16 September 2006

Check the Moon

I normally don't buy into the whole "weirdos and full moons coincide" thing, but this week has made me reconsider. I've been too busy, however, dealing with said weirdos to see if, indeed, the moon is full, if Mercury is in retrograde (whatever that means), etc.

The week began simply enough - four of my classes had work due for grading, one was in a discussion period, and two more were just beginning. Things went smoothly for many days, I graded a ton of papers, grumbled about grading the rest, etc. Then, Thursday happened.

My day began with an email containing a PowerPoint presentation from one of my students. The final project in his class involves a PPT presentation, so I didn't think too much of it. What did I find upon opening the file? Why, a detailed presentation outlining his upcoming incarceration for failure to pay child support! What did you expect? I know some people have different views of what's tmi than others, but really, did I need to know this? And even if he is about to be jailed for being a deadbeat dad and felt the need to tell me, did he have to do it via a PPT demo?!? I'm trying to forget I even read this thing of his - not only is it none of my business, but it's not like deadbeat dads are the most sympathetic group of criminals. BTW, he totally admits he is guilty.

The day was certainly off to an interesting, and telling, start.

Other fun awaiting me that day (in no particular order) - the arrival of a self-published "screenplay" written by a former student of mine named Hiroshima. Her twin sister is named Nagasaki. They are Cuban. I kid you not. The story is a rip-off err...modern adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, written in both English and Spanish, and was accompanied by a letter from the author asking me to put her in contact with "anyone I know" who could help her bring the story "to the stage." Last time I checked, it'd be easier to bring a screenplay to the screen... So, anyone wanna bring this screenplay to the stage? I'm sure any theatre on Broadway will do.

My plagiarist returned to class, with nary a word of explanation for himself. Mark my words, I am running EVERYTHING he writes through my diabolical plagiarism checkers (bwhahaha...)

The night ended with one of my new students sending me three "joke" emails to my school email address. Now, if you are reading this blog, you know how I loathe those emails. Some people can send them and I like them - those of you reading this, for example, probably meet my minimum standards for snark and irreverence, and so I say, send me what you have. But others? Uh, no. I don'' want to read anything that begins "Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Fw: Too CUTE!" and then displays the sender's entire address book. Ditto for "proud American" emails. (Blech!) What have I done to deserve this? I asked the student to kindly remove me from her joke list and only email me about school business. She replied saying that she writes to "another Nanci' and must have "guessed at the wrong email address." Uh huh. I'm sure the "other Nanci' not only spells her name with an "i' but also has an email account at the school's domain.

Friday's weirdness level was back to normal, I am pleased to report. No more PPT demos outlining upcoming incarceration schedules, no more Tony Award-hopeful screenplays, and no more CUTE! emails. Just one student telling me she "felt degraded" when I graded her paper and generously gave her a low B after politely pointing out she'd done the assignment all wrong but luckily included enough detail that I had something to work with. I know someone else who teaches this course who'd have given her an F. Maybe that person should be my new hero?

If I sound cranky, I'm really not, I more just amazed that all the weird things can happen in one 24 hr period. Thank God for the weekend!


Gillian said...

I had a pear-shaped ten days (but Thursday and Friday were paricularly evil) so maybe it's worth checking the stars? Mind you, my students were wonderful. It was the rest of my life...

Do I meet your minimum levels of snark, BTW, or must I work harder at it?

Nanci said...

You do meet the minimums for snark - and sometimes far exceed them - though I always appreciate extra effort!

Michellers said...

I had a week exactly like yours! Everything that could go wrong did go wrong at work--not my fault fortunately but still by responsibility to fix. Ugh. So Mercury or moon or whatever, somethings up.

LoL at the "fw: fw: fw: fw: fw: fw: too cute!" I get an amazing amount of those since I had a baby. I guess it's a small price to pay...