Obfuscatory elucidation

What is it about this email that kept me irritated all night? Something more than the verbosity, I’m sure.

This is from one of my 8th graders who always needs to be the exception:

  • I shouldn’t have to re-take the test because I just made dumb little errors.
  • Sorry I’m late (for the 10th time this semester). Can you check my homework now?
  • Can I turn in the assignment late since we had to drive to San Diego over the weekend?

In this latest example, it’s “can I use different software since my computer plus my browser won’t do what you’re asking?” (For the record, every one of my Internet assignments includes the warning, “Do this wherever you can. If your system at home isn’t working, use the one at the school library/your friend’s house/my classroom.”)

It seems to me that my server or browser is of the “lesser-compatible side of the scale” next to the lucidcharts system. I believe that the creator(s) are aware of the software’s slow-speed and inability for Internet explorer, thus I have taken notice to a window in the top left corner of the screen advertising to “run lucidcharts 20% faster”. Most, if not all of these options are highly unlikely to take effect on my computer, due to recent computer crashes from foreign software (my father had grown rather cautious, thus he is reluctant to install unknown software onto our desktops.) With your permission, I would think it more efficient to create a powerpoint “lucidchart” and to email you the file link early tomorrow as my rough-draft, rather than use the lucid chart system. The final item of business that I am uncertain of is the time the file must be emailed by. Must it be emailed by late tonight, or by early tomorrow morning? Either way makes no difference to me, because it will be done by then.

Also, I think that I should raise the fact that I need to take my chapter test, as well as retake a few quizzes that might help my grade. I figured I would do these tasks after school at the high school, with your convenience and permission. As the last item of work to be brought up, I never requested you to stamp the homework I did over my absence. Would it be possible to receive full credit for completing it, even though it wasn’t stamped right away?

Thank You.

I think this warrants the direct approach: “Little Johnny, as you go through life, you’ll find people don’t appreciate this. You may have noticed that I don’t appreciate this. This will be the last exception I make for you.”


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