Since the semester ended, I've had the usual number of student emails about grades. One student in particular got his report card and saw that I had assigned him a failing grade, and wrote to demand an explanation. He literally said, "I demand an explanation."
So I looked at the gradebook and saw that he had failed every assignment. Every one.
I imagine a basketball coach angrily approaching the referee after having been declared the loser of the game. "I demand an explanation!" he says, and so the ref lets him know that his team was outscored in all four quarters. How do you earn a passing grade in the class when you fail everything your grade is based on? And then how do you muster the righteous indignation to demand an explanation? Does he really want me to go through all the assignments and for each one tell him how much of his grade was based on it and how much he failed it? Because that's what I did.
In fairness, I should mention that he hadn't picked up any of his exams, so he probably couldn't have been sure that he failed them all. But you have to figure that if you're not in class enough after the first exam to have heard that they had been returned, you're not going to do super awesome on the second one.
And, of course, I've been getting my annual allotment of "now that the semester is over and final grades have been submitted, what can I do to improve my grade" emails.
Happy solstice, everybody!