After another year back in-person at UBC, the university has decided to mandate professors to hold parent-professor interviews at the end of the term.
Parents have been worried about their children. After all, in your first year, you were calling three times a day and now they barely get a text back. Are you eating? Spending too much money? Sleeping enough? They have no idea!
So, students who could mould their lives and pretend to be doing good are now scrambling trying to fix the situation before their parents learn about their inability to get their iClicker questions correct. Here are some things your professor might bring up to your parents.
“I have never seen this person before.”
This will be the first thing your professor will say when they see you and your parents. And immediately, you know you’re in trouble.
But, remember: You are a victim of a greater issue — the ambition students feel when they pick an 8 a.m. class. You live in Surrey goddamit, what were you thinking? And there’s no Zoom option? You were doomed from the beginning.
Skipping class is a slippery slope. There were warning signs everywhere, but you ignored them. What did you do when finals were quickly approaching and you were behind in every class? The average student would go suck up to the professor, but since you never go to class, they have no idea who you are. I mean, they’ve never seen you before. What now? Cry? Plead for another chance? Pull the family emergency card?
“Is your family okay?”
Suddenly, your professor shifts from ranting about your many asks for extensions (which led to your fourth family emergency just this month) to comforting your mom about that cousin you said had a health emergency but is actually completely fine
Is this even ethical? (Hint: No)
You start feeling guilty, after all, they’ve been so nice to you. But you’re a bad person, so you say your cousin is actually still dying. They can’t fact-check that.
Here are some harmless extension excuses, just in case you’re a good person. (I don’t think you are).
"Is your child getting enough sleep?"
It's clearly established that you never show up to class, but the second you do, you end up sleeping all the way through it. But that doesn’t make you a bad student — you’re a visionary. This way your brain can hear (and therefore learn) while you rest your eyes. You took osmosis learning to a whole new level.
You think no one will be able to see you, after all, there are over 300 students in your intro to whatever class. However, even if your professor can’t see you, they can hear you. Sleeping apnea sucks and your ragged breath is disrupting class. Get some help, man.
"Your child sucks at biology."
And if that isn't bad, your professor will not hold back when it comes to your other shortcomings. They might say something like
“I know you’re in the Faculty of Arts, but how can you be this bad in biology?”
First of all, how dare they.
You had no idea there was going to be chemistry thrown in. You’re only taking this class for the science requirement, for god’s sake! For that exact reason, you cried during the midterm. It was ugly. Tears stained the page. What the hell is Krebs cycle again?
After a while, you gave up. You can do better in the final (you hope). The back of your test was full of flowers and detailed eye drawings (this is actually about me).
"I had to block your child's personal phone number."
Why do professors add phone numbers on the syllabus page? Does anyone actually call them? It turns out, one student did. So, the first time you talked in class (well through November, I add), they instantly recognized your voice.
After the chemistry midterms, you decided to get plastered, by yourself, in your basement suite. You felt lonely, so you decided to call your professor’s office number to give him some constructive feedback. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his office number, but his personal one. He was in the middle of dinner with his family. His daughter picked up.
The next time, during the Halloween frat party, you thought it would be funny to call him again. “Is your refrigerator running?” You asked, “Fergalicious” booming in the background.
“Yes, who’s asking?” They never figured it out, you were laughing too hard. He knows who you are now. How embarrassing.
Again, you should get some help, man.
The Dingbat is The Ubyssey's humour section. Send pitches and completed pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org.