Frequent commenter Jim` sent in this oldie but goodie. This is an excerpt of what appears to be real correspondence between a student who skipped the first hour of the semester, and their professor:
… I do not know you, will not know you and have no real affinity or animosity for you. You are an anonymous student who is now regretting the send button on his laptop. It’s with this context I hope you register pause…REAL pause xxxx and take to heart what I am about to tell you:
xxxx, get your shit together.
Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard, xxxx. In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility…these are all (relatively) easy. Get the easy stuff right xxxx. In and of themselves they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back and you will not achieve your potential …
Read the whole thing (now with almost 1K comments).
I teach in a public university that’s … hmmm … third rate. My colleague Dave Berri notes, and I agree, that the great thing about a place like this is that you’re actually teaching students things they need to know, and that they won’t get them otherwise.
Reading the original letter reminds me that: 1) I was fired from my first job when I was 16, 2) I’d gone through 50% of my firings before I turned 18, and 3) I haven’t been fired since I was 21. Now I’m regarded as the hardass that’s too tough on students. Perhaps we all need to learn the message of this letter.