A rant about my muppet of a student. Feel free to add your own!

First off, som background, so it doesn’t look like I’m over-reacting. A couple of weeks ago, the senior tutor of my department asked me to tutor an undergrad who, due to a lecture clash, was missing some lectures. I of course would be compensated for my time, and our senior tutor thought that he would benefit from some interaction with a professional physicist (Og only knows why he asked me then!).

So, the first couple of emails I get from him are extremely arrogant, along the lines of “I can only do Mondays and Fridays, between these two times (Monday morning and Friday afternoon)”. Well, that’s not going to happen, seeing as the SO lives 500 miles away and the weekends are the only time I get to see him. The next email says, “well OK, how about Tuesday and Wednesday?” Excuse me? You just told me the only days you were free were Monday and Friday??

So, I sort out times and rooms, and go off to my first tutorial. Did I mention, I’ve had no lunch at this point because I’ve been so busy? I get to the room, go in, set up, and wait. He’s outside. Talking to his friend, saying “I don’t fking believe this. First fking time I’m fking early for fking anything, and she’s fking not fking here yet!”

I step outside, and inform him that I’m here, and when he’s finished he can come inside. The rest of the tutorial, and Wednesday’s goes without another hitch.

Fast forward to today. I had a meeting at 11, was helping with admissions at 12, had to tutor this guy between 1 and 2, and another meeting at 2, which has now been postponed slightly. Fucknugget turns up a quarter of an hour late!!! I was ready to leave! I mean what the fuck? That is absolutely not acceptable! His excuse is “I was talking to the lecturer”. Well, you know you’ve got a tutorial now, gow and talk to the lecturer another time, or during his office hours, or something. Don’t turn up 15 minutes late for my tutorial. Especially when I’ve had to miss lunch to do this.

Goat felching, pea brained, fucknugget!!!

Yes, but why profane the name of Jim Henson?? That’s what I want to know!

I’m generalising, of course, but there are enough students with this attitude to be familiar to lecturers and tutors everywhere:

You are a resource. you sit, idle, in your office until they turn up or phone, when you suddenly then come to life. You don’t have anything else to do, you see, whereas they live very full, active lives. It’s not like you have to work weekends and vacations, is it? This attitude will be even more exaggerated in your case - after all the guy is getting special treatment, isn’t he? You’re like some sort of servant. So of couse you should suit your schedule to his.

Another thing I find is that, because they know who you are, you are meant to know them. Many’s the time I’ve had to interrupt students who’ve phoned up and ask who they are. And even then a surprising number give only their first name. Like there are no other guys called Chris :slight_smile:

And lectures and tutorials, they take no time at all to prepare, huh? Like it’s no skin off your nose if he can’t be arsed to turn up on time. And then no doubt come exam time, he’ll need have a whole load of stuff to ask you …

I make it pretty clear now that students come at a mutually convenient time. If they can’t make it, they need to give me plenty of notice - they treat me how they would like to be treated.

This guy needs to be reminded that you’re doing him the favour. He’s very priviledged that his tutors have made special arrangements. I doubt they’d be too impressed to find that he wasn’t taking things seriously.

Can you tell I’ve had a hard week, too :smiley:

Neurotik Unfortunately, its a habit I’ve picked up from other lecturers I’ve worked with.

Sir Doris, that’s exactly what I think he truly believes. I don’t have a life, I don’t have research to be doing, and of course, I haven’t got pressure from my supervisor to publish a paper. No, I exist solely to be at his beck and call.

Fuckwit! Still, I had to cancel tomorrow’s tutorial for Eid :smiley:

“Muppet” is an insult meaning “idiot” in the UK and Ireland. Don’t ask why, I think it came from some East End gangsters.

Eid mubarak!

Thanks jjimm!!

All I can say now is fuck fuck fuckety fuck!!! I appear to have inherited one of my supervisor’s fourth year students! She’s just come round to my office - how the hell she found it is beyond me! Asked me a load of questions, and then asked if it’d be OK to email me with any more questions! I foolishly said Ok, but then added that she might not get a response immediately.

How do I manage to get myself into this? It means, that since my supervisor’s not here next week, I’m going to be the one they bombard with questions. Damn!

And here I was, going to say thank you to jjimm, and state just how happy I am now because I have liquorice allsorts, jelly babies, and had just been called gorgeous by a man who’s not the SO!

Yeah, I knew that. It was just a lame attempt at humor.

I haven’t had the pleasure of being a tutor/prof (yet) but in the spirit of adding my own, can I add a rant from the student’s point of view?

This happened years ago so it is missing most of the venom, but there’s still enough left to get by …

I live over an hour away from my university. Getting there requires a half hour bus ride, a half hour subway ride, and some trudging through the snow. It’s a commuter campus: most of my classmates also travel an hour to get there.

I had two classes one day: a tutorial at 1 and a lecture at 6, meaning, at best, I have 4 hours on (a snowy, busy) campus to waste, which I could spend waiting in line to use a computer, sitting in a noisy caf, or a crowded library. Whatever.

So I trudged down to school, to the tutorial (ON time) and was told that the tutor couldn’t make it. Fuckity-fuck-fuck. Now I have FIVE hours to waste. I contemplated going home for two hours and then coming back, but i didn’t. I got to the 6:00 class, a lecture hall full of students - and no prof. No tutor, no TA, we sat there for 20 minutes before someone went to the department and asked what was up, and only then was told that the prof wasn’t in.

A day wasted, because my instructors didn’t respect our time.

Hijack here. Can you explain to this ignorant North American fellow the hierarchy of a UK university department? Is a tutor a title? Are you a “just” a grad student or something? And where does a lecturer fit in?

In the states there are professors, adjunct professors, assistant professors, teaching assistants and probably lots of others. That I kind of undestand. Thanks for the info.

Right, I’m a tutor/teaching assistant. Essentially, I’m “just” a grad student. A lecturer is above a post-doctoral post but below a professor, although all three will have teaching duties.

So, essentially the heirachy goes:

undergrad student,

grad student (who will probably teach as a tutor or supervisor (if you’re at Cambridge!) (i.e. small group (<4) teaching), some form of teaching assistant or a lab demonstrator),

post-doc (teaches as per grad student, but with some extra responsibilities sometimes),

lecturer (who generally lectures or leads a lab, and in some cases is a lecherous so and so also!),

senior lecturer (as per lecturer but more responsibilities),

professor (who will tend to be the head of department or research group).

As Angua explained, she is a grad student and the equivalent of an American TA. The term tutor is used in the British and Australian university system, whereas TA is used in the US and Canada. Responsibilities are essentially the same.

A lecturer, and sometimes even a senior lecturer, is roughly the equivalent of an Assistant Professor - that is, has a Ph.D. but is not tenured. At my undergrad university in Australia, we had lecturers, senior lecturers, associate professors, and professors. Of course, the whole tenure system is essentially being dismantled in Australia, but that’s a rant for another thread.

Angua, in your position i think i’d just say to the student that this is for his benefit, and if he doesn’t want to come then all he needs to do is tell you. Of course, if you need the extra cash that you’re getting for helping this wanker, then you might have to just put up with his crap.

One of the biggest mistakes i made as a TA was to tell students that they could email me with questions that they had about the reading. What i failed to consider is that, while their question might only be one or two lines long, answering it comprehensively might take me a good half-hour of typing (I’m a history grad student, and the subject does not lend itself to short, pithy answers).

After a while, i told them that they could email me questions, but that they had to come to my office hours in order to discuss the issue. This was both because i wasn’t going to spend hours typing out answers, and because a discussion allowed me to see how well they were understanding the issues. Most of them were good about this - the only ones who didn’t like it were those who just wanted the answers without doing any thinking for themselves.

Slight nitpick: mehendo, over here, lecturers are tenured. Well, all the ones I know are.

Angua, i’d LOVE to have you as a tutor.
unfortunately i have to deal with the wankers who run this college’s biochemistry department.

i have a 3 hour exam in 3 weeks.
i have 15 weeks (180hrs) lecture material to cover for this subject.
plus all of the research papers, background reading, clinical aspects etc etc.

2 lectures were cancelled.
they are being rescheduled for the 2 week study leave period before the exam…the last one 3 days before the exam!!

one lecturer has an entire question devoted to his topic. he gave 1 lecture. he spent the entire lecture bitching about how he’d rather be teaching us something else.
and emailed us the notes yesterday.
the lecture was in november.

each of the 6 lectureres is given 2 tutorial sessions. for the CLINICAL ASPECTS OF THEIR MATERIAL.
eg, lectures on clotting cascade= clinical tutorial on diseases such as haemophilia.
2 of them decided to use these tutorial sessions as lectures to introduce NEW material. 3 weeks before the exam.
one guy spent his 9 lectures talking about how NIDDM is the fastest growing disease on earth and how there should be a tax on sugar.
his sample exam question “explain, with references to signal transduction pathways, the homeostatic control of blood glucose, and how this can go wrong”.
yup. that’s what he taught us :rolleyes:
oh yes, i have a physiology exam covering 2 years work, an anatomy exam on the head and neck, a neuro anatomy exam, a neuro chemistry exam, a neuro physiology exam, a psychiatry exam and a head/neck/brain anatomy viva voce.

because there’s more to medicine than biochemistry.

sorry just had to vent.
carry on.

Angua, I have a question. The complaint here, essentially, is based on the following considerations:

  1. You don’t like the student personally.
  2. He was 15 minutes late for one appointment (the 3rd you had with him?).


Aren’t you getting paid? Weren’t you getting paid even for the 15 minutes you were sitting there fuming about your time being wasted?

So what’s the problem?
That’s not to say you can’t vent in the Pit about anything you choose to. I was just, you know… wondering.

Man, don’t even get me started on inconsiderate “tutees”. My favorite is when they come up to me, outside of the learning center, and ask me to proof read their papers. Right there on the spot, like I live to proofread their papers.
Oh, and we can’t forget the people who inform me, coldly, that they “Only got a B on the paper because of grammar.” Look bitch, that’s not my problem. As a matter of fact, the agreement you signed states specfically that English tutors do not proofread papers. If I tell you how to fix a grammar mistake, and you don’t do it, then it’s all on you.

+White Lightning, yes I was geting paid. No, I don’t have a problem with him personally, he’s a nice enough guy, now that I know him, its just that my first impression of him, via email was rather negative.

The reason I was venting was because he was being damned inconsiderate. Yes, I am going to get paid for the whole hour whether he turns up or not, but the simple fact is, when I was an undergrad (not all that long ago) , I realised that tutors/supervisors/whatever took time out of their own schedules to teach me, and especially moreso if I was the only one they were going to teach. I respected this, and was always on time. I guess I’m just pissed off at this guy’s total lack of respect for my time.

Uh, a college student needs a tutor to catch and correct grammar mistakes? A College student feels justified in blaming a tutor for marks off on grammar?

I am shocked and saddened.

Actually, I would find it difficult not to laugh in that student’s face after such an outrageous complaint.

Don’t study the lectures, study the reading list. Rule No. 2 of all higher education.

I walked an entire year in one subject at University after attending three lectures. On the basis of those three I concluded they were a total waste of my time and went and read the books.