You attended 5 classes of your Brain and Behavior course out of an 8 week summer session that meets daily, and stop going after the first exam. Which you failed. Repeating the exact same pattern from the previous semester when you were in my class.
And then…. your MOM shows up at my class to fight your grade battles for you, without you even being aware of it.
Yesterday, I had a student’s mom show up at my classroom right before class. Apparently Precious Daughter was going to fail out while on academic probation. Mom just couldn’t let that happen, and wanted to know if there was any chance that Precious Daughter could maybe possibly have a shot at taking the second exam that she missed last week in order to have a chance at passing my course? Barring that, could she have me sign the drop form so that daughter wouldn’t have a failing grade? She would hate to have poor Precious Daughter, who did so well at another institution before moving back here with mom who told her not to do that and to stay where she was since she’s doing so well and she’s very smart and can do the work, fail out. Problem is, mom can’t find Precious Daughter who is supposed to be living with her and has supposedly been studying very very hard and doing her assignments (only one out of the 4 so far, actually, but who’s counting?) yadda yadda.
I calmed down this poor, crying, hysterical woman and I get the sneaking suspicion that this has happened before.
For my own amusement, I said sure. If you can find her I’ll let her take the second exam. I also told her that said exam was pretty damn tough and I wouldn’t expect that a student who hasn’t shown up to class to perform well. Mom said ok and went away. It gets better.
At 2:30 I get a call in the lab. Mom found Precious Daughter and dragged her to the psych department. I go downstairs to meet them and PD looks equal parts embarrassed, humiliated, and scared shitless. Inside, I am laughing at the absurdity. I get the sneaking suspicion (again) that mom has done this before. We sit down and have a chat, with mom opening the discussion like I do with my 7 year old:
“Daughter, you have a decision to make. Do you want to take up Professor Evil on his offer to sit for the test, or do you want to drop?”
Of course, she dropped.
I can’t tell you, dear reader, how much I wanted to dispense some advice.
“Stop smothering her. Stop going through her stuff to find my syllabus so you can locate my class and office hours. Stop snooping through her coursework and maybe even emails to find her grades, due dates, drop dates, whatever. Stop fighting her battles for her. Stop making her life too fucking easy. Stop pressuring her to do college when she obviously doesn’t want to. Stop paying for something she obviously doesn’t give a shit about. Just, stop. You’re not protecting her. You’re setting her up for permanent failure. Let her fail now and get kicked out of school, it’s the BEST thing you can do for her. She’ll have to go to community college someday to earn her way back in, but at least then she’ll be ready to do what she wants, not what you want.”
“And you, you lazy ass, quit wasting your mom’s money. I sure as hell know you’re not here on your dime. Go to class, else come up with a justifiable medical reason why you can’t attend, address it, then get your life straightened out. Quit staying out to smoke weed with your loser boyfriend or whatever it is you’re doing. The local garage band scene here in amongst the cornstalks cannot possibly be that entertaining. Quit living at home with an overbearing control-freak parent. You’re like a couple of codependents enabling each other; you stay there and you’ll never get her out of your life. It already sucks for you that you’re probably going to flunk out and have to get some shit job until you earn enough money to move out.”
Of course I can’t say any of that. And so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her sign up for my class next semester.
I don’t know who is more pathetic, all that I know is I’m amused. And that neither of them is ready for college.
Filed under: Academia