Journalism prof asks student to spell his name correctly, she drops the class

Journalism prof asks student to spell his name correctly, she drops the class

A Florida International University student recently dropped out of her journalism class after her professor apparently expected too much from her: He wanted her to spell his name correctly.

(My Grade 11 law teacher used to dock his students marks for spelling his name incorrectly. Surely a university student should be up to the task of a quick proofread?)

Professor Fred Blevens recounted the bewildering story on Facebook.

“It now happens so seldom that a student can make my jaw drop with an outrageous email. This week, it happened. A student submitted a funeral notice as proof that she attended the service of her grandfather during the class in which we had the first quiz. She asked when she could come by my office to make up the quiz, for which I’d already given out all the answers to students who did attend. I wrote back, noting that point and telling her that makeups were done in essay format and I gave her the assignment. I also asked her — as I did on the first day of class — to pay attention to the spelling of my last name, which she had gotten wrong,” he wrote.

He then transcribed the student’s response:

"Due to your understanding of my circumstances and your excessive focus on the spelling of your name, I respectfully dropped your class."

Blevens continued:

“The only disappointment is she didn’t add ‘and finding another major,’ one where accuracy, precision and detail are not important. Geeeezzzzzz.”

In the comments, Blevens emphasized how rare the ‘entitlement’ email was:

“In fact, in 8 years here and more than 2,000 students, this is the FIRST display of entitlement, something I can’t say for my former universities, where entitlement and legacy entitlement (a particularly irritating form) were everywhere.”

And while he acknowledged that the student wasn’t likely a journalism major — the law and ethics class she dropped didn’t have any prerequisites so students from other programs could take it — he wasn’t about to let her get away with lazy spelling errors.

“[Can] you imagine misspelling the name of your PR or advertising client?” he wrote.

Read the entire comment thread here.

If you’re going to take a journalism class, expect your prof to care about the details.

And if you’re going to take any class — any class at all — it’s always wise to double-check that you’re spelling your teacher’s name correctly.