Today’s Tuesday’s Tale will focus on education (both academic and life education). This is the last week in the spring semester for the two colleges I work with: the University of Louisiana at Monroe and Delta Community College. Both are fine schools and I’ve worked as an adjunct for several years, teaching mostly Freshman Composition. It never fails that in the last days of the semester, the smelling salts of reality wake some students from their stupor and lack of involvement in my course. The excuses flood my inbox, and I can feel the desperation in their futile pleas for extensions ( I never give extensions at the end of a course), for makeup work (allowed only in a short window of time and only for college-approved reasons) and for extra credit work, which I never give. I’m sure some of them will have a good cry when I firmly reject their request. Perhaps they will realize that not all teachers are pushovers, that the lost opportunities to learn and improve themselves, the time and money wasted as they partied and tip-toed through the Tulips is is a high price they didn’t anticipate. Experience isn’t always the best teacher, but it is often the hardest teacher.
The best advice I can give my students is expressed in these lines by Roger Alan Wade:
If your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough
When you get knocked down you gotta get back up,
I ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but I know enough, to know,
If your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough!