An English prof blogs about an unreasonable student request in “Most outrageous note evar.”
While I agree that this student's request is totally unreasonable (barring a medical emergency), I think this blogger's reaction shows that English profs lead sheltered lives. Here in law school, where we train people to be advocates, many students come to think they have nothing to lose by making pushy requests, even ridiculous ones, and they do it quite often. Given how things work, they may be right — there's not much penalty for being turned down and, as fund-raisers say, “If you don't ask, you don't get.” Figuring out where the line is between zealous advocacy and Rule 11 (sanctions for frivolous or vexatious arguments) takes judgment, and it takes some people longer to acquire that than others.
One tries not to get inured, but I suppose it creeps up….
Previous related post: If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get. But Some Things You Shouldn't Ask.
Well, in a profession which counts Alan ‘I heart Torture’ Dershowitz, and John ‘I heart Torture, all hail King George’ Yoo, how does one tell what’s a bad argument?