It’s the start of the semester down here “behind the Magnolia curtain” and time for a round of stupid emails. I call them “stupid” not because the students are objectively not-that-smart, but because they evince so little practical intelligence, and such wretched problem-solving skills, that I find their emails to be, to put a point on it, effing dumb.
“Dear Professor Lena, Where can I find the books for this course?”
As tempting as it is to set up some kind of Treasure Hunt or Physical Challenge course, I’ve helpfully ordered copies of the texts at the campus bookstore, provided citation information in case you wish to purchase them elsewhere, and made PDF copies of other readings available on the course website.
“Dear Professor Lena, I missed the first class session. Can you send me your class notes?”
Generally speaking, I don’t keep class notes. That’s because I’m teaching the class, and I find it difficult to write and teach at the first time. Instead, you can get class notes from people in the class. They’re the ones writing it all down.
And (a classic of the genre, really):
“Dear Professor Lena, I missed the first class session. Did I miss anything important?”
No. Not really. I taught some stuff, and I explained my expectations and discussed class policies, but I don’t really consider it all that important. I’ll have to repeat this information thousands of times in emails to students in the class, so it can’t be that important.