Saturday, September 16, 2006

Elvis Has Left The Building, And Not A Moment Too Soon.

I was reading another college instructor's blog about excuses students and their parents come up with to get around the fact that a student screwed up and doesn't want to take the blame for it, and it made me remember the most creative excuse for failure any of my students ever dreamed up.

It was just last year.

I was teaching, and my department head came to the door and asked to see me for a moment. When department heads speak, I listen.

She took me over to a little hallway nook, cased the joint, and whispered, "One of your students from last semester has filed a "change of grade" challenge; he says you failed him because you were jealous of his being his father's son."

I was like, dude, WHUT THE HELL? asked her what in the world was going on; what did he mean?

She said, "He put down on the form that you failed him because you were jealous of the fact that he was the son of Elvis Presley."

Me: slackjawed silence.

She said, "Then, in another paragraph, he said that you failed him because you knew he was Elvis's son, and you never liked Elvis."

Me: "Let me make sure I am understanding you. Are you really telling me that a student from a full year ago has filed a grade challenge based on the fact that his being Elvis Presley's son has exposed him to prejudice from me?"

She said, "In a nutshell, yes."

Me: "But this man is about the same age Elvis would be, if Elvis were still alive! He's like, you know, ANCIENT! way too old to be the son of Elvis. How could he claim to be the son of someone his own age?"

She said, "Um, I'm not saying anyone in the room actually believed him. The point is, he has filed a grade challenge and we have to follow up on it."

Me: "He missed over a third of the classes and what he did turn in was really bad."

She then said, "I have gone over his grades and his average looks to be not quite two points from passing. I'm going to give him the points."

Me: "You are? Well shit, how could you do something so stupid; the guy is obviously a manipulating asshole and you are playing right into his hands Okay, you're the boss.

She said, "Thank you for understanding. I wanted to tell you myself before you heard it from anyone else."

Me: "I do want to be sure you know that even if he had told me about this and even if I did believe him about the Elvis thing, it wouldn't have changed anything; he would pass or fail all by himself."

She said, "Oh, I know. But he also claims that you made fun of him for being Elvis's son."

Me: "In all honesty I will have to say that he is a bloody liar never once mentioned it."

She said, "Did you know that what you are too kind to say out loud is written all over your face?"

Me: "That has to be disturbing."

But since none of you can see my face (lucky you are, too!!) I'm putting my actual thoughts on paper.

The scariest part, by the way, is that he got his passing grade without actually passing.

Can any teacher out there beat this one? Seriously, can anyone beat it?


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Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 10:48 PM | |


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