Friday, February 26, 2010

Flaming e-mail

Rachel passed this gem onto me, and now I'm passing it onto you.
To make a long story short, a student walks into a grad-level business class at NYU an hour late. The professors tells him to leave. Student e-mails professor, explaining why he was late and why the professor overreacted. Professor e-mails student, and eventually the rest of his students, and thanks to the Internet, the entire world, ripping this student apart. It was simultaneously a beautiful thing to ponder (come on, it's that guy! The rest of us hate that guy) and wondering how I would react (curl into fetal position, drop out of school, move to Antarctica and hope the penguins didn't have Wi-Fi). Read it, really. Then come back and answer me this.
Too harsh? I think not. Let's consider, this is a graduate student in business, this is New York University, and he was an hour late. Without knowing the whole story, I would have thought he was incredibly callous for strolling into a classroom an hour late and acting like there was nothing weird about it. Knowing the story, I kind of think this guy's a complete boob.
Shops around for classes? OK, that's nice. Why didn't he ask other people who'd already taken these classes? Check out the syllabi and the books? Figure out what he likes and wants to do and what will help him the most? Plan out next semester so he can take some of these? We've all signed up for classes in college without really knowing what we're getting into. Shoot, I tested into, applied for and somehow managed to complete an entire master's degree without knowing beforehand what I was getting into. As a student, this guy would bug me. As a teacher, he would probably offend me.
Rachel argues that it shouldn't have gone out to the entire class, and it shouldn't have included those all-wise words, "Get your sh*t together." On the second one, I don't agree. Somebody needs to let that guy know ASAP that the world doesn't revolve around him. Besides, he probably thinks he's got everything together. He's class shopping at NYU, for crying out loud! This is a good little wake-up call to the fact that he's got a lot of learning left to do.
As for the first, maybe it was tacky to send to all of the professors' students. But I've known professors who wanted to drive a point home and did something similar, albeit in a less flaming manner. (When I was the editor of my college newspaper, one journalism professor forwarded me an angry e-mail that a student of his had sent regarding my staff. I did not forward it to my staff. I did, however, print it out and hang it up. Let this be a lesson to all of you, is what the e-mail should have said. Suck it up. No one cares how you feel about yourself. It's time to grow up now.)
I have to get ready for my Harry Potter-themed birthday party now. Over and out.

1 comment:

  1. I feel very gratified that I inspired a blog! (Well, not the entire blog, but I'm not sure about the terminology.) And I only said that I would be afraid afraid of getting fired for the said phrase - not that it wasn't deserved.