Because it’s Sunday night and there are (and soon will be) so many new faces around here, I feel the need to remind y’all of who I am and why I “matter.” I welcome other authors to do the same. Point being, I’m an urban legend whose improbable tales just happen to be true. It all began one day back in March 2007, when I received email from a student I’d just failed, slightly redacted it, and posted it on the Internet:
I appreciate you taking your inconvenience to instruct us but I really had some problems in your class and I would like to explain them to you now. Every day I wanted to discuss with you about the way you grade my papers and the way you teach the class, but I could not because the things you say in class and your words disturb me so much I can not. You make me completely uncomfortable with the little things you say in the class like how you talk about television or how you talk about when you are grading our papers and trying to be fair. You do not seem to care about our grades only that they are up to your too high standards and I can not talk to you because you make me completely uncomfortable. For example, you say you will talk to us about our grades but you really will not because of how uncomfortable you make me feel with your words and what you say.
I will plan to contest the grade you have given me in this class when I get it because I know it will be much higher with any other teacher. I am a very religious man and you are not a bad person but you do not choose your words with enough care like a teacher should. You try to be objective and the very attempt becomes your flaw because you try so hard to grade fairly and comment wisely that you become biased to your own ideas. You criticize our writings because we are college students and young but do not realize that you offend most of us when you do this. I am always offended when I go to your class and have been on many occasions but I never tell you of my offense because you make me completely uncomfortable so I never say a word.
You like to lead discussions and that is bad because it is the entire means by which we learn but we do not know what you want from us on our papers. I have honestly no idea what I learned from you in this class because so much time was spent discussing the tiny details in the passages in the book and so if I learned anything it is how to read things in too much detail. I could have read books in too much detail on my own but that is not what I came to college to do because I already know how to read and I would have told you this but you make me completely uncomfortable with your words so I never said a word.
By doing this you give us no guidance on our papers. I thought it was lame that you decided to show a movie and a cop out because you chose not to give us any instruction. I know that it was a movie based on the story in the play we read but it was not teaching to show it to us when you could have been teaching us to write what you wanted us to write on our papers instead. The movie was completely racist and very offensive because it contained cultural stereotypes that are often used in disrespectful jokes about people who have their feelings hurt all the time. I was offended by this racism and in the movie and had my feelings hurt by it. If that was supposed to teach me something about the class I completely do not understand.
After this quarter I am hurt and tired and feel like talking to you now will do me no good. I wanted to go to your office hours but I could not find the time or make myself because of your words. I feel like my paper was written to the best of my ability in reference to your teaching skills in the discussions. You grade my papers poorly but do not realize that you do so because they reflect your teaching skills. Other people may have done well with your skills but I did not and would have talked to you but what you said about grading fairly made me uncomfortable. I take my responsibilities as a man and I have never complained about my grades but this one I will because I did not need you to teach me how to read or to write. I have made very high grades in all my other writing classes and even though I had many disputes with those instructors we always settled them to my happiness. Now for the first time I can not talk to you to settle my grades because I am uncomfortable to talk or even write to you. I should have stayed strong and like a man no matter how much your words and what you said offended me. I do not blame you because when there is error there are two to blame, the perceiver and the target. I do not know what this email does but I have to get my feelings off of my chest. Thank you for reading this and I am sorry if what I feel has shown you disrespect but these are my feelings and I feel by your words you did not respect them. I love everyone and believe you to possibly be a great person but with your words you have treated me completely unfairly.
I am a very religious man and I love every one but I will forward this letter to the head of your department so he can see that I am a serious student who does not deserve the grade you will give him because I write so very well.
First: I forgot to note that this turned into some lovely poetry.
Second: Other teacher/student interactions you might enjoy: