The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves


I KNOW I shouldn’t be bothered by it, but I am. I had twelve students in my hybrid Public Speaking class Monday morning. They were all expected to be ready to deliver their visual aid speeches in class yesterday. Guess how many actually were ready.

No, really; go ahead and guess.

Give up? Okay, I’ll tell you. Three. Three out of twelve were ready. One quarter. That’s it.

In a fit of not-quite-despair and not-quite-outrage, I composed and sent this email to my little darlings yesterday afternoon. I don’t think it will make a damned bit of difference (given that most of them claim to not even have email access), but it sure made me feel better, and has the added bonus of givin me necessary back-up if any of them comes at me with “but I didn’t KNOW…!!”


Dear Class:

I’m going to open this email by expressing how disappointed I am that many of you weren’t able to deliver your speeches today. You were expected to be ready to give your presentations today and you were all well aware of that. Being “almost” ready is not good enough, especially given that we only meet one day a week.

Those of you who weren’t ready to speak today are expected to speak on Monday the 21st. I will stop calling volunteers from now on; if I call on you and you’re not ready to present, you will receive a zero for the speech. As it is, I am willing to let you deliver your visual aid speeches – the ones that were due today – on the 21st, but you need to understand that you will not receive full credit for them; I’m docking 20 points for your not being ready on time.

If you needed to contact me about arranging to take the in-class mid term exam and haven’t yet, don’t bother. The door for scheduling a make-up is closed.

Finally, from today on, I will no longer accept work in class on Mondays that was expected to be submitted online on Sundays unless you arrange that with me FIRST. The whole point of the hybrid platform is that some of your work is going to be completed online. You need to figure out how you’re going to do this; there are computers available in the labs and the library, and I will no longer accept “I had to work late” or “my internet was down” as excuses for not having work submitted on time. You receive these emails on Monday afternoons; that gives you an entire week to find the time to do the work I’m requiring of you. Your deadline is Sunday at 6 p.m. You’ve all been pushing the limits of my policies, and it stops today.

Your homework for this week is to read chapters 15 and 16 in your text. These chapters review the process of writing a persuasive speech, which is the last speech that you will present in class. You will then choose your topic for your persuasive speech and write me a short essay – no less than one page, no more than three – detailing what you’re going to talk about and how you’re going to present your argument. This essay must be comprehensive – include a purpose statement, a credibility statement and support for your claims or arguments. You must – MUST – have at least three research sources for your speech, and these must be included in your essay (make sure you use MLA format for your citations). Please refer to the outline format that I’ve included as an attachment to this email. I suggest you print it out and use it to help you organize your ideas.

Your essay – proofread and edited for both content and mechanics – is due to by SUNDAY, MAY 20th at 6 P.M. Late work will not be accepted.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me. I may be annoyed with your general lack of participation in the work of this class, but I am still invested in seeing you succeed and am willing to go pretty far out of my way to help you. You’ve just got to meet me more than halfway there.


Mrs. Chili

The best I can do is the best I can do.



Filed under concerns, General Griping

8 responses to “The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

  1. Pingback: half a million bucks for showing a kid a movie! « The Anonymous SoapBox

  2. I am at a loss as to what to do with my distance sections, as well. They don’t even ask questions. I cannot stand it when student doesn’t turn something in, too much time goes by, they get a 0, and THEN they tell me it was too hard and they had no idea where to start. *****BOOM*****

    Ah well. I am on break. My next term starts after memorial day, so I just should forget it.

  3. SaintSeester, email me at mrschili[at]comcast[dot]net, please. I want to talk to you about our work, and your email address keeps kicking back to me.



  4. Laurie

    How can one take a hybrid class without e-mail access?

  5. LAURIE! This is my question, EXACTLY!! Grrrrr!

  6. LoL. Last semester, I had a girl taking a programming course. She refused to come work in the open lab, because “it was not convenient for her work schedule”. She kept insisting (all the way until the last week) that she was going to catch up on her (too late) work because her dad was going to install the software on his laptop for her. AND! She could not install it on the laptop herself because she didn’t understand how. She was in an ADVANCED CS course. How can she not know how to do a simple self-installation?

  7. Now if this class focused on evaluating blogs posted on MySpace and REQUIRED students to be on MySpace for three hours per day…I bet they’d suddenly find reliable internet access.

  8. Pingback: I Need a New Word.... « A Teacher’s Education

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