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Updated on Thursday, December 3

#23392

OMG:

Why the fuck does it take forever for profs to reply to emails? I get that it may take a day. I even get that it may take two days. But a week? It's like it takes either forever or I never hear from them at all. 

Ironic that most of these profs spend 35 minutes on the first day of class talking about professionalism and email etiquette.

It's rude and I'm fucking over it.


MOD'S NOTE: What is the subject of the emails? Course politics? Difficult content? 

12 comments

  1. UW Prof: Do you have any idea how many e-mails we receive daily? And further to that.. how many of those emails can be answered by information already provided on LEARN or course notes, etc? Perhaps you should try to visit your prof in person for a better result.

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    1. As a UW TA grad student for a course with 400+ students, I fully agree. I get questions on a daily basis that can be answered by doing about 5 minutes of searching in the course notes. Emails like this simply don't deserve an answer.

      The worst I've seen: "can you explain the factors we should look for when answering questions like this?" - - no, I will not spend my day typing out an email summarizing the last 3 weeks of lecture.

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    2. It's about efficiently managing your emails and time. By seeing an email from a student and choosing to completely ignore it says more about you and your lack of care than the student. You'd rather be interrupted in person over an email that you would ignore? If replying to said email is not a good use of your time, how is it better that the student force you to spend time with him/her over the same subject by visiting in person?

      You have 10 seconds to read an email but don't have the 10 seconds to reply to it (even if it's a simple "I can't answer that question - review lecture material" or something similar), yet you have plenty of time to rant about it on OMGUW?

      I can imagine you get some silly emails, and a large volume of them - however, taking an equally harsh stance of "oh so many emails, stupid students" is pretty bad, especially if you truly are "UW Prof" and "UW TA".

      That said - I think email should just be used for personal communication - why not set up an automatic reply for students so if they email you, you point them towards online course material and the Learn discussion boards? Learn would be great if it had a better UI and more accessible discussion boards ,but it's what we have for now. I have Facebook groups for most of my courses, but profs and TAs are rarely part of such groups.

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  2. I used Learn discussion for two of my courses and it worked perfectly.
    I post a question and either the students post the answer or the prof adds a comment to clear everything up.
    Emailing the prof just wastes time, every prof should use the learn discussion.

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  3. Profs have their own research, have to manage professional collaborations, have to deal with department commitments, manage their grad students, review papers, maybe they are even an editor of a journal, maybe they have tenure coming up and on top of all that they teach a ton of courses. As an undergrad you are at the bottom of the heap and are considered an idiot until proven otherwise. If your question is so important go to his/her office hours and ask it. But someone should tell you... your entitled attitude is doing you no favours.

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    1. Entitled? I waited a week and a half for a reply and never got one... about a course override... Which my advisor told me they needed over email so that it could be forwarded to their office.

      I'm always polite over email and compose my messages with all the proper etiquette. After three profs taking their time or not answering at all, it gets frustrating.

      Entitled would be expecting them to answer my questions that could be answered by the syllabus or was answered in class. I always go to class and I always check LEARN or the syllabus or the UW website before bothering to email.

      But thanks! You're very sweet. Thanks for the great feedback.

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  4. We'll answer if you stop asking stupid questions that's been covered in lectures and LEARN. Can you LEARN?

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  5. 1b...you are the epitome of the entitled UW undergrad...part of the University experience is learning to be independent, you need to find the answers yourself and really most things come up in a 3 second google search, the best way to learn is to find the answer yourself...if you cannot consider a different career path

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    1. I'm in 3B. And I dunno if requesting a course override is something that I can 'find an answer to myself' or in a google search. Especially if an advisor specifically told me to email the prof for the override so everything is in writing.

      But thank you so much for your advice! You're good at helping! Good for you!

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  6. OP: in all fairness, nobody replying to this post knew you were talking about a course override, or that your prof had explicitly told you to e-mail them about it earlier. Both of those things are important pieces of context, that change the entire tone of your complaint. Obviously that's the sort of urgent actionable item that your prof should've gotten back to you about quickly - and it's not at all the same as "I have a question about this thing you already talked about in class that I wasn't paying attention to" (which should be talked about during office hours, not in an e-mail).

    Anyway, clearly there are profs out there that could stand to manage their e-mails better. But nobody's perfect, and there's something to be said for in-person communication, too. If they don't get back to your e-mail right away, then talk to them in class/go to their office hours, and say "hey, I sent you an e-mail about [thing] a few days, did you receive it?" And then the issue gets solved.

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    1. OP here. Thanks, I appreciate it.

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