“I loved you. Perhaps the love in my soul hasn’t yet been completely extinguished.” — A. S. Pushkin

This excerpt sounds optimistic, but the poem as a whole is not. The general idea is “Get on down the road–we’re done even though we never really finished.” This is how I feel about all of my non-major students right now as I chase them down for make-up work and scramble to give them extra assignments to get their fails changed to passes. Which I didn’t want to do. If you want to pass a class, do the work. All semester. I’m having to work really hard not to dislike them as people because of the trouble they’re causing.

It’s especially frustrating because I don’t want to be mean, but it’s impossible not to be if you’re using language they understand (especially because they often have trouble with the idea that you can fail an assignment even if you completed it). “[Student], I got your make-up work. It was very bad. Did you copy from the Internet? I am disappointed. Your failing grade will stay. You cannot do anything to change it.” I feel like a demoralizing robot. The Demoratron.

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