and i am not surprisedThis had to happen sooner or later:
Attack on professor is linked to gradeEveryone who has graded anything at a college or university in the last ten years has horror stories about the student(s) who just won't accept that bad grade. They call, they email -- one emailed me six or seven times, with me saying no a little less politely each time -- and they refuse to accept the idea that their grade has something to do with their own effort. ("But I really need a better grade.")
On Thursday, the last day of the semester, professor Mary Elizabeth Hooker cheerfully greeted her hematology class at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell with homemade baked goods and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, friends said.
That evening she headed to her Cambridge home, unaware that a student, concerned about his failing grade, was following her with a knife in his car, police records state.
Nikhil Dhar, 22, knocked on Hooker's door at 6:30 p.m., started shouting at her and dragged her to the ground, beating her and stabbing her numerous times before slashing her neck and ripping off her shirt, witnesses and police said. He fled but was quickly apprehended by a neighbor.
This one is far uglier in substance, but consistent with the general pattern. Rudeness, aggressiveness, begging, crying, threatening -- if you're a teaching assistant, the threat is the always amusing "I'll go to the professor with this." An adjunct professor at UCLA once read to a group of us in a TA office a note from one of her students; it said, "Please inform me at your earliest convenience when we can meet to negotiate a grade that will be mutually satisfactory to both of us." And every third whiner demands that free "A" because they want to go to law school (where that attitude toward grading will serve them really well). Meanwhile, while grades get higher and higher grades become an expectation rather than a reward for excellence, basic levels of literacy are in decline among college graduates. Not that one has anything to do with the other, of course.
And no, students should probably not know where you live.
And the students aren't the only gradegrubbers; their parents -- parents! -- also get into the act:
Last night also brought an email from the mother of one of my students from this semester who is disappointed about the grade. The mother outlines some reasons why her child would benefit from a higher grade. At no point in her argument does she suggest that her child has an excellent knowledge of the subject matter in my course.The math professor who posted this story to her blog also thought of a good solution to the problem. "Will my students' mothers stop emailing me about their grades?" she asks. "Can I have my mother email back their mothers telling them to stop it?"