Professors want papers, students want letters

Sasha Skarboviychuk 

At the end of every semester comes this tedious time when you find out what your semester’s efforts resulted in: grades are released. Usually the registrar sets a date when you should have all your grades on Sage—finally professors have a deadline for a change—usually a week after the last final exam. Which, you know, is reasonable; while you want to know your final grade as soon as possible, professors need time to grade various assessments. What is no longer reasonable is when you are still missing grades days after the deadline. 

Not only is that ironic, particularly from professors who are very strict about deadlines, but also borderline hypocritical. If I were to submit an assignment three days late, I would lose at least a third of a letter grade per day. So, perhaps, my grade could be raised by a third of a letter grade for each day my grade is late?  This is just my wishful thinking—though it would be really nice—but honestly I’d just be happy with my real grade on time. 

Most people I know would email their professor if they are missing a grade past the deadline. Thus far I have been successful at resisting the temptation to email my professors, but I’m only three semesters in. The rational part of me reminds me that professors know that grades are due, and responding to my email will just delay them putting them in. Also, do professors really want to hear from me during break? They have spent a semester dealing with hundreds of students and they just got rid of me. Do I really want to do that to them? Well, not yet.   

Other people say that professors are people too and that they need time with their families. So when those same professors assign three hundred things to do over Thanksgiving, are students not people? We don’t need to spend time with our families that we haven’t seen all semester because Thanksgiving is our only break in the fall semester? What I have gathered is that spending time with family over Thanksgiving is not a good excuse to miss a deadline for students, but for professors putting in grades a week later, that’s a perfectly valid excuse. Hello, double standards. 

Dear professors, you understand how annoying it is to get assignments submitted late. Please don’t do the same to us with our grades.  

John Fornagiel 

When it comes to grades, I’m a bit of a neurotic freak. Naturally, when grades are supposed to—according to the registrar—go on Sage, over the course of a few weeks prior to Dec. 27, I’m checking it at least daily for my grades in my classes. 

However, for some odd reason, by Dec. 31, I still didn’t have all my grades in, which is interesting, isn’t it? I thought that grades were due on Dec. 27. It got to the point where my friends and I would bet on whether I would get my grades the next day or not; being the optimist I am, I lost about $3 in this bet because of my professors. On day five, I finally got my grades. As it turns out, I’m not alone in this agony either. 

The Brandeis parents’ Facebook group—my guilty form of entertainment—had multiple discussions about other students not having all their grades in. And they are also frustrated. At least I’m not alone. Of what I read in some of the posts, the missing grades could also have negative consequences for students hoping to get financial aid, which is really worrisome, because it is not something students have any control over. For me, thankfully, this is about my own curiosity and wanting to know how I did, so there is less pressure. 

But in general, I think the entire Brandeis community would benefit from more people being able to follow deadlines. Happy working! 

Menu Title