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Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Wee Shites: Everyday Tales of Student-customer Folk somewhere in the north of England. Episode 1

[Based on a true story, not necessarily in my own institution.]
The Scene: The office of a colleague who has recently lost a parent.  The lecturer is returning essays and the sessions are over-running. 

Enter Visibly-enraged student-customer...

Recently-bereaved lecturer: I'm really sorry about keeping you waiting; I can see you're annoyed.  I've been a bit disorganised.  I'm afraid my [parent] died recently and...

Visibly-enraged student-customer (cutting in): Yes, I know your [parent] died recently, but I got a bad mark in my procedural essay and I need to know what to do about it in the exam.

Recently-bereaved lecturer, too shocked to say anything, continues with session...
[Chorus of Disillusioned Lecturers wonders visibly what the response would be if they adopted this attitude to their student-customers' 'special circumstances' claims for leeway in marking because they had a bit of a headache.]
The conversation continues sotto voce while a be-wigged fellow, clad in late eighteenth-century garb enters stage left and addresses the audience.

Immanuel Kant (for it is he): It is so convenient to be immature!  If I have a book to have understanding in place of me, a spiritual adviser to have conscience in place of me, a doctor to judge my diet for me, and so on, I need make no efforts at all.  I need not think so long as I can pay; others will soon enough take the tiresome job over for me.*

* Kant: An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? (p.1 of the handy Penguin 'Great Thinkers' translation. Emboldening by Historian on the Edge).

2 comments:

  1. I like the term "student-customer." Pretty awful on the part of the student ... I can't even imagine someone having that little sympathy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing, isn't it? But as true as I live and breathe.

    ReplyDelete

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