College Life/professor


Dear Ms. D,
I wrote to you last, and I loved your response! I have one more question regarding my professor.  He has known me for 8 months, and I am averaging over a 90 in this class (and did in my previous language classes with him).
I just had a major test and messed up on a small section, the very concept that he had praised me for knowing so well.  I sent him a joking email the same night saying if he has another exam “lying around - more difficult & longer, I will  gladly forfeit the mark of this one and rewrite it!!!”  Anyway, the next day, he replied with one sentence saying “unfortunately a test already written cannot be retaken, I'm sure you did well”
I thought OMG, he took me seriously - like I was fishing for favors and rewrites, for no good reason.  My friend said email him back and clarify that you were kidding.  I replied saying “it seems my email was taken seriously...was completely kidding - would never try to bargain with a professor..was jus embarrassed about my mistake...should stop trying to be”  That was the gist, lighthearted and funny. WELL!!!!
he wrote back this..“Forgive my inability to read irony in your previous email.  I'M pretty busy these days, and all my email reading ahs been at he superficial reading...again, I'm sure you did very well..have a great weekend.”  Forgive my inability to read irony!!!!He sound so sarcastic and like he's telling me off, or completely annoyed.  I wasn't trying to correct him.  What do I say???  I feel awful!!  I have never been spoken to like this by him...unless i.m misreading something - but this email does not sound warm and fuzzy -that's for  Help!!!
Thank you!!!!!!!!!

Id say leave it alone and proceed like nothing ever happenned. From the last email and this one I see that you are a serious student and this may lead you to over think and over analyze. It is VERY difficult to determine someones tone in their email so there always is a chance of misinterpretation. I myself misinterpret tone all the time. I see nothing wrong with your original email to him. However sometimes you have to factor in the persons age or the persons familiarity with you and email.

When i was in college university teachers were just starting to incorporate email and the internet just started to become more widespread (in 90s). My signature was a picture of the rolling stones open mouth icon that looks like someone mouth wide open like they were yellingt. I didnt know what it was then i just thought it looked cool. The image was created using a bunch of "o".  lets just say one teacher who was about 70 yo was offended by it and pulled me aside. I was pissed. She said no teacher wants to see a mouth yelling at them. In my mind im thinking im 18 in college, freedom of expression, these type of computer drawings are popular for signatures no big deal. I felt she overreacted and shouldnt be speaking on behalf of all teachers. I told her if she didnt like it i would remove it when writing her. She probably  would not be a teacher that could write a joke and she would get it. I was also annoyed that she didnt simply write me back she called me out in front of 200 students in the lecture class and said she wanted to see me after...she saidmy name horribly wrong which was more offensive because it means she didnt take the time  to fully read my name. Thats the end of my vent lol

So leave it alone. Like he said he skimmed you email and didnt fully read it to see you were joking. While his response may not seem comforting he may not mean for it to sound that way. Proceed in being a good student and let that speak for you. You now know his attention to email detail is low so in the future keep it simple, leave out jokes as he wont take the time to get them, and stick to issue at hand.

Dont worry about it.  

College Life

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ms. D


I can answer general questions about college life as an adult student as well as traditional age. I can help you with how to make the right choice of school, being away from home for the first time, adjusting to being a big fish in a small pond, Do's and Don'ts and almost anything that is on your mind. If I do not initially have the answer I will help you figure it out.


I am a college graduate with multiple undergraduate degrees and a Master's degree. I have graduated from college as a traditional student and have also graduate from college as a non traditional student.

Masters of Science

©2017 All rights reserved.