Wednesday, December 11, 2013
This is the time--the WEEK--of the semester which college/university profs and teachers dread the most: Whine Week.
That's the week just after Thanksgiving in the Winter (and before Memorial Day in Spring) when the grades start being inevitable, and students begin to schedule office hours appointments to plead for, or negotiate--and sometimes even DEMAND--higher grades than their efforts and exertions over the previous 12 weeks actually merit.
They can be ingenious with excuses; reasons for dispensations abound. Grand-parents by the score have died since September, or are perishing at that very moment. Equipment failures proliferate: electronic devices explode inexplicably, printers fail to print. Automobiles become wholly unreliable. The pressures of OTHER coursed have intruded. They can be piteous and/or they can be amazingly manipulative.
In my time in the Binness (about 20 years), I had only one occasion on which an "improper" advance was offered to me.
(Dare I say "Quim pro quo?")
It happened thusly:
My one, true, authentic, grade-change temptation was presented as an alternative to the supplicant falling into disrepute in her sorority, at a "great, Southern university," where that life occupied the highest rung of student aspiration for many. At that University, the frats and sororities celebrate Lee/Davis Day on the MLK holiday.
One year, there was a pretty, spoiled, indulged, wealthy 'sorority sister' who mostly didn't come to class, mostly didn't do well on exams, and blew off her final project. The week after T'giving, she made the expected office appointment, after the next (and last, except for the final) weekly class meeting.
She arrived at the appointed time with a penitent attitude, in a fetchingly low-cut blouse and a short skirt, and a holiday gift-bag. She made her plea--how important it was for her at her SORORITY to get a passing grade-- as she handed me the gift-bag.
I opened it. Inside were her panties. I said: "Wow, thanks, but i don't think they're gonna fit..."
She flushed about ten shades of red and fled.