LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA*
Stanford University: home of tree mascots, Peter Thiel, and acres of adobe roofing. And, apparently, extremely vindictive math professors.
On June 6, a day before the school’s final exam week began, an unlucky Stanford undergrad realized two of his final exams were occurring simultaneously, so he emailed the professors for each class, hoping to score an alternate sitting for one of the tests. According to the student, one of the instructors was “sympathetic to [his] situation,” while the other professor made his displeasure known in no uncertain terms. Frustrated, the student posted the remarkable correspondence to a private Facebook group, after which it was forwarded to us. The exchange begins:
Dear Professor [Redacted],
Hello, I’m [Redacted], a student in Math XX. I’m also taking Math XY this quarter, and both finals are on Friday from 7-10. I’m sorry to inform you right at the last moment, but is there an alternate sitting for the Math XX final? Math XY’s exam policy indicates that all students must take it at that time. And if not, is there a way to salvage the situation? Thank you.
Less than two hours later, the professor shot back [bolding ours]:
You were supposed to deal with this very early in the quarter. I have no sympathy. There is a math department policy, which is that students such as yourself take the lower number course at the regular scheduled time, and make arrangements with the instructor in the higher course early in the quarter. Since you have chosen to ignore your responsibility here, you will fail Math XX if you do not take the final Friday night. Period. If I was the Math XY instructor, I would say you fail Math XY if you do not take the final Friday night, because you have very irresponsibly not dealt with this situation many weeks ago. But I am not the Math XY instructor, so that is up to him.
But let me repeat: You will fail Math XX if you do not take the final Friday night.
I cannot believe sometimes the ridiculous sense of entitlement and self-importance Stanford undergraduates have. Do you think this sort of irresponsible behavior is going to cut it in the real world? I hope you fail one of the two courses, because of your cluelessness. I will recommend that to the Math XY instructor if he asks me, as the department policy about making arrangements well in advance is made very clear.
Amazingly, the student managed to pass both math courses anyway. The student, who wished to remain anonymous, told IvyGate how he pulled it off [bolding ours]: Read the rest of this entry »