The following list of bullet points are paraphrases of things students of various levels -- undergrad to grad -- have said, asked, or told me about in the past two weeks. I offer them mostly without comment, although "Er. Um. No." serves as a fine blanket response to them all despite their very different characters.
- I'm surprised your Chaucer class is an undergraduate class. Isn't Chaucer too advanced for undergrads?
- I'm graduating next semester and I need a certain required course that's slightly related to the class you're teaching. Only I can't make that class because of other commitments. And I can't make yours, either. Can I sign up for yours and do the work on my own without having to come to class? And then will you sign off on my having completed the required course?
- Hi, are you [insert mispronunciation of my first name]? I'm in Interdisciplinary Grad Program. I need to sign up for thesis credit. Please sign this form so I can enroll in English department thesis credits. [Long, painful interval follows in which Dr. Virago explains over and over that our thesis hours are for our students and I'm certain her program has its own, all while student interrupts again and again to insist that I'm wrong.] But I *am* one of your students -- my thesis is on [insert vaguely literature oriented topic]. [Another long interval of Dr. Virago explaining what a degree program is and how interdisciplinary programs draw on faculty from other departments, but have different degree programs of their own.] But my advisor said I could sign up for hours in any department I wanted!
- I missed the workshop you did the other week, but do you have any handouts on a totally unrelated topic that I could have?
- I know the assignment for our research methods final paper was a critical history of one of the texts on the exam list, but I was wondering, could I just write about how I think one of the most prominent critic approaches to this text is completely wrong?
- My high school teacher said that she wasn't going to teach Beowulf, even though it was in the textbook, because we wouldn't need it, since no one reads it in college, not even English majors, except for a few who are going to grad school in English. Can you believe that?
- Is 7 pages long enough for a critical history of the last 30 years of scholarship on a major text?
- I just realized our final is on Friday of finals week. I was hoping to leave for home on Thursday. Can I reschedule?