Proofreading Emotions

As the director of one of the easiest but least appreciated courses on campus, I often receive complaints, requests, and excuses (oh so many excuses) as to why a student doesn’t believe s/he needs to take the course. Those  comments usually come in the shape of phone calls, followed by emails, followed by a form that I will not sign. And since we are nearing the end of the current semester and the start of a new one, the requests are flowing from those who have failed (surprising for such an “unnecessary” course) and those who think requirements do not apply to them.

Case in point: 

“Hello Ms. Pierre, I have been dual enrolled since last fall and will be coming in with 24 credit hours. I will be majoring in ___. One of my professors advised me to see if I could get an override for ___, due to my experience already at ___. While dual enrolling, my high school GPA remain at a a steady 4.0 and my college GPA is at a 3.8. Although I know this class is not academic in nature, I feel that my GPA proves that I now how to manage my time and keep my grades up. I also have highly decorated Professors that would be willing to give character references. Also, I was told I would not have to do “orientation”. Could you please clarify for me?”

After rolling my eyes and laughing hysterically, I wrote this: 

We are excited that you will be joining the ___ family as a freshman (no longer a dual-enrolled high school student). Once on campus, you will find that the transition, though seemingly small, comes with a wide range of challenges. I am interested in which instructor told you that you wouldn’t need ___. The Chair of your intended major seems to think it’s an important course and teaches it for the ___ students every Fall semester. No matter, you don’t really need to divulge that information. I would not want you to implicate anyone for not supporting the president’s initiative.

The policy is that all freshmen and transfers with less than 30 credits are required to take ___. I appreciate you offering references to your character. It does not change the policy, however, it does make me look forward to having you in class as I am sure you will be an asset to the other students. As for Orientation, this is an online module that can be completed in one afternoon. There is nothing to waive.

By God’s grace, I have learned that having the skill to write means having the skill to build or destroy with your words. I want to build, even if it’s in the middle of setting strong boundaries. So, after proofreading my sarcastic, passive aggressive emotions, I wrote this:

We are excited that you will be joining the ___ family as a freshman (no longer a dual-enrolled high school student). Once on campus, you will find that the transition, though seemingly small, comes with a wide range of challenges. I am interested in which instructor told you that you wouldn’t need ___. The Chair of the music department seems to think it’s an important course and teaches it for the music students every Fall semester.  

The policy is that all freshmen and transfers with less than 30 credits are required to take ___. Although I appreciate you offering character references, they would not change the policy. They would, however reveal that your commitment to education is evident to those around you. And this makes me look forward to having you in class as I am sure you will be an asset to the other students. In college, there will be many classes you don’t believe you “need” or are not particularly interested in taking. It is your commitment during those times that will set you apart and build your character as a student.

As for Orientation, this is an online module that can be completed in one afternoon. It is required before students come for ___ so that they can be better prepared. There is nothing to waive.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday break and looking forward to meeting you in the Spring.

 

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