it's 10th week, so there must be problems

During those hours of the day when I'm wearing my Administrator hat (which I imagine as a kind of tweedy cap usually worn while striding in the Scottish highlands), I see a lot of students who have Problems. Problems with their professors, with their grades, with the rules of the University. Many of these are Problems I can solve, and I actually find this part of Administrating to be satisfying -- Problems come in, Solutions walk out.

And then there are the students who, in their conviction that they themselves have Problems, become a Problem. My Problem. I listen to them, I explain the rules, and I suggest what their options are, if any. But some students just don't accept that some rules can't be bent, that the Bursar's office, in particular, isn't forgiving when you "had a personal situation" and "forgot" to pay a 6 month overdue fee bill. Some students think that if they just keep coming into my office and saying that "I think I should have gotten a better grade" that it will magically become true. Others believe that they should be allowed to write an honors thesis, even if their GPA is only a 2.0, because they "feel" that they can "work hard" now. Or that if they suddenly invent new religious affiliations that interfere with meeting their degree requirements, that I will believe them, and bend over backwards to ensure that they receive a substandard education that will allow them to graduate at least a semester early, free of the sinful contamination that surely will arise from reading more literature (gasp!).

Best of all: the student who was a huge Problem last year (in my office every other week threatening, without cause, to sue various members of the faculty) wants me to write a letter of recommendation. I'm filing that one in the you've GOT to be kidding folder.