One student this semester in particular was incredulous (and dismayed) that she would be required to -- wait for it -- write essays. In a literature course.
Last night I had these exchanges with this student.
KB: How can I bring my grade up, like fast? I really need to pass.
Me: You might try working on the assignments that are due this week and stop working on things that aren't due until March 27th.
KB: I'm trying to get ahead.
[When I mentioned the novel project coming up]
KB: Novel? I have to read a book?
Me: Yes, it's for the novel project.
KB: Can it be anything?
Me: It has to be from the list I sent you.
KB: I don't have a list.
Me: I emailed it to you. The novel work is due March 20th.
KB: March 20th?????? That's 10 days!
Me: That's why I sent you the novel list in January.
[At the end of the session, when I "dismissed" them]
Me: Well, that's all I have for tonight.
KB: Well now I have nothing to do.
Me: What do you mean you have nothing to do?
KB: We're finished, so I don't have anything to do. MySpace time!
Me: You could work on that Life of Pi essay that's due Friday.
KB: Yeah, I guess I could do that.
Email exchanges today:
KB: Is all of the Life of Pi stuff due this Friday?
Me: Yes, all of it except the post-test, which is next Monday.
So she submitted an assignment for Life of Pi Part 1, which she had already submitted previously and FOR WHICH SHE HAD A GRADE OF 100.
I didn't think I needed to point out that she didn't need to submit assignments that had already been graded. I stand corrected.