Category: Lazy/Unhelpful

Uh… Uhm… Title

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Language & Words, Lazy/Unhelpful, Students, Technology

(This story takes place in the class “Programming I”, where we are learning how to code in the programming language known as C#. I am typing away at my work, when I hear a faint “uhm” come from a fellow student seated beside me. I turn over, and see them looking my way, pointing at their screen. For clarification, this person is very clear and fluent in English… when not focused on work.)

Student #1: “Could you… uh… check… code…?”

Me: “Sure. What’s wrong?”

(Leaning over, I start to analyze their code. I don’t see anything wrong, and no errors pop up when they run the program.)

Me: “What is the problem?”

Student #1: *waving their hand around aimlessly in front the screen* “Code. The uh… you… the… euh… ehh.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Student #1: *pointing at the now running program* “Just… eugh… ehhelp…”

(Confused, I test the program a few times, eventually realizing that the two possible results are mixed up. Note, this can be VERY EASILY SOLVED by changing a single character.)

Me: “Oh, the results are switched around! You just have to switch them out for one another, or change the ‘greater than’ symbol with the ‘lesser than’ symbol!”

Student #1: *continuing to wave hands about and point at the screen in arbitrary place* “Huuuh? But… no… the… hu… eeh… euhh… mmmmh…”

Me: “Everything else is fine. I can’t help you if I don’t know what the problem is!”

(After trying to reword what I mean several times, they eventually go silent and flat out ignore me. After getting back to my work, they call over Student #2, and speak in the same slurred way.)

Student #2: “What’s the problem?”

Student #1: “Could you…” *points at screen* “…the…”

(Student #2 then goes through every single line Student #1 made, mumbling to himself about what each piece of code does. Student #1 sits back and blankly stares as Student #2 works it out.)

Student #2: “You just need to switch the two around.” *turns around and walks away*

Student #1: “Okay, good. Thank you! That helps.”

(Screaming internally, I continued to work on my own programs. For the rest of class, Student #1 just stared at the screen, didn’t actually change anything, and eventually procrastinated on their phone.)

Quantity Over Quality

| UK | Cheaters, Exams/Tests, Homework, Lazy/Unhelpful, Students

(The course I am on has coursework which is completed in two parts, one which focuses on quantitative work, while the other is qualitative. Depending on which you want to focus on, the weighting is split 80:20, with the 80 being a 2000-word report for quantitative and 3000-word for qualitative. The remaining 20 is a 1000-word essay either way. Regardless of which you pick, you are expected to complete and submit both parts to have even a chance to pass. We are working on the quantitative where we are split into groups (I am with two others). We are expected to complete 20 questionnaires each to create a decent sample size for measuring attitudes to same-sex parenting. I complete my portion while the others don’t. The deadline is at the end of the week for the full write up and I start going into a panic. I try to contact them but they seem to have disappeared. I eventually ask my tutor and arrange to work with another group’s data while I share mine with them. With some elbow grease I finish for the deadline and am happy with the report. We are moving onto the qualitative section when I finally meet up with my group.)

Me: “What happened to the questionnaires? I had to go with [Friend]’s group.”

Student #1: “We decided to just do the qualitative section.”

Me: “So? You’re still expected to do the questionnaires.”

Student #2: “But you just need a thousand words if you do the qualitative one. You can just make it up.”

Me: “What? No, you can’t.”

Student #1: “You can!” *smirking* “We worked on it together so ours match. If anyone compares ours you’ll look like the one who made it up. You’ll fail!”

Me: “No. I went to [Tutor] and arranged to work with someone else. Anyway, the results you come up with don’t matter. It’s how you justify the results in the write up.”

Student #2: “Justify? I thought you just had to write the results?”

Me: “What would be the point of that? You’ve been doing that for a year and a half already.”

(I walked away as I heard them both start swearing. The qualitative section was solo, so it was a lot easier to get things done. The workload however was a lot larger, with writing transcripts and conducting discourse analysis. I breezed through it having only 1000 words to do, while the others had a hard time with the full 3000 word write up (in a report format they have never done before). After all our work is submitted, they tried to launch a smear campaign against me, blaming me for their potential failure. It didn’t work, though, and once the results came in, I passed with one of the highest marks that year. One of them failed while the other just scraped by — to this day I don’t know how.)

A Turning Point

| Appleton, WI, USA | Lazy/Unhelpful, Students

(In my final semester of college I take fiction writing as I have finished most of my required courses. Since it’s an advanced course it simply consists of writing short stories or novel chapters independently then meeting to critique each other’s work. One day I am going to class and meet one of my classmates leaving the building.)

Me: “Did class get cancelled?”

Classmate: “Nah. It’s just that we’re not discussing any of my work today, so I don’t feel like going.”

Me: “What if everybody else had the same idea when it was your turn to have a story discussed?”

Classmate: “That’s a good point…”

(He actually turned around and went back in, which was nice.)

You Have Been Sentenced

| Lewisville, TX, USA | Homework, Lazy/Unhelpful

(In my AP U.S. History class, we’re learning how to write a thesis for the essays on the AP test.)

Teacher: “…your thesis is likely to be a paragraph long. In fact, I don’t really expect any of you to write a one-sentence thesis.”

Me: “Challenge accepted!”

Teacher: *laughs* “No!”

Today Doesn’t Work For Me

| TX, USA | Lazy/Unhelpful, Non-Dialogue, Students

I tend to be rather flexible on late work. I get the purpose of not taking late work to teach kids responsibility about deadlines and procrastination, but I also teach in a school where many of our kids are involved in several extracurricular activities, including jobs and church activities, so I’m willing to be flexible and work around their schedule as long as they’re willing to meet me halfway and make classwork a priority.

Unfortunately, that leads to abuse. Today is the last day of the grading period. I’ve had several students come up to me. “If I don’t turn anything in today, what will my grade be?” And when the answer comes back “68”, they’re not happy — 70 is the minimum to pass. “Well, that sucks. Now I actually have to do my work, and I only have today to do it!”

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