Finals, AKA The Professor Olympics

, , , , , | Learning | July 21, 2020

The university I used to work for actually printed the diplomas for graduation as opposed to mailing the diploma to the student later. That meant that all seniors had to have their finals in by Tuesday of finals week, and it was a thing. This important deadline was drilled into the faculty’s heads, and everyone knew they had to grade their seniors first.

And every year, our college staff would take bets on which professor would be the last to get their grades in. This betting pool was a decades-long tradition. As far as my coworkers knew — one of whom had been with the university for over thirty-five years — it had been going on for at least fifty years and probably longer. As the newbie, I thought this was ridiculous, but it was also entertaining after a long, crazy semester.

During finals, we always scheduled a full complement of student workers ready as runners to find the outlier professors. Yes, we would literally send students chasing after professors on campus! My colleagues told me in the 1970s a student worker had to go sneak onto a golf course to find a professor who hadn’t turned in his grades and drive him back to campus to turn them in.

Then, one spring, we had an outlier who was a graduate student. That was a big problem because he didn’t have an office or an office phone, and his student email was full. We called up his department for his info. Nothing. We got his cell phone from his student file. Nothing.

Then, one of our student workers found him on Facebook and messaged him. He had the grades posted within twenty minutes and apologized profusely. Apparently, he fell asleep after his own finals. Ha!

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