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Not Your Personal Slave. - helen-louise
Not Your Personal Slave.
Argh! Students! Will someone please explain to me why they'll ring me up the night before a practical exam, having not told me previously that they have one? Was this just sprung on them TODAY? (Rhetorical question - I happen to know that all of the UK's exam boards expect students to be given at least a week's notice of an internal practical exam that will count for external marks. Some demand two weeks' notice.)

And after I've gone through the details of recrystallisation and melting point determination - and even hauled out the Rubber Handbook to look up the exact melting point of N-phenyl ethanamide (and dealt with the fact the Rubber Handbook calls it Acetamide, N-benzyl, and you have to look it up under A, not P, E or B as you might think), they ADMIT to not having looked in the textbook for help yet! Hello, I have a cold, I've been in bed all day, my brain isn't working terribly well, and I can't remember the exact details for the preparation of amides starting with an aromatic amine, I just remember that it's different from usual amine preparation! Check the conditions in the textbook, which is matched to your exam syllabus. Thank you!

I am here for amplification and clarification, and helping you with exam technique and preparation. I do not exist for the purpose of doing your thinking for you - especially not at 6.45pm the night before your practical exam. You should have booked a session with me to go through this when you found out about it - or at least rung me for help sometime before now. Bah.

Current Mood: infuriated infuriated

6 comments or Leave a comment
barakta From: barakta Date: 22nd November 2007 19:33 (UTC) (Link)
I hope you billed the lazy students parents for your time! Stupid lazy little sods, even I wasn't that stupid, ok I didn't understand the textbook which was thick or something, but I did at least try :(
baratron From: baratron Date: 22nd November 2007 21:18 (UTC) (Link)
Y'see, I have every patience with "I've looked this up, this is what the textbook says, can you explain it to me in different words as I don't understand that?". What I don't have patience with is "I haven't even been bothered to look this up because it involves paper, and I only believe in looking things up on the internet" *rolleyes*.

Unfortunately said student's family has financial issues, which means she doesn't have a lesson every week; which is a shame, because she would benefit from two lessons a week if she is to get up to the grade she wants :/ Not because she's stupid, but because she seems to have been spoon-fed all the way through GCSEs and she has not the faintest idea how to go about USING her brain now.
barakta From: barakta Date: 22nd November 2007 22:03 (UTC) (Link)
Lorna had the allergy to looking things up on paper for most of her undergraduate degree. Fortunately now she's doing her LPC she seems to have learned what a library is, and now spends at least one full day a week in there which is both impressive and a goddamned relief!

I think it is sometimes possible to botch ones way though GCSEs, I know I did and A-levels were a bit of a shock combined with my brain not actually working properly for the first year... I think some people naturally get exposed to good working skills or just have them, and others take a lot longer to learn, or never learn... If Lorna can learn how to study more effectively (hard working was never her issue, productivity was) any one can... Have hope...
baratron From: baratron Date: 23rd November 2007 16:50 (UTC) (Link)
Lorna has learned how to use a library? It's a miracle!

That... gives me the oddest hope for the future. OK, it took her until the age of 21? 22? to learn what she should have known at 18, but at least she did eventually learn. I had thought you were going to end up doing her LPC for her as well as her degree.
(Deleted comment)
baratron From: baratron Date: 22nd November 2007 21:25 (UTC) (Link)
Yup! I would love to refuse to help. However, I am now in my fourth year of tutoring, and 50% of my students come to me directly by personal recommendation rather than through an agency. It is financially beneficial to me not to have to pay agency fees, as well as guaranteeing some numbers early in the academic year. And the reason people will come to me directly is because they've heard from other students/parents that I'm good - and friendly, and available to answer questions.

Edited at 2007-11-22 21:25 (UTC)
6 comments or Leave a comment