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Get up or get out: Telling students the truth


In the words of the infamous General Turgidson“We are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our . . .”

. . . grade point averages!

Gen. Turgidson, a real dick

I encourage you to look at your grades online. If you do not have a grade of at least 55 percent, you will likely flunk the class or pass with a “D” grade, regardless of the amount of work you think you want to do to bring that grade up.
If your grade is at or below 55 percent at present, I want you to consider dropping our course. Some of you lost interest some time ago. Others of you quit showing up. I understand. This is not an easy class and I am a demanding teacher. No one will think the less of you if you decide to cut your losses and get out while you can. 

If you decide to drop the class, the last day you can do so with a “W” and no grade assessment is April 15. You can drop the class online if you have no financial obligations to the college and if you receive no student aid. Those with responsibilities to the college or to student loan institutions will have to drop the course in person.

Some of you may worry about your student loans and other aid. If you flunk–and most times if you get a D–you will be penalized in any financial aid scenario. Moreover, you will have a “F” grade for the class, which damages your GPA. 

Capt. King Kong, American hero
Some of you worry about parents with expectations for your college participation. If so, remember that an F is an F, but a W is not an F.

In any case, if your grade is at or below 55 percent, my advice is to limit your damages and drop the course. Since you will have to pay back your aid, face your parents, or endure some other kind of misery anyway, why take an F for the class in addition to these extra stresses?

You may still have options open to you. For instance, you may have failed to turn in one or more papers. You can turn in these papers anytime. Except for the students with whom I’ve already spoken, you will be assessed a late penalty of one grade step. We also have two more tests and another paper to turn in. If you have not completed any extra credit, consider doing so.

Gen. Jack Ripper, another real dick

Think about the amount of work you are willing to do. An “A” paper or an “A” test represents nothing less than monumental work. Don’t kid yourself. If you are not willing to put everything you have–plus a whole lot more–into the next few weeks, you should drop the class.

This is my last appeal. I do not give retroactive withdrawls or incompletes except under exceedingly rare circumstances.
I repeat the words of the pernicious Gen. Jack D. Ripper: “So let’s get going. There’s no other choice. God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our” grade point averages.

Dr. Patrick Dobson

Published in Uncategorized


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