Sunday, 28 March 2010

Please, Can You Pass My Paper Based On ...?

It has been almost 10 years already since I started teaching in several seminaries in Malaysia (both as an adjunct and full time lecturer). One of the things I did over the years is to compile the requests forwarded by the students in asking (or, perhaps, pleading with) me to pass their term papers or exams. I must say the students did attempt to give some pretty "creative" reasons in hoping that I would grant their requests. Here are some of them (I have paraphrased some of them but the essence of the request remains the same):

  • "I really fasted and prayed in writing this paper. So I guess I should be given a decent grade."
  • "My age is catching up - based on compassionate ground, can you please pass my exams?"
  • "I come from engineering background and I am used to writing technical reports in mathematical equations. Therefore I can't write a theological paper where there is no equation. So can you please pass me?"

  • "Can you pass me in the exam? I know I did badly - but I need to pass your course so I could graduate."

  • "I travelled overseas to use the theological library of xxx college - so if you don't pass me, there is nothing else I could do. I have tried my best in consulting the best library in the region."

  • "I don't have time to go to the seminary library. This is because I am a leader in the church, and I am busy serving the Lord. So can you be a little bit easy on your grading?"

  • "As a pastor for many years, I am writing this paper based on my experience. I don't think I need to consult the academic books."
The list could go on. If you are in my shoes, what would you have done to these requests above?

17 comments:

Sze Zeng said...

Hi KY,

I have no idea how to react over these remarks as I'm not teaching. So far I'm still, fortunately, being spared from the need of coming up with creative reason to pass my papers. May be one day I will need to pick some of those listed here for my use.

By the way, a fresh look at your template. Nice.

Kar Yong said...

Hi Sze Zeng,
If you were to use one of these reasons, would you commit plagiarism or would you footnote your "reference"? Haha...

Thanks - re the template, I've decided to go for something simple and clean - I've not changed it sicne the first day I started blogging! That tells you how "creative" I am.. :-)

逍遥子 Odysseus said...

wow, interesting post sir,,,,

I am somewhat surprised to hear that such things do come up from students,,,,

Normally I wont talk over my grade with teacher,even he graded me very low or fail me ,,,,because I am confident of myself,,,hehe

no joke. it has happened before.

Paul Long said...

At least you did not get any requests along the lines of "I am a very generous supporter of your seminary. You has better scratch my back or ..." :-)

Kar Yong said...

Odysseus,

There are many more surprising stuff that the students say. Somehow it makes me wonder whether such excuses were ever given in universities or colleges?

Kar Yong said...

Hi Paul,

Well, not in the thrust you mentioned unless we have really rich students coming into local seminaries. But being rich, perhaps chances of them studying overseas will be higher?

But I have received some very weird and unreasonable demands before, and those are best left unpublished.

Sometimes it makes me wonder what is the purpose people come into seminary. Worse, it makes me wonder the KIND of people that will be leading and pastoring the church! Shudder....cold chill running down my spine!

沙崙 said...

What about this request from a young lady: "can you pass my paper based on the fact that I am a great fan of yours?"....(and your eyes meet a pair of blinking, teary beautiful eyes in front of you)?

沙崙 said...

sounds like a tough grader. I have not met with one student requests as such. Just in case you think I am "generous", I have failed students before; some others needed to re-do the paper. Hmmmm...maybe some students think you are easy to persuade, apparently they are wrong? :)

Kar Yong said...

Hi Elaine,

BTW - some of these comments came from ladies! Well, I am yet to be persuaded! Haha...

I don't think I am a tough grader. This is evident in the grades reflected in the exegetical method class where I co-teach with the rabbi for the past few semesters. Students always score a grade higher from me. In addition, one of our colleagues once remarked: Since LKY joined the faculty, the english department students' CGPA got a boost!

I guess students in the Chinese track would feel a little bit more apprehensive in making such comments to the lecturers, while the English track students, particularly those part-time students are, perhaps, a bit more vocal. I am not sure whether my observations here are correct.

In any case, most of these comments come from part-time students, matured students, and those who are leaders and pastors. I guess they will try whatever means to test whether they could get their way. After all, there is no harm in trying, right!

逍遥子 Odysseus said...

Hi KY;

my days in NUS, they practiced ketuanan lecturers, so students were not even told why they were graded low or fail.

Just accept!

Students wont know why not being offered to honors years, and why got second class,,,hehe

reason?just to avoid any trouble to the Management...

逍遥子 Odysseus said...

in fact, currently I am being graded quite poorly in one Chinese module, but it's ok lah. I wont be bother.Just accept.

I am obedient student. KY should be happy to have me as your student... hehe

Kar Yong said...

Odysseus,
So do you want to switch from the Chinese track to the English track? :-) You might have to contend with a lower CGPA...hahahaah

逍遥子 Odysseus said...

I am eager to take up some modules in english dept, just wait for the right ones. I am targeting Peter Lau's Ruth and your Mark; contemporary hermeneutics,,,,,

CGPA ? be el gin,,,,

Kar Yong said...

Hi Odysseus,
That's good. You are interested in 1 Corinthians, aren't you? :-)

逍遥子 Odysseus said...

Hi Sir, Paul is not romantic guy,,,,,there is infinite gap between us,,

I like gospel books...

Kar Yong said...

but Gospels were written after Paul's letters. So better read Paul if you want to get closer to the truth of the gospel...hahaha...

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