moron professors-just a little vent

I have totally had it with my organic professor.
Ok…the beginning of the semester the guys comes off decently…(I’m taking his web-based class…no class meetings, but we do have labs)…
anyway…Mid February, my grandmother dies…but we’re in the middle of mid-term exams…I need to reschedule mine. I have to leave for a week to go to the funeral and all associated crap…he won’t let me delay my exam…Finally I harass him into letting me delay it by 1 day…ooooh…like that helps.
so I fail the exam…big shock… I told him I probably would because I didn’t have time to study.
He sends harassing email…I reply…I told you that I wouldn’t have time to study…it’s not like I made this stuff up…I even, at one time, offered to show him the funeral director’s letter and her obit…no go…his response…well, life goes on…I guess that’s why we choose to allow you to replace your lowest test score with your final exam grade.
ok…I’m pissed…
fast forward.
An exam coming up next week.
I start emailing 3 days ago…I need to reschedule the exam because I have another class at the same time…he knows this this is nothing new… He says…ok…I need to know by MOnday…I write him back…ok, I’ll let you know by MOnday…then he writes back…NO, I need to know Friday…I write back…ok, I’ll let you know by the end of the day Friday…Ok he says…so…this morning, I go to get my email from school… He’s written an email as of 4:30 yesterday…I need to know if you’re retaking the exam by NOON on friday…when did it change to noon…I’m reading the email at 1:25!!! So, I start emailing and calling…no response…
I have a MAJOR feeling that he wno’t let me reschedule the exam (for 1 hour later than his normal time because I’m in myother class) and he’s going to be an ass about it…
I’ve been calling/emailing for 3 hours and he hasn’t responded back…so what’s gonig to happen is I either don’t take the exam (this is not going to happen) or I have to skip my other class…I don’t want to do this…and he’s being a JERK!..and I don’t think my other prof will be very understanding…so I’m screwed all the way around because he keeps changing the rules and being a jerk…and honestly I’m kinda sick of it…
I’ve been working my ASS off all semester…I got a B on the first exam…and I thought that was pretty decent…because Chemistry is not my bag…of course, we shoot for the A…but a B is “ok”…Then his lack of understanding about the 2nd exam has knocked my average WAY down…I’ve been doing well on the homeworks thus far and I think I’m doing well on the labs (although we haven’t received our scores back for a few of them and there’s still a lab practical). All of this gets factored into the final grade…so I have this exam on Friday and the Final to try to bring up my average…and I’m j ust fried…
OH, plus, he’s added now 2 additional assignments to do before the exam on Friday…when are we supposed to have time to study???I have 2 exams and 3 homeworks due now before Friday.
On top of this, I’m still working full time, and having “issues” with my marriage and I’m about to freaking kill somebody…
If you’ve read this far, you’re a saint and you will be rewarded.

hey andrea,
sounds like you have a lot of stuff on your plate. it also sounds like your professor is a complete jerk. hang in there. can you go to the department head to explain the situation? you may need some intervention from a third party.
whatever happens don't let this guy through you off track. there are plenty of obstacles but how we deal with them will determine our success.

Andrea~ Definitely talk to the chemistry department head and/or dean of students. That’s completely unfair. Make sure you print out copies of all your email correspondence with this idiot when you go to talk to the department tho…who knows what the teach will try to get away with. Also bring in the letter from the funeral director and the obit to show them even tho the teacher didn’t want to see it. The unfortunate thing is that often scientist type professors are very unpredictable, but that still doesn’t give him the right to treat you like that…
As far as the other stuff, take a deep breath and “try” to relax…you will get through it. Do you have any personal days or vacation time available at work? If you do maybe take a couple days off that way so that you can concentrate on relaxing and finishing your schoolwork. Believe me I can totally relate. I wasn’t working full time last semester but I had an hour commute each way and was working at least 24 hours (usually more)/week with a full load of classes, and it was a retail job so no study time at work except for lunches if we actually had time to take a lunch which we often didn’t…Our teachers expected us to be putting in a few hours a week in the various learning centers (science, math, and language) in addition to classtime and normal study time and we live on a mostly commuter campus (7800 students, only about 1000 on campus). Hang in there tho…it will get better. If you can survive this semester you will be able to anything!
Good luck getting everything worked out!
–Jessica, UCCS

Hey Andrea,
Hang tough. I think that Skaterbabe has some great advice. It's important that you take care of your interests here. Also, I believe that it is important that such teachers are not allowed to continue teaching, at least not without changing their ways. Students in the future will have you to thank. Good luck!!!

I think that you should try and take some time to meet one on with the professor…bring a copy of the obit, etc and give him a copy just in case. Talking via emails, etc can be too impersonal…I know that it will take some extra effort, but I think that allowing him to put a face/personality to your experience will help him have empathy.
I have only taught at college for a year now, and I have to say that the experience has made me cynical of student motives already. Thought your experience is genuine, I have already heard so many excuses from students that the students who really do have problems going on probably get only a cursory nod from me…I regret that for them…but it is hard as a professor to really know who is telling the truth anymore and who is making an excuse…
Go in and talk to him…once he gets to know you I'm sure he'll realize that you are working hard.


Bummer, you're really taking on a lot here.
How come, with all those emails flying around, you didn't just say 'YES, reschedule the exam! What day/time is good for you, sir?' I don't understand all of this 'I'll let you know by…' business. Maybe he didn't understand it either?

Thanks for all the comiseration all…
After leaving him multiple voice mails and emails he finally contacted me back and I am taking the exam at the time that I was trying to take it at in the first place.
The prof doesn’t administer the exams if you don’t take them at the default time… meaning if you don’t take them during his 9 am class. I have another class at 9 am…so therefore I never take the exams then. So, in order to take the exam, you have to coordinate with him, and with wherever it is that you’re going to take it. There are 2 places, that I know of…one is a student center/continuing ed place that’s only open in evenings M-Th…so that was no good…the exam was supposed to be on Friday. The other is the grad student office in the chem building. The deal with him is you have to have his approval so he knows when/where, and he has to leave a copy of the exam there for you. So that’s part of the problem. Normally, I ask him when/where I can take it…and I’d done this already. But he changed his deadline…and I didn’t receive his notification until it was too late.
As far as my grandmother dying…well…he doesn’t care…it wouldn’t make any difference if I took him the obit or not…he doesn’t care…and that’s fine, if you’re a coldhearted person…but, he knows me…and knows my story…and knows that I’m older than the other students and that I’m not going to jerk him around…so, therefore…he doesn’t care. I don’t make excuses and I don’t try to get out of my obligations.
He really is one of the worst professors that I’ve ever come into contact with. maybe he’s different with the students that meet in his classes…I take his web-course…and I guess he thinks that since we’re independent learning, then we’re completely on our own. And he treats us as such…which really burns me…if you ask him a question, he gives a nebulous-non-real answer, as opposed to actually answering or point you to the answer. All of this makes me insane.
I am taking a day off this week to try to prepare for the exam…which will hopefully help me…I am also planning on taking a day off each week, in hopes of being better prepared for finals etc.
I’m really really concerned about this course and what grade I will get. I know it’s not the “end” of the world if I don’t do as well as I would like…but it’s not a good thing either. I know I have extenuating circumstances and a valid explanation if some adcome someday asks me…why did you do so badly that semester? But it doesn’t make it any easier.
This honestly has been the most traumatic semester of all of my schooling. So many things have gone wrong that I had zero control over. Some days I’m amazed I’m still functioning…
I can’t wait until the semester is over. 35 days left until my last final for this semester.

andrea, i have also had a horrible mean professor. i laugh that as a grown woman this person can instill the fear of god in me.
Our class started with 14 students…yesterday there were 5of us left. She opens up the boodk (no syllabus ever) and just starts going over an algebra/geometry concept no one knows about. 15 minutes later she says 'do you get it?' . So i've gone to every class and now i will miss one in april as my husband is running boston mara. She gives me one date for a makeup test (of course i'm working that day). So i've moved my schedule etc. and things will go on. I was just so PO'ed becuase i'm thinking i've been here every single class never missed one and some people come and go and you never know whether they are in or out and you're busting my balls? Feels good to get that off my chest.
One other word of advice…every university has an 'om budsman' who will be of major assistance when there is not resolution within the department. I had to use for my graduate years and he was helpful, fair, and took care of things promptly
I had missed time because my dad died. I became a self taught student during his illness. They tried to say i had poor attendance (still had an A). He stepped in to go over class requirments and it was clearly pointed out that in fact there was no attendance requirement in the class.
Good luck.