July 25, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

Summer Grades Submitted

I turned in final grades for my summer session of World Literature this morning. I need to begin almost immediately creating my fall syllabi, but I want to take a couple of days. Speaking of teaching, I received the following email this morning:

Here is another example of how not to write an email to your professor. First, “Mr. Gerald”? I will never understand this familiar-formal mode of address, but I find it . . . challenging. Folks, always address your professors as “Professor” or "Dr.” using their surname. Seriously, even if s/he doesn’t have a Ph.D. or is an instructor, neither of these titles will offend.

Next, never assume that a professor will accept your late work. Notice that the email just assumes that I will jump-to and give them some points. I’m sorry: no. Now if this student had apologized for being late and asked me to accept their assignment, that might have been a different story. In cases like these, I just refer students to my assignment policy that states, unequivocally, “Late work is unacceptable and will receive a zero.” Especially if your email reads like this one.

The fall is starting too soon.