Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Oh, the stories I hear!

Happy New Year!

Last year was very hectic for me and my blogging suffered as a consequence. One of my new year’s resolutions is to get back into the swing of things here. Generally speaking, I’ve tried to create posts that would provoke some thoughts. That will continue, but I’ve also decided to broaden the topics I cover. In other words, I’m going to also give you a glimpse into the issues that find their way to my office. To get things started, I thought it would be insightful to post a few of my very memorable student / parent interactions from the past two-and-a-half years.

There was the young lady whose mother called to inform her professors that the student would miss classes for a week while recovering from a minor, yet significant, surgical procedure. After some checking, I determined that the young lady was not a student at Florida State. That wasn’t what mom and dad had been led to believe for the past year or two.

There were twins who stopped by to ask if it was possible to get an “F+” instead of just an “F.” They thought mom would be less upset about an “F+.”

There was the young man who emailed that he probably would have done better in his classes if he had been as focused on them as he was on gambling this semester. Could he have another chance?

There was the young lady who told me (in December) that she wanted to turn in all of her work at the end of the prior summer semester, but her professor had refused to take it. Now, she wanted to drop the class (six months later) to remove the “F” on her transcript. I told her to email the work to me and I would consider the request. Based on her reaction, I am not surprised that I have not yet received the work.

There was the young lady who told her parents that we changed the rules on her in the middle of the year. Now she had to take another course in the spring and would not be able to graduate in the fall. Her parents complained, to the president’s office no less, and the matter was referred to me. After some checking, we found out that the real reason the young lady would take classes in the spring was because of the failing grades she had earned in the fall.

One student stopped by to determine whether he could get an “incomplete” grade in his courses. I asked about his circumstances. Well, he had missed some child support payments and “that usually leads to spending two or three weeks in jail.”

Of course, they aren’t all knuckleheads. There’s the young man who was in an accident that left him 100% deaf. He has worked extra hard to recover and keep up in his classes. Now fitted with Cochlear implants, we expect him to graduate and be successful.

There’s another young man whose grades were suffering because he was overly-involved in mentoring and volunteer activities. We talked about how he would be better able to do these things if he took care of his own needs first. He’s learned to manage his time and is doing great.

There’s the young lady who had no idea what major to choose and ended up in one that was just a bad fit for her. She presented herself in a professional manner, made a case for why we should consider her for admission to the business school, and followed up with more information when we had questions. We gave her a chance and she has shined. She will do well.

And finally, there is the President’s Council. This council is composed of the Presidents of the various student organizations. These students are focused, mature, and destined to do well in whatever career paths they choose.

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