Unrealistic expectation

I am teaching an international economics class this semester. A student did not show up regularly in my lectures and received 50 out of 100 in the midterm. Then he sent me an email after the midterm, asking if it is still likely to receive AT LEAST a B for this class. I told him that if he showed me his efforts and did well in the final and other assignments for the rest of the semester, a B is still something possible. Then I only saw him once after the midterm. I thought that he had droped from the class. But he contacted me again recently and said he was still enrolled in the class. The reason for his absence from my lectures is because he was too busy. In addition, he is still expecting to receive a B or even better from my class because otherwise, he is going to lose funding. I really don’t understand how someone can come up with such an unrealistic expectation. It has shaken my belief on rational expectations so much that I decided to work on a paper in the field of behavior finance.  
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6 responses to “Unrealistic expectation

  1. His email made me go to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror again and again this afternoon. I am pretty sure now that I have nothing in common with Santa who hands out free gifts. So his irrational expectation is not caused by me, or at least by what I look.

  2. haha, that’s hilarious.I’ve been in the same situation when I got 18 out of 100 (third lowest in the class) for Macro midterm last semester, and I went to the professor asking him if it’s still possible to receive a B, (if not, I would lose my funding too). He said yes. I got 62 out of 100 in the final (top 3), and received a B…

  3. Just want to make sure that there are more than 3 students in your class… Just kidding :-)From bottom 3 to top 3 is a big achievement. If I were your professor, I would discount your midterm grade and give you at least an A- for the class. Great job.

  4. FYI, we had 28 students in my class last semester. haha, thanks, I like this anecdote too 🙂

  5. That’s really fun~~

  6. I assume this is not the first time that you teach American college students. I don’t know exactly where you teach, but I assume it is a private place with relatively better (more responsible to themselves, more diligent) students. Anyway, what I meant to say is, such unrealistic behaviors are so common to college students that I’m only surprised that you haven’t met such a case earlier. Nonetheless, you may want not to say something like "a grade B is still possible" without going through a lot of information with him, such as the detailed calculation of grades (B means over 80% of the total, and blahblah) — just so that he knows you are firm on your policies. Thanks for sharing.

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