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Things That Go Bump at the End of the Semester

In an earlier post, I think I mentioned how as a student I hated the end of the semester because it meant I was out of time for ‘catching up,’ and that now end-of-term-dread is lessened, but not removed, because I get to see human beings change into cornered/panicked animals. It’s not a pretty sight.

Today, I did a preliminary posting of the grades on one of the university’s online gradebooks, and announced as much. About 45 minutes ago, I got a panicked email (from a non-native English speaking student):

“Dear Dr Robb J Wilson
                   I just go to eGradebook to check my grade and I didn't see my letter grade yet. Oh no, am I fail your class?”

Emotion trumps logic—“No letter grade = fail” instead of “No Letter Grade = @$%@#$$ technology” Keep in mind also, that the numerical grade IS posted, and the grade breaks are in the syllabus. That’s too much work. It’s much easier to panic and email the instructor. And these are upperclassmen.

In all honesty, I do get frustrated and tired by the stream of panic, attempted manipulation, anger, indignation, immaturity, and so on. I forget that this is actually a small percentage of the total class (something about a squeaking wheel comes to mind). My defenses are raised up and I have to force myself sometimes to stop and listen to them to see if, actually, they have a valid complaint. I should be more patient. I just want to wrap up the semester and move on.

Then I remember our Father. I have to laugh at what HIS perspective must be when He sees/hears us panic at what to Him is not even an anthill. I suddenly get real thankful that He shows me far more patience than I sometimes show my students. Is my frustration reflecting Christ? Uhh, let me get back to you.


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