Extemporanea (extemporanea) wrote,
Extemporanea
extemporanea

you and your arithmetic, you'll probably go far

There is a student in my inbox with whom I have had an email exchange lasting (counts them...) NINE emails, during which I have tried patiently and unavailingly to get him to tell me a single, simple fact: what exact curriculum change is he trying to make? He has managed, over the repeated emails, to completely ignore this, sending me cheerful two-line answers in which he variously tells me all the inventively wrong things he has tried to do to make this mysterious thing happen and which haven't worked, and I cannot tell him what the right thing to do is because he WILL NOT TELL ME WHAT THE CHANGE IS! Given that I am sending increasingly annoyed emails with careful caps, underlining and bolds to try and make him focus on the question, I am being left floored and slightly breathless at the magnitude of the reading comprehension fail he is demonstrating. Honestly, he'll never survive a liberal arts degree if he can't read a simple question. And I'm very close to the point, given my current 12-hour days and 300-odd emails daily, of simply not answering any more. Because really.

Registration continues to melt down gently, we now have 70% of students having submitted, two days before the deadline, and have processed 65% of those. The proliferation of both reg submissions and queries to my inbox is being echoed, in more concrete terms, in my home environment, by various insectoid and other incursions, which likewise give the impression of scurrying masses imperfectly contained and erroneously misdirected. The cockroach outbreak has, merciful heavens be thanked, been more or less contained by the efforts of the landlord, who replaced the rotted sink backboard (thereby revealing millions of the little fuckers nesting madly in the rotting wood, as I had darkly suspected) and then made merry mayhem with cockroach insecticide all down the skirtings. I have a few desperate stragglers, but they are punch-drunk and staggering, and I dispatch them with extreme prejudice, and the kitchen no longer skitters when I switch on the light suddenly at 2am owing to sleepwalking, weird noises or the sudden need for the loo.

The more recent problem is the hitherto flourishing violet I had in a pot in the passage, which suddenly, a week ago, went all lacy-leaved on me instead of its previously happy and stalwart green, and I picked a couple of caterpillars off it, muttered strange gardening oaths, and though nothing more of it. Except the leaves continued to get lacier, and I rooted through them a bit to find more caterpillars, unearthed one or two, and eventually got the hell in and rustled the whole plant vigorously. Upon which there was a sort of squidgy, squirming shower, and about 20 browny-green caterpillars in assorted sizes, from mini to Economy, were left writhing disconsolately on the tiles. I have done that twice more on two subsequent days, to diminishing returns, and I think I may finally have eradicated them all, but really. Butterflies are pretty and all, but there are Limits.

Oh wait. 9-email student has just got back to me, via a futile and error-ridden detour through the Law faculty, with the final, grudging admission that he wants to move to Law, and a wild and exaggerately favourable reading of his eligibility for same in terms of school-leaving scores. I have disabused him of his various misconceptions, and am left reeling slightly at the though of the havoc his particular brand of wilful misreading could wreak on the innocent law profession. Lawks.

(My subject line is, of course, the Inchworm song, which I know through Danny Kaye on the Muppets, and re-watching the gentle sweetness of which has just soothed a lot of my irritation. On Youtube. My caterpillar infestation isn't nearly as cute.) This entry has been crossposted from my Dreamwidth blog at https://freckles-and-doubt.dreamwidth.org/. The comment action is all over there, and supports OpenID.
Tags: aargh, administrivia, danger pay, gazelles, ineffectual druiding, this work thing
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