With a view to assisting you during this challenging time, I include below a list of six important end-of-term tips. I ask that you carefully review these tips, because I want you all to earn full credit for your work, pass all of your courses, and have a smooth and successful conclusion to this semester.
1. GET CREDIT FOR YOUR WORK
Though instructors may ask you to submit your final papers in their departmental mailboxes, or even under the doors to their offices, if that work gets lost and you don’t take the appropriate precautions, you may ultimately earn an “F” for your efforts. So be sure to submit course work in person, either to the instructor or to a person explicitly designated by the instructor, such as a teaching fellow or an administrative assistant. According to the Blue Book: “Students who submit course work in a manner other than in person, directly to an appropriate individual (e.g., place it under a door or in a box in a hallway) do so at their own risk [emphasis added]. Students who must use postal services to submit a course assignment, because they will be unavoidably absent from campus at the time an assignment is due, should ascertain in advance from the instructor the correct mailing address and use receipted mail services to establish the date of mailing.”
If you must mail work to instructors, therefore, please
(1) keep copies of whatever you mail;
(2) if possible, use mail services that furnish a receipt, such as certified mail, Federal Express, and the like; and
(3) ascertain before departing for the Recess your instructor’s full and exact mailing address.
And you can always email your professor a backup. If you do email an assignment, ask your instructor to confirm its receipt. You’ve worked too hard to let your essays perish unread in cyberspace!
2. TALK WITH YOUR INSTRUCTORS
I cannot postpone a final exam on the grounds that it conflicts with your travel arrangements. Students have been known to ask instructors for permission to take final exams early to accommodate their travel plans. Deans have no role in granting permission for taking early exams; it is your instructor’s prerogative to allow you (or not allow you) to take a final exam early. (You can find the rest of the rules governing early exams here.)
That said, instructors may still ask you to get a Dean’s Excuse, or an informal “dean’s note” (even though there is no such thing) so that you can take a final exam early. Since there is no role for a Dean’s Excuse in this situation, your knowledge of the Blue Book will be helpful if you find yourself having a conversation with an instructor about taking a final exam early. I am, of course, available to answer your questions (and those of your instructors, too).
3. CALL MY OFFICE IF YOU ARE SERIOUSLY, DESPERATELY ILL
If you’re too incapacitated by illness to take an exam, call me. The key word is incapacitated (meaning that you need to be conveyed immediately to Yale Health). Students with head colds who feel less than 100% healthy are expected to tough it out. If you become seriously ill in the middle of a final exam, and absolutely cannot continue your work, notify the proctor of your situation before leaving the test site. Then proceed directly to the Health Center and seek medical treatment. Once there, call me at 203-432-0397 and notify me of your situation.
4. NOTE THAT INSTRUCTORS CANNOT EXTEND WORK, OTHER THAN TERM PROJECTS & TERM PAPERS, BEYOND READING PERIOD
All course assignments, other than term papers and term projects, are due on December 15. And all term papers and term projects are due by the last day of Finals (December 21). Legal extensions that go beyond those dates must be authorized by me, and are called Temporary Incompletes (TIs). TIs are authorized or denied on the same basis as Dean’s Excuses. But if you step outside the protection of the academic regulations by accepting a technically illegal extension from an instructor, and you then become ill and cannot complete that work, I am unlikely to be in a position to help you, even if the instructor erroneously told you that you could submit the work later. In most cases, that will mean that you will get an “F” on the late work. See me right away if you have questions about extensions.
5. TAKE A “W” NOW INSTEAD OF AN “F” LATER
If you’re failing a course, or are close to failing a course, or are staking your hopes of passing on your expected performance on the course’s final exam, you should really be considering the option of a W, rather than rolling the dice on what may happen if everything breaks right. The necessary forms are available in my office, and must be submitted in my office, no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, December 9.
6. PROBLEMS? CALL ME!
If you find yourself in any kind of trouble relative to the submission of work or the taking of exams, call me right away (203-432-0397). Doing so is evidence of your attentiveness to basic proprieties, and is sometimes a crucial factor in determining an equitable remedy.
I hope you have a successful rest of the term. Good luck to you all!