Over at Acephalous, Scott shares a complaint from his teaching days. A complaint from a young gentleman who claims "I write so very well". Anyone who teaches or plans to teach at any level should have a look and a (if rather pained and horrified) laugh.
Be warned even my worst writing does not reach the level of this young man's missive. Bring your goggles and a strong drink, you'll need them.
Since I've already lamented over sharing classes with people like him in the comments, I thought I'd bring up another side of things. How do you deal with a email/letter/etc. like this from a student? What is the protocol?
Honestly, I can see no benefit in answering the complaint other than inviting the student again in meet with 'me' to discuss the grade. Would the student see this has you starting to give in and pressure more for the grade they think they deserve? Do the girls pull out the water works?
The thing that still gets me is, why bring up problems with grades AFTER you've received your final grade. Bit late now, isn't it?
Say you have two students, A and B. Both have missed a good deal of classes. Both have struggled with assignments. Student B comes in during office hours to talk about their grades and actually listens to what you say. Student A never talks to you, not even through email. Student B grades improve, obviously trying their hardest. Student A keeps running their head into the same wall. Which student will most likely receive a better grade in the class?
If I was a betting woman, I'd say Student B. I'd rather have student B than A. Sadly Student A like the gentleman in Scott's post will never understand that it's too late after the fact.
They hand out faqs on all this when you start teaching right? (Along with a time machine when you finish your Ph.D.)