Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out of Their League

I really shouldn't be writing this post because I have a whole load of papers to grade, and lots of other things to do tomorrow (my wife and I have already accepted the fact that our respective time constraints will preclude our attendance at a party to celebrate the engagement of a daughter of some good friends of ours). I have spent the past few hours grading assignments, and am not quite yet halfway finished.

But I am somewhat peeved, not so much by the late submission just e-mailed to me by one of my students, but by his attitude. He is attending college on an athletic scholarship, and seems to think that the demands on his schedule from athletic activities give him an automatic exemption from deadlines for submitting assignments.

I myself was a high school athlete, and appreciate quite well the positive influence athletics can have on a person's development. I am quite willing to make reasonable schedule accommodations even as I hold the jock students to the same standards as everyone else. And I certainly am pleased whenever my jock students win over their opposition.

But people who attend college (especially a college such as the one where I teach, which is heavily subsidized by public tax monies) should be there to pursue their educations.

I have had some students who played various sports, but who were also mindful of their academic responsibilities. These students approached me at the beginning of the semester and apprised me of their athletic obligations, and, where necessary, arrangements were made to accommodate the scheduling conflicts that inevitably arose. And those responsible and conscientious student-athletes used faxes and/or e-mails to submit their assignments timely when they were out of town to play their opposing teams. Some of them even pulled "A" grades in my courses.

This student(?) who now is submitting his assignments late while whining about his jock schedule is not in their league as far as I am concerned. Perhaps what makes his attitude all the more galling is that he has already taken a prior course of mine, and should by now know what my rules are and how I enforce them. He will be graded according to my well-publicized standards. Whether that grade is "A" or "F" or anything betwixt and between depends entirely upon him.

And I also have to wonder about what ever became of the real scholar-athlete. Senator Bill Bradley and Supreme Court Justice Byron "Whizzer" White are not the only role models in that regard. My high school Biology teacher (advanced "Blue" version) was a working-class family's son who got out of Johnstown by going to college on a jock scholarship, and who was the school's football coach. One of his assistant coaches was a Math teacher whose courses I took for two years, who also escaped Johnstown via the jock scholarship route. A former business partner of mine, who has a postgraduate degree, was a national collegiate athletic champion and an Olympic Team alternate. Several teammates of mine from high school have gone into professions such as Medicine, Law and Dentistry.

As matters currently stand, this aforementioned student of mine is not going to be in their league any time soon.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home