday could be a three day weekend - a seven day weekend would be positively awesome...for me, tomorrow's run will be a recovery one as well. Deciding that beforehand is good for me.

I never understood classmates that argued about grades in subjective courses, like English, History, Poli Sci, etc. I often wondered if the next step would be to send their parents into the profs office. I, too, would want to respond with sarcasm, but unfortunately the delivery of sarcasm is sometimes more important than the words and that can't be expressed in an email.

I always get a little nervous leaving comments for you, like you'll tell your husband about my bad grammar. However, I've been having an email exchange with a very intelligent client recently and your recent posts about word usage, pronunciation, etc have been stuck in my mind.

Sorry for the long comment. Good thing I work normally and don't have time to type as much!

Anonymous said...

That's one thing I'm always anal about... sending e-mails to professionals (teachers, employers, etc). But obviously I don't care how I write in things like these ;-)

teacherwoman said...

I am not going to try and do too much work today either... although I have some minor paperwork to do for this week!

Happy Labor day!

runner26 said...

I think what you quoted in your post about what you would say to your student in a response is perfect. I think you should acknowledge her request, but make it very clear that her grade is not going to change. That is such a bummer though. Perhaps look at it as a chance for your student to work a bit harder next time and improve her grade.

Mary Gee said...

I remember my first statistics professor telling me that my grade was "not a transaction." Cough up tuition, do my tests and homework, and get a good grade. That really made me mad, but I never forgot it. He lacked diplomacy for sure. I think there are far more average people than there are people who believe they are average. Good luck with that student. I don't envy you.

Marcy said...

ITA with runner26

"I think what you quoted in your post about what you would say to your student in a response is perfect. I think you should acknowledge her request, but make it very clear that her grade is not going to change"

It stinks. Don't let it bother you too much though :-) You can never please everyone. There will always be "that" person who think they've been wronged one way or another.

Firefly's Running said...

I hope your foot feels better.

Tough Cookie said...

I just got back in town and read that you saw Poison again. Man, am I ever jealous! It seems like you had an awesome time.

J~mom said...

When I taught it was the parents that I had to deal with, not the kids themselves. So you had to explain to Johnny's mom how he didn't turn in 6 assignments or whatever the case was. Not a fun thing to deal with either way.

I say type the email and then let it gel a day or two.

brunettechicagogal said...

I definitely would repeat your request to the student to come in to discuss this in person. Emailing that sort of information just isn't wise. And screw her on what she says about how you grade. You're always going to have students who try to get to you by saying that sort of garbage.

Nikki said...

Does she get an A for being a persistant bitch :P ???

That would sooo irk me to death..seriously make me loose sleep anyways!!

Timmy said...

If she's not willing to come in and talk to you, then I would let it go and not worry about it any more. She's taking the easy way out by using e-mail (with incorrect spelling/grammar).