Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Adult Found!

A first-year student at Olberin College asks, following in the footsteps of her elders at other schools, to have final exams deferred because they have been too traumatized by some recent controversial grand jury non-decisions to properly concentrate on their academic work.

At the Columbia University School of Law, such deferments were granted. No word on what kind of lawyers these will be if they are too unmoored by adverse court rulings to properly concentrate on legal work. My guess is "unemployed." Harvard and Georgetown law students want the same deal, but have not yet received it. Harvard officials have pointed out that such a deferral is available on an individual basis if a student talks with his or her professor about it and they can reach an agreement -- a procedure not unlike negotiations in a lawsuit settlement, no less.

At Oberlin, Professor Michael Raney won the undying admiration of all the parents writing checks to his school when he responded to the request with a single word: "No."


fillyjonk said...

I remember back on Sept. 11, 2001, the campus here closed down, though I think that was partly out of "an excess of caution" (no one really knew how far attacks might go).

A then-fairly-new colleague was giving an exam the end of that week. He asked me: Should I hold it or cancel? (I think it was "might the students be too upset?)

My response was: if someone comes to you and they have lost someone in the attacks, I'd treat it like any other bereavement (and grant a make-up). Otherwise, no.

I guess back then we expected our students to be made of sterner stuff, I don't know.

Friar said...

I worked at OCU then and we were also closed for a couple of days; caution as well as the fact that we had students with families in NYC and DC.

Harvard essentially told its people what you told your colleague -- if someone asks, talk it out and see. If I had a degree from Columbia Law I'd be sending it back in.