Ben Stein writes about an interesting experience he had recently at a Barnes and Noble store where the employees were college students.
As he and his friend walked back to his apartment, he said,
"That was amazing. Those people didn't know how to do a basic transaction like mailing books."
His friend corrected him: "No...they don't want to do it. They didn't even really try very hard. They're college students. That means they don't care at all. They're getting paid whether they send the books or not. They're like civil servants -- only civil servants have a good attitude, and these guys have a poor attitude."
Unfortunately, I have seen this same attitude with some of my own students. Many of my students are hard working, attending school while working 30-50 hours a week. They seem to understand the importance of education to their lives and careers. However, others (and more others than I would like to see) feel it is a chore to attend classes and do the work required. They are indignant that I expect them to be on time. And they make decisions which I don't understand. Recently I announced that at the end of the three hour class, I would be giving them an opportunty to earn additional points on an in-class assignment as they had not done well on their exam. Several of the students did not bother to stay until the end, instead choosing to slip out during the break without saying anything to me. These students, of course, are the very ones who could have really used the points.