I Don’t Understand This Pattern


Student registers for a course, but for some reason doesn’t get the credit he thought he would (fails, didn’t attend, whatever). Student sits on this for a year. Said student applies for graduation and is informed he needs that credit. Student sits on this information for a year. Student contacts the Registar’s Office to find out why he hasn’t received his diploma, and is informed that he needs this credit to graduate. Student flies into a rage and contacts the President. Arrangements are made, help is offered, special advising is given, student is allowed to take credit in a unique/special way, and registers for the course. Time elapses. Faculty contacts us to say, “Student never showed up and in spite of my attempts to contact I got no response.” Student receives an incomplete. No credit.

Pattern repeats.

Unfortunately, it is not an isolated incident.

What gives? I’m stumped.


6 thoughts on “I Don’t Understand This Pattern

  1. I think Joel From’s “Advanced Studies in Christian World Views” probably has inspired a high percentage of the rage referred to above. A lot of people have trouble getting credit for that class, it’s sparingly offered, and it hangs nearly every Briercrest potential graduate’s pending graduation in the balance.


    1. And a lot of people are afraid of it too. He sure has high expectations! I know Briercrest will have developed a lot when other faculty can start teaching that class.
      Now, back to my question – why do people scream for service, agree to new terms, and then ignore those terms AGAIN?!?


  2. Entitlement. It’s a problem that appears to be in all sectors of life and I don’t know how to stop it other than forcing people to fend for themselves. Perhaps the student ‘feels’ that they are a ‘good person’ and deserve a positive mark for no effort on their part. Why someone should feel entitled to anything, I don’t know. Then again, how many parents give their children an allowance for no reason? Perhaps it is taught early on.


    1. I’ve heard this generation of college graduates called “The Entitlement Generation” and maybe that’s a factor. I’m not sure I see the connection between entitlement and actually getting what they want but not taking it. My point was, they fight and claw to get another chance. We give it to them and then they don’t take it.


  3. I think it’s essentially the same reason people happily agree to do something a week advance and then spend the day before complaining and wondering why on earth they agreed to do something they don’t even want to do. When the reality of something isn’t staring you in the face, it’s easy to focus on positive memories/beliefs and see a certain plan as a good solution. When the actual legwork is hours away from needing to be done, the actual negative elements of the behaviour become painfully apparent and suddenly the plan changes: we’re not going to Aunt Rita’s after all, we’re going to go golfing instead. I have definitely been the student you describe, and I must admit that J.Babbitt is partially right, I did not appreciate the opportunity for what it was and a third party was paying my tuition. Still, I found undergraduate classes to be about as fun as tearing my lips off and the pace of progress was tediously slow. It was often very difficult to motivate myself to attend, even after making special arrangements to make-up credits that I had had similar problems motivating myself for in a previous term.

    You have sort of answered your own question, as I think these students fail to take advantage of the special arrangements for the same reason they needed them in the first place: they are having a hard time motivating themselves to go to class.


    1. I think you might be on to something, Neil. Perhaps it’s the same type of person who struggles to put action to words (which I think we all struggle with to some degree).

      I wonder sometimes if this behaviour results partly because someone behind the student is pushing for action. The student does what needs to be done to keep the pusher at bay (for now).

      I have also noticed that the course(s) in question often is a difficult one, as Dave points out.


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