I regularly read www.crazyphd.blogspot.com. This is part of a great post from Dr. Crazy about answering students' questions (specifically their emails). I can sooo relate:
"Email #1 was sent to me at approximately 1 AM from a student freaking out about the paper that is due today. She has only a page written.
Here was my reply:
Well, Student, at this point it's difficult for me to do much to help. I wish you had let me know sooner that you were in trouble, but at this point my hands are pretty much tied. If you submit the paper late, I will accept it, per my policy that for each calendar day (including weekends) that the paper is late, you lose a full letter grade. What this means is that if you submit the paper on Monday, the best grade that you could receive would be an F. Nevertheless, it is worth it for you to submit the paper so that you don't receive a zero for it. If you submit the paper over the weekend, I recommend that you send it as a Microsoft word email attachment so that I know when you submitted it. Let me know if you have questions.Dr. Crazy
I know, I am a diplomat. Here is what I wanted to write back:
You, Student, are an idiot. Your email was a waste of my time. It is not my fucking problem that you procrastinated, that you don't understand the texts, and that you are now fucked. It is not my responsibility to help you when you have been totally and completely irresponsible. It's the end of the semester. What exactly do you expect me to do for you when you have never once visited my office hours - even after you failed the midterm? The bottom line is this: I am not going to bail you out, and I honestly hope that you fail my course. You deserve to fail.
And then email #2. This student had told me that he was going to be out of town on the day that our final was scheduled. I offered to allow him to take the final early. He didn't respond until 10 PM last night, telling me about how his trip was cancelled and how he'd been writing papers (including the one for my class that left him "burnt") for 13 hours straight. AS IF I FUCKING CARE! DO THEY CARE WHEN I GRADE FOR 13 HOURS STRAIGHT? SUCK IT UP, YOU IDIOT! At any rate, he'll be taking the final at the regular time. The kicker of the whole email, though, is the fact that this little punk addressed me with my first fucking name. Like I'm his fucking friend.
Here is what I emailed in reply:
Good luck with finishing up the semester, and congratulations that your trip was cancelled! See you in class :) Dr. Crazy
Here is what I really, really wanted to email:
What part of Ph.D. don't you understand? My name is Dr. fucking Crazy unless I invite you to call me otherwise. It says Dr. Crazy on my syllabus. It doesn't say, "I'm your pal and equal, call me any old thing you please." And incidentally, while I'm at it, I should mention that your aggressive demeanor and style of challenging me about every fucking thing that we read as if I don't know shit because I'm a female professor? When you do no better than C work on writing assignments and quizzes? Yeah, it's a waste of my time, a waste of the class's time, and a waste of your time. You're really quite stupid, and the fact that you have a dick just doesn't matter to me in the slightest nor does it give you bonus IQ points. I hate you, and I will be SO HAPPY when you are no longer my student.
I hate them. I hate them all.
(But does anybody else do the thing where they compensate for the hate by being nicer than they should be? Because I think that's what I do, thus reinforcing the hated behavior, methinks.)"
Like I said, I can sooo relate.