Emergencies tend to arise at the end of the quarter

by Mr. Sheehy

“Mr. Sheehy, can I hand in this assignment tomorrow?”


“Will it be late?”

“It’s due today.”

“What should I do?”

“Get it to me.”

“So will it be late?”

“Um . . . Yes.”

It’s the end of the grading period. In principle, I don’t mind this time of year; if there is something I don’t have time to grade, I just push it into the next quarter and grade it when I can. The thing that drives me nuts, though – and for some reason it was particularly bad this quarter – is the rush of students who suddenly care about their grades and are urgent to get me to check/fix/accept old assignments. Ahh! Give me some space, folks.

When a student runs to me with a story and an excuse, I so often want to use the phrase a beloved colleague once expressed: “Your emergency is not my problem.” Instead, I usually listen with a slightly dumb expression and then say, “So what are you going to do?” They love that (insert sarcastic eye-roll here).