Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pop quiz

If you were a graduate student, and your professor let you borrow a rare book from her personal collection so that you could complete a short research assignment while she left town for the MLA weekend, would you:

a) Guard the book with your life until you could return it directly into your professor's hands after she was back at school the following week?

b) Leave it with the department secretary and let the professor know in whose safe hands the book awaited retrieval?

c) Leave the book, when you finish using it on Thursday night, in the department copy room on a counter, without notifying the professor that it's there so that she might send someone to get it before her return five days later; and then, when queried (in sick horror) about the book's whereabouts when it is nowhere to be found, shrug and say, "Wow, sorry about that"?

If you selected c), congratulations! You must be my shitwit student.

12 comments:

jo(e) said...

Oh, that sucks. I used to lend books freely ... but then realized how rarely I got them back. So now I only lend books that I am willing to part with.

Dr. Koshary said...

Good lord. Stu is proving hir untrustworthiness in a big way, it seems. The question that comes to my mind automatically is, "Do I tell the student that they are not suitable material directly or passive-aggressively?" Probably jumping the gun, but that's what I immediately wondered.

For the record, I don't like passive-aggressive behavior, but I have seen that, in many cases, departmental protocols virtually require it.

Bardiac said...

Yep, it's a problem. I'm sorry about your book. I hope someone finds it.

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

I think "a" is your best bet.

Since YOU were personally entrusted with the book, it should remain in your custody until YOU can return it directly into the professor's hand. Anything else is just you passing-off your responsibility. I doubt the professor had that in mind when deciding to loan it to you in the first place.

(And what would she say if something then happened to the book?)

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Oh frick. I hate that student for you. But can I use "shitwit"? That's a word worth repeating.

Damn. I hope someone finds your book!

Sulpicia said...

Eijit student! Is it worth putting out an appeal to other members of staff, in case one of them spotted it and gathered it for protection/ because they wanted to read it? This is what happened to the last book left in our post room, so maybe worth a go.

Renaissance Girl said...

In fact, Sulpicia, that's what happened. Whew! A colleague saw the book and figured that such a book probably shouldn't be hanging out on the counter, and kept it safe until the owner made her panicked call for help. So: happy ending here. Though I'm still not loving the student so much.

Kristen said...

Ugh. So glad you have your book back. Blargh.

Also: I will email you soon, sorry for the lag time between emailings.

Also II: for one of your classes you recommended a Medbh McGuckian book as additl. reading. Do you remember which one it was?

Sulpicia said...

Very glad to hear it! And now you've got a good story to tell any future students as you read them the book-borrowing riot act.

Renaissance Girl said...

Kristen: Marconi's Cottage.

editorgirl said...

Now you have a good reason to lend books out, but make the student sit in a corner of your office while using the book.

This makes me sick. And mad at all grad students. Including myself.

Johnsons Part Deux said...

Oh. My. Hell. I hope said student got a kick to the a$$ and an F. :)