My mother subsidized her nursing school living expenses by selling her class notes. She reminded me constantly of this when I was in elementary school. Of course, this was before it was so easy to attach and send those notes you’ve taken on your computer. Which brings me to this current anguish.

One of my classes (Tantra) meets once a week. That means we only get 12 sessions in a semester. The professor has a long-standing, strict attendance policy: if you miss more than two classes, you get half a letter grade taken off your final grade. I’ve experienced his sincerity.

Two students (let’s call them Brian and Brian) have now missed every class for the last month without even contacting the professor, despite the fact that the syllabus said that the midterm would be distributed two weeks ago and due last week. They just went ahead and missed those without warning, too. No prob.

So then last week Brian sends an email to the class listserv asking for someone to find it “in their heart” to give him a copy of all their notes. Brian replies-all: Ditto.

“These guys have missed four classes and they expect us to to give them our notes? None of the men ever come. The women always do.”

“I can’t believe it. ‘Ditto?'” Right.

Then I remembered my mother.

I sent an email to the whole class:

Dear Brian and Brian,

I’m sorry you have missed class. I do have all of the notes typed up on my computer. Two of the days I was even careful to record almost everything the prof said because I was taking notes for friends missing the class that day. I would be happy to sell you the notes for $10 per day.

Take care.

Brian wrote back immediately: He wanted them. He was good for it. I know him. He is. So I sent them on, with a copy of the midterm and some friendly tips for writing a paper the prof would like.

And THEN I heard from Brian:

I can’t pay you for the notes, I don’t have that money. Knowing that I won’t graduate in
May if I don’t get those notes maybe you can hook it up..

Now. I think I’m empathetic to not being able to pay. If he had, say, made me another offer or something, I would have gladly accepted it. After all, I’ve spent many weeks at Tufts deciding how many classes I can afford to go to and how many days I should skip to go to work. It was the entitlement in that second sentence that got me. Knowing that you’re not going to graduate in May, maybe you could have hooked yourself up with attending.

I haven’t written him back yet. Although I did discover immediately after I sent the notes to Good-Brian, Bad-Brian emailed him asking if they could split the cost. He was happy to pay Brian 20, but not me.

I guess I had failed to appreciate how my hard work, attendance, attention were the least I could do to facilitate this guy’s graduation in May. So I started snooping. I stopped, enraged, upon opening his Facebook page and immediately reading his Activities: “chillin with the bums on my way to fine restaurants.”

*I cannot make this shit up