Wednesday, February 19, 2014

HOW you write and who receives it--it DOES make a difference

Oh boy. PLEASE do not underestimate the value of this, not only on the campus but in your personal and business endeavors too. You'd be surprised how much people who are in positions of decision-making ABOVE you will consider it--especially in your professional life, unless you find yourself wealthy enough to hire a private secretary. No, you don't email me like you're sending a text message to your BFF or frat buddies.

These gems came from the same student, a young woman who withdrew from her first effort to pass Composition I. She wrote me two emails: 
(1) i havent missed so many english classes! I keep up with my absences and i've missed 5 classes total! u can only drop me if i miss 8 classes, i know i'm close but not there yet! 
(2) well, if i remember correctly.. u suppose to email us when we miss 5 days, so we can keep in touch with ur attendence list too, but i dont think i got an email from u! THanks alot
Wow. Not only does she need some serious attitude adjustment about her own level of responsibility and maturity, especially when addressing an instructor, she also blew holes in her belief that we function as academic babysitters. Yes, I can oblige with alerts, but I already knew she was a repeat student--and why should I coddle her? 

Second, her spelling and punctuation are hideous--and yes, English is capitalized not only because it's a proper country name, but also because in THIS case, even though it doesn't have a course code following it, the reference is to a specific class. (The word "english" in lower case refers to the spin on a ball--say, in billiards or baseball.)

And third--and there's NO way you want to see the look in my eyes in class about this: I have a high level of tolerance for some things. Ignorance is not high on that list, and neither is stupidity. However, I'm lenient about mistakes--we ALL make them at any age, and they're part of the Learning Process of Life. Don't mix up Ignorance or Stupidity for a Mistake, and don't try to use Ignorance as a Virtue--it's not a quality to endorse. And it SURE doesn't come across well to someone who's smart enough to know the difference and learned it the hard way.

No comments: